Eat Good Food and Save Money
My husband and I took these 19 steps to lose weight. We weren’t in a hurry at first. When my husband got sick, we fast tracked the plan. Our goal is to 75% “clean” (meaning, following these 19 Cheap Tips to Lose Weight), which allows us to “cheat” a little, feel great, and maintain healthy weights. This is not a diet – please don’t diet. This system is flexible enough for people who don’t like rules, yet structured enough for those (of us) that need guidelines to stick with any program to lose weight.
19 Cheap Tips to Lose Weight
More Importantly: 19 Affordable Ideas to Get Healthy
It may look hard, but we are business owners with busy kids. We had to turn our whole eating plan around to do this, and now we LOVE it. I hope it helps (please comment below).
1. Replace all beverages with water.
- Your body will be a new vessel within days once the only thing you drink is water. Set a goal and discipline yourself to drink enough water, too! This will help you to lose weight, but you may see other changes as we have (brighter skin, fewer headaches).
2. Replace wheat flour and other gluten.
- Fortunately this is becoming easier all the time with increasingly affordable and obtainable gluten free diet alternatives.
3. Limit meat.
- Weigh out ONE 3-4 ounce meat portion per day. We weighed our food every day for about 2 weeks, then 3 times a week for about two months, now twice a month to make sure we’re still on track to lose weight.
4. Track calories AND nutrition.
- We used www.fitday.com. It is free online, and you can add custom foods fairly easily. Remember: if you don’t weigh your food, this doesn’t work at all . Must – measure – food. Very important to lose weight.
5. Eat a rounded breakfast.
- Include plenty of protein, vegetables, and fruit. We almost always have oatmeal with flax seeds and berries.
6. Eat plenty protein throughout the day.
- Many foods including beans, seeds, and nuts, have significant protein and are useful to have on hand during the day to snack on. When you track your nutrition, it is easy to be shy on the protein, at which time I usually go for a great, sugar-free protein liquid or powder.
7. Cut out sugar. Completely.
- Organic, local honey is great, though (be sure to measure and add it to your calorie counter – every fraction of a teaspoon has an impact).
8. Lots of good fat, tiny bit of bad fat (if any).
- Use as much good fat (olive oil), and eliminate bad fat (animal, corn and other oils you don’t really know where it comes from). Coconut oil is an excellent substitute for butter.
9. Gorge yourself on vegetables!
- As much as you want, and as you can. Buy a lot, then wash them, trim, cut, and put into serving size grab-and-go containers. Be sure to prep all produce as soon as you get home.
10. Don’t eat after 6:00 p.m.
- I always take a lot of heat for this one. Our culture is very busy, and we have trained ourselves to eat until we go to bed (and sometimes even after we got o bed). It will take some discipline – possibly some discomfort – but it will not only be a successful step to lose weight, but it will save you even more money.
11. Read labels.
- If you see ingredients you wouldn’t carry in your kitchen, or items in your kitchen you no longer eat, don’t buy it.
12. Frozen veggies are a handy, healthy snack.
- It seems like we always run out of vegetables, and since I can eat as much veggies and olive oil (and spices) as I want, frozen vegetables make a great snack to lose weight.
13. Fruit in moderation.
- Fruit is considered a “cheat” food – except berries and superfoods (acai, mangosteen, etc).
14. Eliminate dairy.
- Try almond milk (or soy, or other alternatives).
15. When full – stop eating.
- Full, as in not hungry any more – not full, as in about to burst.
16. When you eat out at a restaurant, only eat HALF an entree.
- Another example of how to lose weight AND save money.
17. Do not eat at fast food restaurants.
- Instead, have “fast food” at home, with ingredients always on hand and ready to throw together at a minutes notice.
18. Do not drink soda.
- Ok, I have to admit I’m about 98% soda free. Find something you like even more. We have an acai/coconut water combo we make that I *love* and has replaced soda in my world.
19. Never go hungry.
- Hungry people eat naughty foods. Keep comfortable by eating vegetables, nuts, and clean snacks throughout the day.
Priorities over Perfection
Give yourself a better chance of success by going for 75% clean at first.
I must confess, coffee is one of my cheat foods. I keep it in mind when I’m tempted by another cheat food during the day. I also have to work around it when tracking my calories and nutrition.
Eat to Lose Weight
Try to keep snacks on hand at all times. It is rare that you would go to my fridge and not see carrots and celery cut up, completely grab and go, and homemade dairy-free garlic hummus. That is what I go to in the morning or afternoon when I am ready to snack. I allow myself to eat as much of it as I want.
Once a week I try to make two soups and two salads. We always have a huge container of spinach on hand since it is a great salad base AND we like to put our eggs on top of lightly cooked spinach (with salt, pepper, coriander, and cayenne – it is awesome). I also make some sort of quinoa dish every week.
Eat clean to lose weight. Don’t beat yourself up. 75% clean eating means you never go off this eating plan … just moderate your “cheating”.
- Olive oil and herbs/spices are actually a very gourmet alternative to butter.
- Lean meat is expensive, but now that you eat less per serving, it evens out.
It can be done. If we can do it, I’m sure that you can, too. We love the food we eat, we eat until we are full all the time. Hope this helps
ps – whether your kitchen is immaculate or a huge mess – always wash your cutting board and knife as soon as you are done with it every time you use it. I don’t know why, but it really does help to lose weight.