Eating healthy and staying fit go hand in hand, with one impossible without the other. But contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary that you break the bank in order to stay fit and make good eating choices. You can eat healthy, prevent lifestyle diseases, maintain a fabulous body and enjoy the whole process in different ways.
So what comes first to your mind when you think about health and fitness? A hi-tech gym obviously is first and foremost, calorie-free food comes next, and you may also assume that you will require the services of a certified fitness trainer or nutritionist. But all these are not exactly necessary.
Several online resources can provide you with helpful tips and tricks to get the results you desire. You can also make use of apps to monitor your progress.
Here are a few tips for you to stay healthy and fit on a super-skinny budget.
- If Eating out, Choose Healthier Options
Fresh veggies and fruits are nature’s best gifts to tackle bad lifestyle habits. We tend to rely on junk food and takeouts to make up for our hectic fast-paced lives, where it is impossible to cook for ourselves or for our family, or make sound eating choices. Eating out has become our way of life, but it is possible to eat healthy and lean in restaurants.
Ensure you take a peek at the menu online before picking a restaurant. More of light, fresh, baked and grilled stuff is what you should be looking for. A restaurant that offers variety in seafood and vegetable-based dishes will help you make quick and healthy food choices.
Also remember that most restaurants will be willing to make minor alterations to their dishes to suit your tastes and preferences. Opt for baked or grilled instead of fried, go for crunchy veggies instead of French fries for sides, halve portions of fatty foods, and double portions of healthy options, and forego coleslaw for greens. These are some of the ways in which you can eat healthy and safe in a restaurant.
Also, do remember that restaurant desserts are calorie-laden sugar bombs. Skip them for a serving of fresh fruits at home or munch on dark chocolate to curb cravings. Sipping water through your meals will also help you stay away from colas and other beverages.
- Ask Mom
Cooking is the cheapest and easiest way to keep the inches on your waist from ballooning. But, it is easier said than done.
If you are new to cooking, it will be necessary for you to start from scratch and learn to cook easy, nutritious and cheap meals. There are several websites, cookbooks and TV shows aimed at newbie cooks. But if you want it easier, try to pick up some tips from your mom , grand mom, aunt or whoever it is whose food you relished while you were growing up. You can recall the taste and the flavor, and will enjoy the process of making something similar in your kitchen. More often than not, you will not be satisfied with the early results, but with time you will perfect the art.
Cooks of earlier generations also strove to get the most nutritious meals on the table within the limited budget they had at their disposal. So, learn how meals were planned by home cooks and get some smart tips from them.
- Buy Frozen
Frozen fruits and veggies cost less than their fresh counterparts. Also, they are as nutrient-packed and healthy. There is no reason why you must breeze past the frozen food aisle and choose the more expensive fresh options.
Frozen produce is also available in large bags and bulk-buying will make it a great money saving option.
Another benefit of buying frozen foods is that they provide an easy, healthy and quick solution when you return home from work famished with no time to cook from scratch. Frozen veggies and fruits are usually peeled, cleaned and cut, saving you greatly on prepping time.
You can whip up a veggie stir-fry and make yourself a delicious smoothie in no time. Frozen fish and meat are also incredibly healthy and are trimmed and packed in small portions enabling quick cooking. Sautéing, steaming and microwaving are recommended as best cooking methods for frozen foods because they preserve nutritive value helping you eat healthy.
- Invest in Home-Use Gym Equipment
Signing up with your neighborhood fitness club does not come cheap. Memberships are expensive and if you are not regular with your workouts, that’s a whole lot of money down the drain.
Do you know that some of the best and the most effective gym equipment is also quite small and inexpensive? Foam rollers are great for core strengthening, jump ropes give you cardio workout on a tiny budget, and resistance bands are best for strength training. You can buy all of them online and you will be amazed at how little you need to shell out to keep your body toned and fit. Even running up and down the stairs count as workout! So, there is virtually no excuse to skip on exercise and pile on pounds.
Invest in good quality workout apparel and shoes. There are sites that offer massive discounts on workout gear. You may also be able to snag free health products like supplements, protein powders and shakes.
- Follow a Routine
The reason why most of us are unable to stick to healthy lifestyle habits is that we do not follow a routine. We work haphazard hours, sleep late and wake up erratically. If we can set and follow a timetable, we will be able to fit in time to grab a wholesome breakfast, pack a healthy lunch, workout at least half an hour, and get those all-important 8 hours of sleep.
Go to bed and wake up at a fixed hour every day. It will be difficult initially, but with practice you will be able to do it. Follow a good morning routine that allows you time to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee, as well as catch a few minutes of yoga or mediation.
Keep a health and wellbeing journal in which you can keep track of what you eat, your exercise routine, and most importantly, your weight. Over time, as your habits and lifestyle improve, you will also notice a reduction in your waistline and weight as well.
Eating healthy and staying fit can well be accomplished even if you are on a tight budget. Planning ahead and mending lifestyle habits will surely help you achieve your health and fitness goals without blowing your budget.