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Working Out and Losing Weight on a Budget

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Working Out and Losing Weight on a Budget

Guest Post by: Kelly

It is hard to lose weight.

There, I said it. Unfortunately, this post will not be endorsing a plan that loses X lbs in under 30 days. The reason – because losing weight is hard. It takes discipline and hard work. But, it can be done.

I wanted to share some of the resources I’ve used the last couple of years to help me take and keep off an extra 20 lbs that were previously hanging on. (If you get my drift.)

I’m not trying to toot my own horn. Many people have lost more or less using other programs like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, etc. but these insights are what worked for me and I did it on a budget. In the end, if you want to lose weight – you have to find a program that works for you.

Insight #1: Get honest with yourself and commit. Weigh yourself, measure yourself (waist, hips, thighs, etc) and then set a realistic goal. No one is expecting you to be a supermodel – but choose a weight that would make you feel good about yourself.

Insight #2: Find out how many calories you need to consume daily in order to get to your realistic goal. There is some good information here or here.

Insight #3: Keep a food journal and write down every thing that goes into your mouth and put a calorie to it, so you’ll stick to the number mention in #2. While this step is tedious, it was the most crucial for me. I finally learned that just because something seems healthy doesn’t mean it is healthy. Case in point – 180 calories equals one tortilla or 3 apples. I found this site really helpful for figuring out calories. And this site is good for tracking calories online.

Insight #4: Find a workout program that challenges you and doesn’t bore you. (And by challenges – I mean you work up a sweat.) I lost my extra baggage using the Your Self Challenge. Each month there was a new set of workouts – both cardio and toning – that require nothing more than a set of dumbells. They also have the workouts online and on-demand so you can fine tune your form. Remember, you don’t have to go to a gym to get a good workout. I find the best workout to be my running shoes, a good trail, and my iPod.

Insight #5: Allow yourself some grace. Grace to eat a piece of cake at your son’s birthday party and not feel guilty because you will never have that opportunity again, but also grace to pass on a Betty Crocker mix brownie because you will have that opportunity again.

Here some other resources/tips:

Find a workout buddy. It is harder to say no to a morning walk if you know someone is waiting for you. Also, they keep you accountable.

Borrow workout videos from the library to test before you buy or trade with a friend.

Download some good music into your iPod. A long run or walk goes faster when you daydream that you are a back-up singer to Justin Timberlake or TobyMac or whomever. (I’m just saying. And if Justin needs a singer, my number is…)

Check out on-line sites. Fitsugar.com gives out free workout and stretching videos.

Remember, you can just as easily find coupons for “junk” as you can for “healthy”. Commit to making the “junk” stay out of your house for three or six months – it will make it easier for you to stay on course and no one will die if there isn’t Pop-Tarts in the house.

Okay – that’s my advice in a nutshell. (And remember, it is still HARD.) What about you? What do you do lose or keep off the weight? What’s your secret for working out on a budget?

Kelly Snyder is a wife and stay-at-home momma to a seven-year old son and four-year old daughter, as well as the author of Kansas City Mamas, a frugal blog that focuses not only on deals, but to live well within your means. She also is a self-described foodie who believes life is too short for bad food, coffee, or wine.