How to lose weight and save money

Weight loss is an expensive proposition. You have to buy expensive food that nobody else in the household can eat. Dieting can make your food bill more than double. Then there is the expense of a gym membership or buying expensive home gym equipment.

“Too expensive” is often a reason why somebody doesn’t want to lose weight, but it’s possible to successfully challenge the notion. Weight loss can be economical. Here is how to lose weight while saving money.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money, especially on useless supplements you see advertised in magazines and online. More money than you realize is spent on diet books. Don’t buy them. You don’t need them.

I know it’s tempting to buy the new best-selling diet books you see advertised on the Internet, or order weight loss supplements. They over promise and under deliver. Save your money.

There is nothing new and revolutionary in weight loss. The “new breakthrough,” the “fabulous detox diets”, and the newest way to “end cravings forever” are clever ways to sell books but there’s no new science to back up the claims. The success stories are anecdotal, not scientifically verified.

Your body has its own detox factory so don’t waste money buying an expensive juicer for detoxification.

Losing weight is still a matter of eating fewer calories and ensuring that most of those calories are coming from a variety of highly nutritious sources. If you have fairly good eating habits already it may be a matter of smaller servings and fewer desserts and snacks.

If they’re not so good, you have a bigger challenge because you’ll need to improve your eating habits and monitor your food and physical activity. If you use food to cope with stress or manage emotions, you will need to find ways to do that without eating. It’s tough to do it on your own, but not impossible.

Here is how to cut calories without feeling hungry or deprived
  • Try to reduce the fat and sugar you add to preparing food to see how little you can use without sacrificing flavor or texture
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Eat at the table as often as possible without distractions from media (print and screen)
  • Serve yourself smaller starch and protein portions
  • Increase your serving size of vegetables and salad, but reduce or eliminate sauces and dressings.
  • Prepare meals at home and save dining out for special occasions
  • Eat slowly, put the fork down after each bite, chew thoroughly.
  • Take sips of water when your mouth is empty. Don’t use liquid to was down food
  • Track everything you eat in a food diary
  • Regular physical activity burns more calories allowing you to eat a little more while losing weight.

 The good news is changing your habits will save you money.

Here are more ways to save money and lose weight
  1. Make a list and stick to it.
  2. Don’t shop for food on an empty stomach. The hungrier you are, the greater the chance you’ll buy too much.
  3. Be smart about using coupons. Coupons might save you money but they can also cost you a lot of calories. If Don’t buy items you would ordinarily reject just because you can save money with a coupon.
  4. Grocery shop alone to reduce impulse purchases.
  5. Will your kids really miss that chocolate-coated sugar-bomb you say you buy “for the kids?” Stop “buying stuff for the kids” that really isn’t for the kids at all.
  6.  Stock up on sales items, especially reduced calorie frozen meals and frozen vegetables.
  7. Read nutrition fact labels because that’s where you’ll find the information that matters. Gluten-free or whole grain are put in big writing on the front to attempt to distract you from reading the label on the back.
  8. Buy fruits and vegetables in bulk. Get the most value for your money by checking for rotten produce inside the bag that’s not readily apparent. Inspect bags of produce carefully.
  9. Buy less meat. Think of meat as a garnish or a side dish instead of the main ingredient in a meal. Meat adds flavor but it is also a major source of calories in a meal. Beans are a good source of protein and cheaper than meat.
  10. Take advantage of sales on pantry staples such as whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole grains and dried beans. These are your go-to ingredients for fill-you-up meals that are lower in calories and rich in nutrients.

Motivation to make some adjustments to your lifestyle is free.

If you have trouble sustaining motivation and you need some structure with your eating and exercising, Weight Watchers is a bargain.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.