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23 Budget-Friendly Ways to Lose Weight

by Daisy

Losing weight can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 23 cost-effective strategies that frugal people use to shed pounds without breaking the bank.

1. Avoid Weight-Loss Supplements

Weight-loss supplements, despite their hefty price tags and a market worth $29.96 billion in 2023, often fail to deliver results. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns they can be harmful to both your health and your wallet.

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2. Cut Out Red Meat

Red meat is linked to increased risks of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and premature death. It’s also high in calories and saturated fats, making it counterproductive for weight loss. Plus, it’s more expensive than leaner proteins like chicken or turkey.

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3. Opt for Whole Foods

Contrary to popular belief, whole foods like rice, lentils, and beans are affordable and nutritious. These staples are cheaper and healthier than processed foods.

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4. Plan and Prepare Meals

Meal prepping reduces food waste, prevents unnecessary dining out, saves time, and is budget-friendly. Plan your meals in advance to stay on track with your diet and finances.

5. Buy Basics in Bulk

Stock up on inexpensive, filling, and healthy staples like oats, rice, and beans. These versatile ingredients can be used in a variety of meals, helping you save money.

6. Walk Everywhere

Walking is a free and effective way to burn calories and improve health. Research shows that walking 4,000 steps or 30 minutes daily reduces the risk of serious illnesses and body fat.

7. Cook at Home

Home cooking allows you to control ingredients and save money. Studies show it can even help you live longer. Home-cooked meals are healthier and more economical.

8. Grow Your Own Vegetables

Growing your own produce is a rewarding way to get fresh, non-toxic vegetables while burning calories. Whether in your backyard or a community garden, it’s a great way to save on groceries.

9. Skip the Gym

Gym memberships are costly. Instead, try outdoor activities like biking, which offer both physical benefits and a connection with nature.

10. Drink Water

Drinking water before meals can help you feel full and prevent unnecessary snacking. It also aids in weight loss by flushing out toxins. Water is cheap or free and has zero calories.

11. Eat Slowly

Eating slowly helps you feel full faster, reducing overall food intake. A 2017 study found that slow eating improves digestion and satiety, aiding in weight loss.

12. Snack on Veggies

Replace chips with carrot sticks or other cut-up vegetables for a quick, healthy snack. These options are low in calories and high in nutrients.

13. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is packed with antioxidants that boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. It also offers additional health benefits, such as improved brain function and reduced disease risk.

14. Limit Alcohol

Alcohol is calorie-dense and expensive. Cutting back can benefit both your waistline and your wallet.

15. Replace Meat with Plants

Plant-based proteins like legumes and mushrooms are cheaper and healthier than meat. They are high in fiber and protein, which help you feel full and eat less.

16. Work Out at Home

Transform your living room into a gym with free fitness videos on YouTube. This allows you to exercise at your own pace and schedule without the cost of a gym membership.

17. Buy Seasonal Produce

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper, tastier, and more nutrient-rich than out-of-season options.

18. Utilize Public Parks

Exercise in local parks for free. “Green exercise,” or working out in nature, boosts motivation, reduces stress, and feels less strenuous than indoor workouts.

19. Use Leftovers

Repurpose leftovers into new meals like salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, or wraps. This reduces waste and saves money.

20. Swap Desserts for Fruit

Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruits instead of expensive and unhealthy desserts. Fruits are cheaper and offer more nutritional benefits.

21. Avoid Prepackaged Meals

Prepackaged meals are often high in sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Cooking from scratch is more nutritious and cost-effective.

22. Eat Before Shopping

Eating before grocery shopping can prevent impulse buys of unhealthy and expensive snacks. A healthy meal or snack beforehand helps you make better food choices.

23. Do Household Chores

Household chores like vacuuming and mopping can burn significant calories. For example, vacuuming can burn around 100-200 calories per hour. Stay active while keeping your house clean.

By adopting these frugal, health-conscious habits, you can effectively lose weight without straining your finances.

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