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How To Make Big Dietary and Lifestyle Changes on A Budget

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Last Updated on May 9, 2019

A whopping 45 million U.S. citizens go on diets each year, but only 5% of them succeed according to the Washington Post. Crucial decisions like dietary changes should be the first thing on the average American's to-do list, given findings that dietary issues are among the major causes of illness in the country. People, however, find it difficult to make this decision due to a number of factors. While lack of discipline largely contributes to failed diet programs, misconceived notions like specialized diets and workouts are for the affluent in society are why many do not bother with diets. Truth is, you do not need a big salary to get fit and improve your lifestyle. The trick to getting fit on a budget rests in three main activities: getting your finances in order, exercising at home and finding ways to buy inexpensive yet healthy food.

A whopping 45 million U.S. citizens go on diets each year, but only 5% of them succeed according to the Washington Post. Crucial decisions like dietary changes should be the first thing on the average American’s to-do list, given findings that dietary issues are among the major causes of illness in the country. People, however, find it difficult to make this decision due to a number of factors. While lack of discipline largely contributes to failed diet programs, misconceived notions like specialized diets and workouts are for the affluent in society are why many do not bother with diets. Truth is, you do not need a big salary to get fit and improve your lifestyle. The trick to getting fit on a budget rests in three main activities: getting your finances in order, exercising at home and finding ways to buy inexpensive yet healthy food.

Getting Your Finances In Check

Gaining financial control over your life is the first step in any major lifestyle change. If you are among the 68 million people in the U.S. who have poor credit scores, fixing it in anticipation of your new lifestyle should be a top priority. One simple way to do this is by hiring a reputable credit-repair company. Secondly, avoid overusing your credit card when shopping. Thirdly, sit down and budget. Look at how much money you make, how much you spend on bills and how much you can afford to allocate to the lifestyle changes you want to take up. Once you have done this, figure out a way to make the latter enough to sustain your new diet and fitness plan.  

Eat Healthy Meals But Spend Less

The kitchen is what you should think about when you experience hunger pangs or have cravings. Opting to eat out, have a snack or skip the meal entirely is what most people tend to do. It is also a main contributor, however, to failing at keeping a budget. Planning precise meals weekly or biweekly is the first thing you should do. Prepare a grocery list with whole foods, grains, and fruits that will last you until the next time you shop. Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season as they will help you shop in bulk for much cheaper prices. Always stick to your grocery list and never enter the store without a well-planned list, lest you fall victim to living beyond what you can afford.

Cut out junk food and replace meats with plant proteins unless otherwise stated by your doctor. Dairy should be moderated or substituted for healthier choices like soy, which can prove to be a great choice for smoothies. Make all your meals at home, pack your lunches and never throw out good leftovers, as they can turn into another full meal or two. Have a day of the week to spoil yourself or celebrate your goals, but do so moderately. Preferable snacking options are popcorn and other low-calorie nuts and grains.

Exercise Without Gym Membership

Gym memberships fail more often than you think. Most people don’t even make it past five months, according to a study by Credit Donkey. Working out at home or outdoors can be just as rewarding and will cost you no extra money. As you begin and need equipment, make small investments at a time such as dumbbells, a mat or skip-rope. Plan your workout routine around your goals. Keep track of your progress using a personal journal or download the latest fitness apps that will guide you through the process.

You can also download workout videos online. Do not be quick to dismiss these exercises if you don’t see immediate results. The changes will come, but only after several months into your new lifestyle. Make exercising enjoyable for you by choosing music you like to encourage physical activity for longer periods of time. Invest in a full-length mirror so you can watch yourself exercise. Aside from the Instagram famous mirror selfies, mirrors help you correct your posture and motivate you. Build your resistance and upgrade your routine for better results but do not strain yourself. Take baby steps towards your goal and share your success to motivate yourself.

Most people believe that in order to start eating and living healthy, they will have to dig deeper into their pockets. For them, such lifestyle choices are luxuries they simply cannot afford. This is, however, a misconception. You can eat and exercise on a budget, if only you focus on planning and making smart choices.