Weight Loss on a Budget Is Not Impossible: How It’s Done

How to: Weight Loss on a Budget

I just got back from the grocery store, so weight loss on a budget is definitely on my mind at the moment.  Food prices are insane right now! Especially the healthy ones.  Sure, I could subsist on the cheaper foods if I was committing to a no-nutrient diet, but the ingredients I’m used to relying on are absolutely ridiculous at the moment. So, while I should have been focusing on my grocery list, I’ve actually been tallying on to help to keep nutrition and diet affordable.

Yes, Weight Loss on a Budget is Possible!

When I think of weight loss on a budget, my mind automatically goes to eating low quality, flavorless foods.  It’s easy to think that a balanced, healthy diet and affordability are at two opposite ends of the spectrum.  After all, no matter what we’re buying at the moment, it’s all going to cost a small fortune.  Still, this doesn’t mean that we can’t spend the same amount as we would on an unhealthy diet, only focusing on nutrition and weight control instead.

The key is in our approach to the foods we’re selecting at the grocery store. Planning – as annoying as it is – has never been more important. Stick with me, and I’ll show you how I’m keeping up my nutrition without having to sell my car to do it.

Changing Perspective for Weight Loss on a Budget

When we diet, we think more in cutting back than anything else. We are simply living a life of tolerance to restriction and this needs to change for our own good. We need to take a look at changing the way we eat once and for all and with good reason—long-term results and good health. That’s not true.

Unless you are on a crash diet, then poling on restrictions and building a sense of deprivation will only work against you in the long term.  Instead, your focus is on making each day as great as you can, enjoying the occasional indulgence, and giving your body what it needs to preserve muscle and burn fat throughout your workouts.

What mindset should you have?

Your mindset is not that you are dieting to lose weight—your mind set is that you are looking to change eating habits for good—and yes, that starts with the pantry and your fridge.  Your goal is to make sure that healthy snacks are the most convenient ones, that you buy only what you need, that you are shopping for great prices – not just sales that encourage you to buy what you don’t need – and that you’re using up your food before it goes bad.

Weight loss on a budget

So what about your budget? We don’t want you to throw out anything, but we do want you to hide it temporarily. This means taking all the excessively fatty stuff out of the main pantry and placing it out of sight. This can simply mean placing it far in the back of your cupboard behind more nutritious options or it could mean donating it to someone in need and who is facing a tighter budget than you are.

Learn to shop the right way

Shop with a list. Shop with a list. Shop with a list.  I can’t say this enough. Plan your meals (with the store flyer open next to you), create a list based on what you need for those meals (checking to see what you already have) and stick to that list when you’re in the store.  Since you’ve checked the flyer, you’ve seen all the sales ahead of time and can adjust your week’s menu accordingly.  Do not deviate from the list. This can take some willpower but do your best. This alone can save you a small fortune.

Fresh fruits and vegetables—even some frozen ones, we don’t like cans – do not have to be expensive. Focus on choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season and on sale. Choose a few veggies with short shelf lives for the meals at the start of the week but focus on some other options like carrots and sweet potatoes, which last longer and are great for your meals later in the week. That way, you’re getting nutritious food without having to throw your money in the garbage if you let it go bad.

Don’t shop for a whole week or month!

Have a look at what you already have in your pantry and that you haven’t been eating.  Do one final shop to make sure you have ingredients to use up those foods, then skip a shopping week, or even go a whole month without heading back to the store, if you’re really stocked up with food.  Eat what you have instead of leaving your shelves full of options that you’re just leaving there.  You likely have a lot more meals in your house than you realize. By consuming what you have, you’ll be more likely to eat it before it expires, which is a definite savings when compared to throwing things out. Shopping less often is also associated with less spending. You’re more likely to focus on the essentials and are less likely to buy extras of things you don’t need (or shouldn’t have). You’re also more immune to impulse shopping this way because your cart will already be quite full.

Use up your old stuff for weight loss on a budget

You can throw some of your not so good for you stuff that will go bad into the good for you stuff until its done. However, when it’s gone—no replacing! Just make some tasty roasted potatoes or mashed with your leftover russets or Idahos for a lingering while—it won’t kill you.

When you do shop, stock newer items into the back behind their older equivalents. Also, place any foods – like greens – that go bad quickly right up front. That way, you’ll be reminded that they’re there and you’ll eat them before they turn. Remember that as much as a sale price is a great way to save, so is eating something before throwing it out. The less you waste, the less your food will cost!

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