When you start researching the best ways to lose weight, it often seems like you need to dig deep into your pockets to find the money to buy a lot of stuff.
The products and services that people say you must have may include:
- Ab machines ($100 – $400).
- Dumbbells and other small fitness equipment for home ($50 – $400).
- A diet plan ($30-$150).
- Gym membership (there’s a lot of variety here).
- Personal fitness trainer (hundreds of dollars, monthly).
- Supplements and vitamins (can be hundreds of dollars each month).
- Special food.
And the list goes on and on and on. And the money you may need to spend keeps adding up as well.
With all these “must have” products, what’s an ordinary guy or gal to do? How can you lose weight without losing your shirt in the process?
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to lose weight. In this article, I’ll share some tips on how you can lose weight cheaply. While some of these tips will cost you some money, it won’t be anything that “breaks the bank”.
Resist the Gimmicks
The first thing you need to do is to realize that gimmicks are often not worth their price. To lose weight, all you need is to burn more calories than you put in. This is done best by eating a good, sensible diet that gives your body the nutrients it needs and isn’t too high in calories, and by being active so you burn more calories and create a calorie deficit. That’s it.
You don’t need any of the ab machines, thigh toners, electric toning belts, special cardio steppers, etc. While some of these products do have merit, if you don’t want to spend too much money just now, you should know that these products are not something you require to lose weight. In fact, you can often do exercises which are more effective and don’t cost a penny using your body alone.
For instance, you can do cardio outdoors with no machine or do a bodyweight cardio workout at home. You can do a variety of belly exercises with no machine required, and don’t get me started on electric toning belts. I might lose my temper.
Similar things can be said about most supplements on the market. Many of them are totally useless as we learned in the acai berry and maqui berry scams. In fact, I bet that 9 out of 10 supplements are sold with over the top claims that will likely never come true.
Some supplements may have merit but if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you’d better off not using them at the moment.
My point is that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on any of these fitness gimmicks.
Set a number you can afford
Before you start buying stuff to help you lose weight, take a moment and think about how much you want to spend. While your health and looks are important, you need to set a figure that you can afford to spend. You may be able to buy a lot of products or you may wish to spend less. Either way, you can lose weight. Only the way you’ll do so will change.
Once you have that figure in mind, it’s time to set your priorities straight. I’m going to tell you what I would spend my money on in order of importance, but feel free to make your own choices.
Here is what I would have spent my money on:
1. A pair of dumbbells and a stability ball for home – The reason why I chose this is that being able to do a solid workout at home is very important. While you can do a great workout with bodyweight exercises alone, having a little equipment does give you more options and variety.
This equipmet isn’t expensive. You can find great deals online and there is a great variety to choose from.
2. Diet and fitness plan – The reason why having a plan is important is that a lot of people get stuck in a position of uncertainty. They don’t really know what to do next, whether in terms of eating or exercising, so they end up doing nothing at all. This is a place I don’t want you to be in because taking action is the most important thing you can do to change your body and your life.
Having a plan will give you a clear course of action to follow. Even if this course of action isn’t perfect, it will likely be better than doing nothing at all. It is also much cheaper that hiring a personal trainer to work with you.
3. Gym membership – The reason why I still recommend having a gym membership is that the gym gives you a lot of options that you can use to create complete and varied workouts.
When you are at the gym, it’s much easier to focus on your workouts than it is to do at home.
However, the gym is a big expense so you don’t have to go to one in order to lose weight. You can definitely do home workouts and follow a sensible diet routine and get excellent results.
If these 3 things fit into the number you set as your budget, then by all means use them all. If not, then get them in the order in which they’re written.
A note on Special Food and Supplements
As I said earlier in this article, some supplements are good and may help you lose weight and preserve your health. There are also more expensive foods that may do the same.
However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to eat healthy. You have many healthy options when it comes to food so there’s no reason to pay exorbitant prices for some exotic fruit or berry.
You may even find that you’re paying less when you eat healthy because you buy more fresh produce and less pre-made food.
What I do recommend paying a little extra for are organic foods. This is to help you avoid some of the chemicals which are used in much of our food and to provide yourself with cleaner nutrition. However, organic food isn’t as expensive as it used to be and there’s a lot more variety these days.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be en expensive operation. You can do it with a small investment. Don’t be drawn to gimmicks or expensive products with promises that aren’t like to be met. Other than that, simply stick to what works: a good diet plan and regular exercise.