Lose weight, not money

Expensive gym memberships, costly diets, over-priced shakes, pills and potions – are you falling into the trap of paying high prices to look and feel better? Moneybags understands that we all have physical goals we’d like to achieve. So we’ve put together a simple, fuss-free guide to losing weight on a budget.

Make activity your routine
Small steps count. Be conscious of moving whenever you can, and make it a habit. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, cycling to work or taking a brisk stroll during your lunch hour – these little changes make a big difference. Get your body used to being active until it becomes a habit.
Take a look at our guide on how to Get fit for free.

Drink Green tea
Great as a coffee substitute, and cheaper. One tea bag can last 3-4 cups, and it’s packed with anti-oxidants. Green tea is known to assist in weight loss, and has the same energizing effect as coffee.

Eat less meat
Meat is often the most expensive part of our diet, and certainly not the healthiest. Try to lessen your intake of animal products and you’ll not only decrease your monthly grocery spend, you’ll boost your health, too. Practice Meat Free Mondays, and stock up instead on pulses, beans and quinoa. For healthy vegetarian recipes, go to www.goveg.com.

Cook your own food
Whether it’s a night out at a restaurant or grabbing a muffin on the run, these expensive and unhealthy habits do nothing for your waistline OR your bank balance.
If you don’t have time to cook, why not start a cooking group with friends? Knowing that other people will be eating your meals will keep you inspired and creative, and sharing the cost will save you. Allocate a day of the week to each person, and distribute frozen meals between you.
Take a look at our Shopping Deals and Guides to ensure you save at the supermarket.

Find recipes online
Ah Google, how much we love you. Who needs expensive recipe books? Search online for healthy, low-calorie recipes and you’ll be bombarded with hundreds of fantastic ideas.
Take a look at our guide on how to get your vital nutrients from cost-effective foods.

Never eat in front of the TV
Ever. Even when you’re home alone. Focusing on something else means you’re not conscious of your intake. Furthermore, the various food and takeaway adverts on TV manufacture feelings of hunger which are unrealistic.

Drink less booze
Alcohol is filled with calories your body doesn’t need. And the more we drink, the more we tend to eat. Try drinking only on special occasions. Not only will you be more energised and hydrated, but you’ll notice your weight start to drop and your savings start to grow.

Drink more water
Something we all know. Buy a water filter and carry your own bottle. Take it with you wherever you go. Drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and lessen the cravings for juices and sodas – which are not only pricey but high in sugar and calories.

Take a multi-vitamin
Modern farming methods, pesticides, mass production of foodstuffs – the nutrients in our food have been affected by the manner in which our food is farmed and distributed. We are no longer getting all the vitamins and minerals we require from our diet. It helps to take a vitamin substitute to keep you balanced and healthy.
Take a look at our Vitamin Guide for tips on how to save on vitamins.

Pack your own lunch
You can manage your own portion size and calorie count, with the obvious pay-off that it’s cheaper than a take-away. Lunches on the run are often filled with extra calories – white bread, mayonnaise, butter, heavy cheeses and oily meats. Make a fresh and healthy salad or a sandwich on rye with low fat dressings.

Eat small amounts
We don’t actually need more than a fistful of food to fill our tummies. If this idea worries you, try eating off a smaller plate – it’ll give the illusion of a larger portion size.

Exercise every day
For some of you, this might mean joining the gym. If this is the case, check out the special deals that Planet Fitness are offering Moneybags subscribers as part of our launch campaign.
If you’d rather save on the cost of a monthly gym membership, look at our guide on how to get fit for free.

Team up
Use your friends to motivate you. Share low-calorie recipes, try your new dishes out on one another, keep each other inspired and motivated. It always helps to share a goal with someone who understands. Use each other to make the journey fun

Don’t eat costly food
Here’s where you’re going to have to be clever. Lean meat and fish are renowned for their high protein, low fat content. However, they are also more expensive.
Instead, try high protein substitutes like whey, quinoa, cottage cheese, tuna and egg whites. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients, low in fat and easy on the pocket.
Try our Downshifting guide for advice on how save money shopping for your staples.

Don’t get sucked into the equipment trap
So many of us feel we need to buy the equipment and the clothing to play the part. You don’t need the fancy running shoes, the Bosey ball, the pro tennis racket. Take a look at our Get fit for free guide for ideas on how to build a regular exercise routine without buying costly equipment.
And then give yourself a goal – if you manage to reach your goal weight in a given time, treat yourself to those sneakers or that iPod shuffle.

Take advantage of technology
Who needs a dietician or a personal trainer when you’ve got an application that does the same job? Applications such as Lose It! and Nike Women Training Club provide you with the tips and motivation you need to lose weight and get fit.

Plan ahead
NEVER go the shops hungry, or without a clear list of what you need. Plan your meals for the week, and buy only the items that are on your list. Supermarkets are dens of temptation. Take a look at our Supermarket Layout Guide to prevent you from getting sucked into the spending trap.

Buy in Bulk
If your routine and eating habits are predictable, then buy in bulk. It seems more expensive at first, but you’re saving in the long run.

Remember – deals are short lived and specials change. To keep up to date with the health tips and savings, stay tuned to the Moneybags weekly mailer.

*All prices and information correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.