NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If you’ve resolved to lose weight or get healthier this year, you’re not alone. According to a 2013 Outlook Survey organized by TD Ameritrade, 42% of Americans made health-related resolutions this year.
If you’re asking yourself how you’re going to lose weight and still maintain your budget, our budget experts say if you’re careful, eating a healthy diet is no more expensive than picking up that value lunch at your local fast food joint.
Here are 10 of their tips for losing weight while still maintaining a fat wallet:
1. Make monthly resolutions. “When a resolution is fresh in our minds, we tend to approach it with more vigor and commitment,” says Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert with Coupons.com. “So instead of thinking about the whole year, break it down by month.” That just doesn’t mean your weight goal resolutions, either. Pavini suggests shaking up the routine. For example, if your goal is saving money while losing weight, resolve to get into a habit of clipping coupons in January. In February, resolve to brown bag your lunch instead of eating out. Keep making those resolutions to form new habits throughout the year.
2. Ditch the gym. You don’t need a pricey gym club membership or a personal trainer to get healthy, says Dan Giuglianotti, a physician and certified health fitness specialist at the American College of Sports Medicine. Giuglianotti advises, “Try to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days per week while watching what you eat and your clothes will start fitting better.”
3. Don’t ditch the exercise. Just because you’re ditching the gym doesn’t mean you don’t have to exercise. Walking, running, aerobics and yoga can be done at home, but if you feel you need exercise equipment, buy it used, says Kendal Perez, a savings expert who blogs at HassleFreeSavings.com. “Hit up discount retailers for basic fitness accessories like dumbbells, yoga mats and medicine balls for a fraction of fitness-store prices,” Perez says. “Thrift stores are another good outlet for discount essentials, and you can always scan Craigslist for bigger equipment.” She warns, though, to check out equipment thoroughly before buying.