The fitness industry exists to make money. Your fitness guru will tell you that you need an expensive personal training package, fancy yoga studio classes, supplements, diet pills, an overpriced gym membership…and all sorts of other gimmicks that aren’t necessary.
The truth is, losing weight isn’t complicated. It’s not easy, but the equation is simple: burn more calories than you ingest. How do you do this? By exercising regularly and eating healthy foods that are low in calories.
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To lose weight on a budget, you only need to do two things: find cheap ways to exercise and learn to buy healthy groceries without breaking the bank.
Find Cheap Ways to Work Out
You don’t need to spend $100+ each month on a gym that looks more like a luxury spa. Instead, find a budget-friendly gym. There are many gyms that offer membership rates as low as $10-$30/month.
You could also try running, walking, or hiking outside when the weather is nice. Mall walking is a great alternative for those of us who live in cold climates (winter literally lasts for about 6 months in Minnesota).
There are also many exercises you could do at home, like squats, lunges, burpees, jumping jacks, pushups, crunches, and more.
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It is surprisingly easy to find free exercise classes, particularly yoga classes. I’ve done yoga many times during the past few years, and I haven’t paid for it once.
Some nonprofit studios offer donation-based classes (pay what you can), and many for-profit studios offer one week free trials or occasional outdoor free classes.
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I’ve seen kickboxing studios that offer the first session for free so prospective members can check it out. Many gyms offer free one week trials, which may include group exercise classes.
Go to a Cheaper Grocery Store
Now that you’ve found affordable ways to work out, you need to cut back on your grocery spending as well. If you’re eating a natural diet and you’re buying all of your groceries at Whole Foods, you might be spending a small fortune.
I eat a (mostly) whole food diet, so it’s easy for my grocery spending to get out of control. I’ve tried a number of different ways to reduce the amount I spend on groceries.
The most effective way has been finding a cheaper store. Since I started shopping at Walmart, I’ve cut my grocery budget nearly in half. Walmart has a surprisingly great selection of healthy food, and their prices are unbeatable!
I also like to use the Ibotta app on my phone to earn a little cash back on my groceries. It’s awesome to earn money just for buying things I was going to buy anyway!
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Rely on Staples
Some healthy foods are expensive, but others are quite cheap. Rice, beans, and eggs are a few examples of whole foods that are budget-friendly. These items are also filling and can make a variety of different meals.
I like to stock up on egg whites so I can make scrambled eggs and veggie omelettes. These meals are super cheap!
Lose Weight on a Budget
Trying to lose weight on a budget can feel overwhelming with all of the fitness gurus out there trying to convince you to buy a bunch of crap you don’t need. Skip the swanky gym membership, supplements, and overpriced grocery stores.
Instead, focus on finding budget-friendly healthy food and cheap ways to work out.
Good luck! You can do it!