10 ways to diet on the cheap
1. USE DISCOUNTS AND TRIAL PERIODS
Instead of paying the full fee for a slimming club, or a new gym, look out for discounts and trial periods. However, watch out for administration and sign-up fees.
Throughout the year many gyms and weight-loss clubs will offer discounted rates such as no joiining fees on 12-month memberships.
2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
You don't need a personal trainer to stay motivated. If you have a smartphone there are hundreds of free applications to choose from. For example, MapMyRun or MyTracks tell you your time, distance, pace, and calories burned while you’re running.
There are also apps to help you in the supermarket such as Google Goggle, which will let you take a photo of a food product on your smartphone, and it will instantly tell you its nutritional information.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN LUNCH
Shop-bought sandwiches are not just expensive they're also notoriously calorific (the Posh Cheddar & Pickle Artisan baguette in Pret, for example, contains 590 calories).
Home-made sandwiches and salads, even the previous night’s leftovers, are going to be less calorific than the options on offer at your local shop. And by avoiding the shops and cafes you'll be less tempted by all those extras like crisps and cakes.
4. GET A BIKE
Cycling or walking to work incorporates exercise into your commute and will save you time and money. Remember to factor in the outgoing costs of buying a new bike and any other repair work, such as a new chain, it might need.
If your company signs up to the government’s cycle to work scheme you and your employer will be able to get a tax saving. This works by the employer buying the bike for you, before tax, and you then paying it back over a set time frame. More information can be found at cyclescheme.co.uk
5. CHECK OUT NEW RECIPES
The internet is loaded with new recipes that you can download for free. Avoid ready-made meals as they’ll cost you more and always check speciality ‘diet’ foods with a shop’s own brand.
For example, the Weight Watchers from Heinz chicken and lemon risotto will cost you £2 at Sainsbury's, according to mySupermarket.co.uk, but you could make this yourself for a lot less per portion.
6. PAY AS YOU GO GYMS
If you don’t go to the gym regularly then signing up for a year’s membership or getting stuck into a contract could end up costing you a lot. Using a pay-as-you-gym or one without a contract could be a good place to start and if you do use it regularly you can look to changing it to a longer-term contract.
It doesn't matter how much you spend on clothes, equipment or gym fees, the only thing that will guarantee your mission's success is willpower and motivation. To stop you flagging, get your partner or friends to motivate you and set short-term achievable goals.
8. USE YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL
Your local council should offer reduced sports classes and gym and swimming pool memberships. The equipment may not be as high-tech as a more expensive privately run gym but you’ll save a lot of money.
9. START YOUR OWN WEIGHT LOSS CLUB
Instead of paying out to join a slimming club, why not start one with your friends. By meeting up at each other’s houses each week and weighing yourself, you will save the weekly fee (£4.95 at Slimming World) and you get a chance to spend time with your friends.
10. AVOID PRODUCTS THAT ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Losing weight is a common goal for most people and con artists are well aware of this. Paying for slimming pills that guarantee you to drop 10 pounds in a day are unlikely to work and can be unsafe and may leave you a lot worse off financially.
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