Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Lose Weight and Save Money

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a growing epidemic and currently affects more than 72 million American adults.  A person who is obese has yearly medical costs $1,429 higher than someone of a normal weight.  Extra body weight is associated with several health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.  

According to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest healthier diets could save Americans more than $200 billion a year in medical costs, lost productivity, and expenses caused by death.  Bad eating habits, combined with a lack of exercise, lead to 310,000 - 580,000 deaths each year.  Diseases linked to poor nutrition and an inactive lifestyle includes cancer, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Losing weight can improve your physical and emotional well-being.  Eating less calories and saving money can be done, it just takes a little more thought.  Slow down and think about each choice and consider the long-term effects.  Exercise, get enough sleep, and eat health to lose weight and save money.

The key to losing weight to save money is eating less to lose more (weight) and spend less (money) to save more (money). You have to make a change to see a change. You have to change your current eating habits which will result in changing your current spending habits.  If you buy cookies, chips, soda and cake for desert each week, you can reduce calories and save  money by buying just cookies for the week along with fruits, vegetables and water or flavored water if you need some spice to jazz up the water taste. 

Track what you are eating and track what you are spending.  This will help you to see items that wreck your budget and the foods that wreck your health. When you start making a change you will quickly see the results which will give you motivation to keep going and to keep improving. You can use paper and pen or a software tool.  Find the method that works best for you even if you have to pay for it. The small fee is an investment in your future health and wealth. It took a long time to develop bad eating habits and bad spending habits and it will take a while to adjust to a new way of life. Here are 19 ways to lose weight and save money.

  1. Eat meals instead of snacks.
  2. Buy food from local farmers and farmers markets or wholesale stores.
  3. Grow your own fruits and vegetables.
  4. Buy a juicer and drink at least one 8 ounce glass of fresh juice a day.  A 16-24 ounce glass can be substituted for a meal.
  5. Buy generic or store brands.
  6. Use coupons.
  7. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry.
  8. Shop at discounts stores such as Aldi’s, Save-a-Lot, Wal-Mart, Target, Bottom Dollar Food or  Grocery Outlet.
  9. Educate yourself about food labels: know the difference between low-fat, non-fat, trans fat, saturated fats, cooking oils, total calories, calories from fat, low-salt, no-salt, etc.
  10. Become active. Do chores around the house yourself instead of paying someone to do it for you - like cutting the grass, washing your car, grooming your dog, cutting your hair, etc. Walk instead of driving to nearby places. Work out at home instead of at a gym.
  11. Cook at home more often instead of eating out.
  12. Drink water instead of soda.
  13. Say no to fast food.  Look at fast food restaurants like a plague and keep on driving by.
  14. Avoid eating processed foods or boxed foods as much as possible.
  15. Reduce your caffeine and sugar intake:  soda, coffee, instant meals, sugary cereals, sweets, etc. and substitute to water, grain cereals and fruit.
  16. Find ways to reduce cooking time by prepping meals ahead of time and using appliances such as the George Foreman grill, a toaster oven, indoor grill, or crock pot.  Crock pots are great for soups, stews and leftover foods that can be spiced up with fresh ingredients.
  17. Set goals.  Set goals and once you achieve a goal set another goal.  You may surprise yourself on how many goals you can achieve. 
  18. Create  a support system. Hire a professional, get support from family and friends, attend a financial and/or weight loss support group if you don’t have the willpower to do it on your on and stick to it.
  19. Plan ahead.  Set aside money for bills due the upcoming week to prevent scrambling at the last minute to find money to pay your bills or (robbing Peter to pay Paul).
Try eating less for one week to see how much money you save.  Remember the cost of being overweight is far more than the cost of shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  Increased healthcare costs, prescriptions, increased doctor visits and co-pays, missed days from work and increase in disease can lead to mounds of debt, stress, anxiety and other emotional issues.  

Changing your diet and spending habits do not provide a quick fix but requires determination and patience.  In the long-run you will be healthier and have more money in your pocket. Losing weight has additional benefits such as: reduces airline costs if you have to pay additional charges for a larger seat, reduces insurance costs, reduces costs on clothing and may affect employment which also helps to save money.

1 comment:

Knowledge Born said...

Many people desire to lose weight but how? There are many different ways however each person should at least set goals and drink plenty of water daily. Walking is really a simple task to do daily and doesn't require that many miles. Just do something daily. Self discipline (A Daily Action Plan) is the key.