May 21 Weekly Wellness: Tips for Losing Weight without Losing your Funds

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COLUMBIA - I’ve heard so many folks say “it’s just so expensive to eat healthily!” and “I don’t have the money to belong to a gym or pay for a trainer.” I get it! One of my go-to discussion points is that it can be much more expensive to pay for medications and surgeries after you’ve had a catastrophic health issue from not taking care of yourself. Not to mention the fact that being sick just isn’t much fun. But there are some tips and tricks that you can use to try to stay health – and they won’t break the bank.

  • Buy frozen produce: Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones, if not more so. Because they are frozen at the peak of ripeness.
  • Shop the bulk aisle: Things like oats, grains, dried beans and nuts last a while and can be cheaper to buy in bulk versus in prepackaged containers. Compare and stock up on the things you use often.
  • Hit the sales: watch the weekly sales flyers at the local grocers. If you know, in advance, what you are planning to eat and make for the week, you can save yourself a few bucks.
  • Freeze your own at home: I buy fresh fruit when it's on sale and then divvy it up into freezer bags and toss it in the deep freeze.
  • Meal planning: it's proven that if you plan your meals for the week, you will save money and decrease waste. I hate throwing away food and it happens quite often. But if you plan your meals in advance, it can help. (You can also plan freezer meals and individual portions too!)
  • Generic instead of brand names: we all have our favorites, but there are some great store brands that are equal in quality but cost substantially less. Given them a try!
  • Think "simple": Do you need that packaged protein bar for $3? Or do you need a sliced apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter? One of my favorite portable sources of protein is a hard-boiled egg.

It’s not just about how to save money on your nutrition… there are ways to save money on your workouts too!

  • Try online workouts: There are a lot of great free online workouts, and many don’t require equipment. Just be sure to do a workout from an instructor who is certified and modify exercises if necessary.
  • Pinterest workouts: Some trainers post workouts on Pinterest. Take a look!
  • Check out the library:  Some of my clients will check out workout DVDs from the library to try them out before they purchase their own copies.
  • Your body is all the equipment you need: I teach bodyweight workouts to ALL my clients. You should never use the excuse “I couldn’t get to the gym so I couldn’t workout.”

Other cost-saving measures are available too!

  • Check with your insurance company: Some insurance plans cover nutrition counseling, depending on your circumstances. It never hurts to give your provider a call and check whether meeting with an RD is part of your benefits. You may have a copay or be able to get a number of sessions for free.
  • Does your company offer a work wellness program? Some companies offer a structured program. Or, if yours does not, reach out to coworkers who are also trying to lose weight and take walks at lunch, share healthy recipes and be there when one of you is having a tough day.