My son’s birth was the catalyst for my husband and I to get our finances in order and learn how on earth to pay off our whopping $650k of student loan debt. But after our son was born, I desperately wanted to lose my pregnancy weight and quickly! We were on an extremely tight budget and couldn’t afford a fancy gym membership, expensive pre-made meals, or other weight loss programs. I had to get creative. And I did! I figured out exactly what to do to lose weight on a budget. In fact, I created this ten-week course that details exactly how I did it while paying off a ton of debt. I found that a lot of the same principles apply to losing weight as well as getting your finances on track.
Happy to report that I successfully lost all of my pregnancy weight and then some, all while sticking to our really tight budget! Here’s how.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A BUDGET
BE PICKY ABOUT PROTEIN.
Not all protein is created equal. Some protein is better for you. Some protein is more expensive. Make good choices about the kind of protein you choose to eat. That means you should be eating lean proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, and eggs. Eggs are my personal favorite protein of choice because in addition to being SO CHEAP, they pack tons of protein and essential nutrients. There are other expensive options for protein, such various assortments of lean beef. While that may be nice to have in moderation, other protein choices are healthier AND cheaper.
PLAN AND PREP MEALS IN ADVANCE.
I cannot overstate the importance of planning your meals and doing some preparation in advance. Both of these are extremely helpful for both budgeting AND keeping your weight loss plan in check. If you have meals and foods already prepped in your kitchen, you are much less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks or meals or head to your local fast food drive through. I use Saturdays and Sundays to plan out and prep a lot of meals for the week. Some of you might *hate* meal prep. You don’t have to prepare every single meal in advance and store them in tupperware in your freezer like a body builder. You can simply cook up some lean protein, like chicken or eggs, brown rice, and cut up lots of fresh veggies and fruits to have on deck in your fridge for when you need a quick snack or meal. I am pretty busy during the week, including around meal time, so it works best for me to pre-make family meals on the weekends so all I have to do is heat them up during the week. Choose some form of meal planning and preparation that works for you!
DON’T GET SUCKED INTO CONVENIENCE “HEALTHY” FOOD.
There are so many different protein bars, shakes, and pre-made meals out there it’s mind blowing. And while these things are fun, I’d consider them treats and definitely not stables when you are trying to lose weight on a budget. Don’t get me wrong– having a protein bar here and there can really curb your sweet tooth, but they are expensive so it’s important to keep those kinds of foods in check. Not only will that save you money, but you’ll likely get better results and feel better eating real foods.
A really easy thing to do to lose weight on a budget is to make sure you are moving throughout the day, in addition to regularly exercising. Those calories really add up! Every couple of hours, try to do some push ups, jumping jacks, or take a few laps around your office. You’ll feel better, be more productive, and best of all, it’s completely free and will help you lose weight even faster. Although, all of the exercise in the world won’t get you very far unless you have a good easy to follow meal plan, like the one found in our ten week program.
SKIP THE OVERPRICED GYM.
We live in a golden age of gym memberships. With gyms like Vasa, Planet Fitness, 10Gym, etc, there is no reason to pay hundreds of dollars each month for a gym membership. Budget gyms have all the equipment you need to lose weight on a budget. You could consider not signing up for a gym at all by purchasing a few inexpensive at home products, like these resistance bands, and doing all your work outs from home. You could also opt for running or biking. I personally opt for a combination of all of the above.
CHANGE HOW YOU GROCERY SHOP.
You’ll most likely have to change how you grocery shop if you want to lose weight on a budget. You might want to start by reading my grocery shopping hacks here. Basically, you should scour your local grocer’s ads for healthy foods that are on sale for the week and plan your meals accordingly. I mostly shop at Aldi but occasionally will find great deals at other stores after browsing their ads. For example, this week chicken at Aldi was on sale for $1.89, so I bought a ton of it to last me for a few weeks. I looked up a few healthy chicken recipes on Pinterest, and went to town. I cooked a lot of it together in a crock pot and then made a few meals around the cheap chicken (chicken curry, sweet potato chicken chili, etc). If you don’t live near an Aldi, I definitely recommend using coupons and cash back rebates (Aldi doesn’t accept any coupons and there are very limited cash back rebates available there). I love using Ibotta combined with manufactures coupons.
GROW YOUR OWN.
Another easy way to lose weight on a budget is to grow some of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Even if you don’t have outdoor space, you might be surprised what you can grow inside. Just be careful to not overspend on setting up your garden, and you’ll be sure to save tons of money like we did here.
I started saving hundreds of dollars each month when I opted to start biking to work instead of driving. You might think you live too far away from work or in an area that’s too congested to do it, but take time to really consider whether you could bike or walk to work. Biking to work only adds 5-10 minutes to my commute since I only live about 5 miles away from my office, so I’m not even spending that much more time! If I already have to spend time commuting, I might as well be burning calories as well. Plus I get to work feeling an endorpin high instead of trying to break myself out of my road rage mentality.
At the end of the day, losing weight is actually really simple. All it is is calories in versus calories out. There are hundreds of different strategies you can use and there are things you can do to make weight loss more efficient, but that’s all it is! Simple right?? Why do we make it so complicated? The most important thing you can do to lose weight on a budget is to consume less calories than you expend! You can do that on ANY budget!
Losing weight on a budget (on any budget, really!) is a lot easier with the tools found in our Ten Week Challenge. The meal plans, diet, and personal finance tips are so effective that the average person is loses about 20 pounds and pays off hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars in just a few short weeks. But even better than the weight loss/financial success is the feedback we get from people about how the program taught them to change their eating and money habits and find a way of living that works for them long term.
If you’re ready to make some changes in your life to finally get your fitness and finances on track, this is the ONLY place you should start. We will teach you exactly how to make the necessary changes in your diet and your lifestyle and how to keep them well beyond the ten weeks.
Click here to start YOUR 10 Week Challenge today to see how real people are getting real results in just a few short weeks!
Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article on how to lose weight on a budget or have any questions!
P.S. Have you subscribed to our newsletter? Gain access to all of the tips and tricks we’re using to pay off $650k of student loan debt!