How to lose weight, not money

The cost of gym memberships, supplements and other services can make maintaining a healthy weight an expensive exercise. However, these tips will help you to stay healthy both physically and financially.

Scrap your gym membership
Joining a gym is a great way to stay motivated about your fitness, but how often do you really use it? Is it worth the cost? Can you gain the same benefits by recruiting a friend and doing exercise together? Is there a way you can substitute gym equipment by using playground equipment or buying some inexpensive dumbbells?

Gym memberships are not cheap, so unless you can truly justify the expense as absolutely necessary, you may find as much motivation from saving your money instead.

There are no magic pills
Special shakes, weight loss supplements and other drink additives are, quite simply, a waste of money. They’re mostly a placebo anyway and there’s not much you’ll find in these supplements that you can’t find naturally in a healthy diet. No magic shake or pill is a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise, so save your money.

Maintain a healthy, inexpensive diet
Sure, organic foods are, may be better for you than non-organic foods. But, just as often, there are organic foods that you just don’t need to buy ‘organic’. Any foods that require peeling before consumption, such as oranges, can be just as healthy organic as not. Foods that have complex patterns and leaves, such as kale, broccoli and cauliflower, are best bought organic because those nooks and crannies create storage for nasty pesticides and the like. Or better yet, you could grow your own food.

You don’t need overpriced, fancy drinks. There is nothing that coconut water can do for you that regular, filtered tap water cannot. You don’t need protein bars or food powders. You just need to hit the pavement more often, either by foot or bicycle, and choose healthier foods.

Ditch recovery drinks
Another fitness money pit is recovery drinks. After a workout, run or long walk, your body will recover just as well with a litre of water and a healthy meal. If you do feel that you need a recovery drink, you can make your own – just add a pinch of salt and teaspoon of sugar or honey to a cup of water, then flavour with lemon juice. You can also find other DIY sports nutrition tips here.

Look for free exercise apps
Why spend money on apps that claim to create custom fitness programs for you, when you can use free apps that track your progress? The University of Queensland recently set healthy exercise guidelines. They are:

  • walk briskly for 15–20 hours per week
  • run between six and eight hours per week
  • ride for seven hours per week
  • swim for eight hours per week.

So, now you have the guidelines, all you need now is a free health app such as Apple Health or Google Fit to help track your steps and keep you in check.

Drink more water
You’ve heard it all before, but do you follow the advice? Drinking more water will absolutely help you lose weight, keep your skin clear and flush your body of toxins. And it’s free – sort of. Try drinking one litre of water a day, then ramp it up a little more and you’ll see the benefits of doing so in two short weeks.

Do you have any free, or inexpensive fitness tips you can share with our members?

Related articles:
Getting started with exercise
Exercise without trying
Seven efficient exercises

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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