Are you trying to jumpstart a new plan to a healthy lifestyle but can’t figure out the winning formula for losing weight and staying fit on a budget?

Let’s face the fact that everyone has probably once in their lifetime started a diet on a Monday. I used to have the mentality to wait until Monday to start my diet and just overate all weekend long. According to nbcnews.com,  for 31 percent of people, the miserable experience is over by Tuesday evening.

But kicking off an exercise regime and diet on a Monday is almost certainly setting yourself up to fail. After a weekend of binging your guilty conscience kicks in and you think to yourself ‘I must start eating healthier’ – but Monday is not the day to cut back on calories and staring hitting the gym, according to new research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 

So, what’s the solution? Most research says to start tracking your eating habits before starting a diet. We use My Fitness Pal to do this. If you are aware of where the calories are coming from, you will be more successful when starting to eat healthy or changing your diet. Try to think of it as a life changing way of eating and not a temporary diet to drop the pounds.

I get asked the question all the time, what’s the best way to stay in shape on a budget and there really isn’t one right answer. It seems that every 3 out of 5 people that I know are on some sort of diet or fitness plan. From expensive shakes to unused gym memberships, people are paying a crazy amount of money to get a beach body for the summer. It’s not rocket science that getting fit requires some sort of exercise.

As most of you know, a few years ago I lost over 50lbs on Nutrisystem (read about my Nutrisystem Success). Over the years, I have put back on some of the weight and I know it’s because of my diet. Once I started eating more and binging on the weekends and slacking on my workouts;  it really did happened gradually. Recently, I started tracking my meals using My Fitness Pal and it has been life changing. Then I got back to a routine to workout, which has also helped me feel  better just in the last two weeks.

I am reading how people are juicing, taking crazy vitamins and participating in 24 fasting diets (you bet that I have tried them all). This post isn’t to tell you the direction to get healthy, but to better understand what healthy lifestyle fits into your budget.

Losing Weight and Staying Fit on a Budget

GYM Memberships on a Budget

Make sure to research gym memberships and compare the monthly cost for each family member. Most gyms offer a free trial period to test everything out, whether its 3 days or 30 days make sure you try before you buy. It’s important to take all membership benefits into consideration before making a 1 year commitment. Like for us, I needed to have free babysitting in order to work out, so that was must!

Join with a friend in order to take advantage of special deals and to keep each other motivated to get the most out of membership.  Most people think that Planet Fitness offers the best deal for a gym; however, for me it doesn’t offer any of the membership benefits like exercise classes or babysitting services. See what works for your budget and try to make a plan from there.

Fitness Apparel on a Budget

Find the best deals on fitness apparel by using coupons and browsing discount racks. I tend to find the best sneaker deals on clearance since most of the styles are just outdated or the sporting goods store is just looking to make room for new styles.  Don’t be afraid to purchase fitness apparel at Walmart, Sams Club, or Target.  Not only can you find some great deals, but the quality of the items are similar to brand name clothing they just don’t have a brand name logo on the product. Also, check sites like 6pm.com and Amazon for daily deals (we see a lot of fitness apparel and gear on sale during January)

Fitness Videos/ Social Media Groups

Working out at home can save you a ton of money. Check your On Demand stations or try to DVR exercise programs. Look to rent fitness DVDs from the library or purchase them online from Amazon , which sells discounted, used DVDs and Games.  If you own a gaming system, look to buy games that allow you to work out to Zumba or Dance Party type themes.  Most gaming systems offer a variety of work out games that are fun and inexpensive. Don’t rush out and buy expensive exercise equipment that will someday act as storage for clothing.  For a successful workout at home, purchase light weights and an exercise ball. One of my favorite work out videos is the Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred because quick 30 minute workouts and low overhead on equipment.

The big trend right now are youtube and social media videos, which are most of the time free. I am actually part of a few Facebook support groups that offer free daily workouts and motivation to stay in shape. There are also a ton of youtube workout videos just search for the desired workout.

Last time that I checked, walking was free. Try to go for a 30 minute walk every day or at least 4 times a week. Research shows that brisk walking for 10 minutes, 3 times a day can be as beneficial as walking 30 minutes. There are times that I plan my walk around errands like going to the post office, mini trips to the drugstore or taking the kids to the park.

Staying fit doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s important to know in advance how much money you can dedicate a year to fitness and plan activity and goals around that budget.  There are ways to be successful with all types of budget, just find the one that works for you. What three changes should you make? There are hundreds to choose from, but the best ones fit your goals, your lifestyle, and they will probably change each month.

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