This is the first habit to be addressed. There are some simple tips you can follow to lose weight and do it on the cheap (without too much pain):
- Cut back on meat. Eat tofu. It can be quite tasty, especially if you freeze it first. Avoid expensive health shops and head to your local Chinese / Thai supermarket. Our local one has 800g of tofu for £1.50. In a bolognaise or chilli, use half as much mince as you normally would and replace it with a can of kidney beans (for 14p).
- Cut back on drinking. The duty has gone up – AGAIN – and it contains hundreds of calories. Restrict yourself to weekends only and make sure to drink plenty of water in the morning. Try to stay away from caffeinated mixers – the sugar will coat your teeth, the caffeine will keep you awake and they’ll make your hangover so much worse.
- Keep a bottle of water on your dress at work. It’s free, better for you than coffee and will help you feel full, as well as making you feel more alert. If you don’t like plain water, try generic brand sparkling water. Not free, but definitely cheap.
- Bring in your own lunch – but this is easier said than done, so keep some cans of low fat soup at work as a back up.
- Don’t try to cut out all junk food or ready meals – you’ll just set yourself up to fail. Make little changes instead – swap beef burgers for bean burgers, get a margarita pizza instead of a meat feast, switch to plain or dark chocolate when you have a craving.
- Grab a camera and walk around your neighborhood. Take pictures as you walk and upload the best of them to an online photo album to track your progress. Have a look for ‘official’ walks online, they are usually rated by challenge level and explore some incredibly beautiful routes.
- Get a pedometer. They can be seriously motivating, especially for goal focused people – it’s rewarding seeing in black and white how many steps you’ve taken in a day, and how many calories have burned off.
- If you know a little about gardening, look for a local garden share scheme. This matches up people who have gardens / allotments with people who want to work in a garden. The usual deal is to split the produce.
- Offer to babysit. Little children are very active and love to run around, play the same games over and over, jump, dance and all the rest. Keep up with them and you’ll shed pounds super quickly.
- Join your local freecycle / freegle group and see if anyone is giving away exercise equipment – it happens more often than you might think. Remember it’s considered polite to offer something first, and that you’ll need a van to transport the item home.
- Buy new underwear. A new bra can instantly make you look slimmer by lifting and separating.
- Give your body a good scrub with a loofah and have a hot shower. This will reduce toxins in your skin and give you a ‘lift’.
- Drink some quality green tea. It helps to burn calories and has been shown to suppress appetite.
- Use a wide belt to cinch your waist in and draw attention away from unflattering bits.
- Go for a quick run. The exercise will release serotonin and get your heart pumping, making you feel and look better
Written by belt tightening writer Helen Gallagher, for Frugal Lancashire.