Losing weight on a budget... How?

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Old 03-02-2011, 01:57 PM
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Default Losing weight on a budget... How?

I was wondering if anyone has any great ideas to lose weight when you're on a tight budget? I have no funds at all spare so can't rejoin the gym. I don't buy processed foods - all fresh or frozen veg/meat so I cook properly and healthily (no fat etc). The only thing I do manage to do is walk the dog.

Has anyone got any good ideas for losing weight in these circumstances?

Thanks
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:04 PM
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Hi RmJ!

I know all about tight budget!

I'm lucky enough that my apartment complex has a gym included with rent, or I'd never have enough to pay for a membership either -- as it is, I deal with a small gym (one elliptical, 2 treadmills, one stairclimber, you get the idea).

However, there are plenty of things you can do that are absolutely free, using your own body as resistance, like pushups, lunges, squats, running in place in your backyard or your living room, etc. Something like a burpee (which is free to do! Uses your own body!) is a more difficult exercise for me than anything a machine can throw at me in the gym (I actually can't do more than like 5 right now, so I'm giving up on the burpees until I get my endurance up!)

I have a pair of free weights I got for like $5 at Wal-Mart and I'll often do something like a squat while I lift my arms with the weights -- it can be a killer every time as long as you're giving it some elbow grease and pushing yourself! Look up some exercises like these, I'm sure you'll be thoroughly pleased

Also -- I'm an exercise newb in general, in terms of making my own routines, so I hope that others with more experience chime in!
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:14 PM
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Smile You don't need a gym

While I do have a gym membership, a lot of my favourite things to do don't require any equipment at all! Squats, lunges, crunches, planks, pushups, etc. are all great body weight exercises.

Also, lots of little things help. Instead of walking the dog, go for a run. The dog will be happier for it too because they just love exercise. If you have a little dog (like me) - go for short running spurts until he has a hard time catching up, then take a walking break. Make sure you keep hydrated and keep your puppy hydrated too.

And also, one of my favourite quotes is "abs are made in the kitchen." If you have a difficult time getting fitting in a workout, then restrict your calories. Its a lot easier to cut 500 calories from your diet than it is to burn 500 calories at the gym. You may be eating healthy foods, but if you aren't losing weight, you may need to cut back a little on your portion sizes. FitDay helps me a lot with this - I had been experiencing a ton of bloat and no weight loss for a while - took a look at my nutrient breakdown and found I was getting way too much sodium and not enough potassium. Once I balanced that out, I started to feel a lot better (though still having a plateau).

Of course, this is all said without knowing anything about you - how much you need to lose, what your current macros look like, etc. And everyone is different, so you may just need to try a few things to see what works for you.

Good luck
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:34 PM
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There are so many small things you can do for free, walk stairs, if you have stairs in your home, then spend 15 minutes just going up and down, or use the bottom step to do step ups. A lot of parks, or highschool yards have running tracks. And I know here there are a group of Mall walkers who hit the Mall in the morning before the stores open, nice change when the weather outside is frightful. I find that walking or running or even taking the stairs doesn't feel as much like regimented excercise so I find it easier to stick with it.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:40 PM
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I've never belonged to a gym, and I don't think it is essential to losing weight or maintaining weight loss. Exercise is great but losing weight is 80% diet.

That said, if you are looking for a group involvement to motivate you, there are walking and running groups you can join in most communities. Playgrounds can be great if you have one nearby with monkey bars for pull ups and such. Also, the body weight exercises that the others have mentioned are all great.

One last thought, most libraries have a decent selection of exercise videos/DVDs that you can borrow if you are looking for a more structured workout option.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:32 PM
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A jump rope is a great budget item to workout at home with.

There are a lot of online resources for exercises. I get a daily email from Fitnessmagazine.com and it always has new exercise routines and eating tips to do.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:10 AM
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I second the idea about getting fitness dvds from the library. I also discovered recently, through my state's interlibrary loan program, that I have access to dvds at other libraries. I live in Michigan, so as long as your local library participates in the interlibrary loan program and you have a card, you can rent from other libraries. For example, I was trying to find Tony Horton's new book and discovered I could loan the P90X dvds from another library.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:17 AM
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If you've got the room, plant a garden. It's a great workout and for every $1 you spend on the garden, typically you can turn that into $5-10 in groceries.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:29 AM
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I just typed a huge reply and it disappeared! Phooey. Anyway, ditto on all the exercise tips (free online videos on Exercise, Fitness, and Weight-Loss Tips - ExerciseTV). I'm so frugal I don't run as much b/c I need new bras and shoes!).

My issue is food; some produce is cheap on sale but frozen veggies are easy and can be around $1 a pound on sale. Unfortunately, most budget foods are high cal, high carb like pasta, PBJ sandwiches, rice and bean stew. Just saying "eat less!" isn't easy. Egg beaters or only using egg whites is way more pricey than eggs, natural or diet jelly is way way more expensive than high fructose corn syrup jelly, low-sodium versions of food pricier, etc. I've found the best way to save is to cook ahead from scratch and freeze things, like chicken breasts and soups. It can get tiring w all the prep and planning and cooking and cleaning and sometimes I think how nice it would be just to eat diet yogurt in cups and protein shakes and bars for lunch, but I'm sure this is healthier and anyway, all that cooking burns calories! Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:43 AM
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RossTraining.com • View topic - Homemade Equipment Links
This has tons of instructions on how to make equipment yourself. I hate typical gyms and will go out of my way to avoid them. The park, your living room or any open space can be the best place to loss weight. Try this, get a deck of playing cards, the spades will represent pushups, the clubs will represent pike press, diamonds will represent squats and harts will be burppes. Do the amount on the card, the Jack, queen king and ace will be worth 10 and joker is worth 15.
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