Choosing the healthy option may be hard especially if it also has to fit your budget. This blog post will take a holistic approach to health focusing on healthy eating, exercise and mental well being.
You don’t have to eat the trendiest superfoods like goji berries, kombucha or manuka honey, to stay on top of your healthy eating! Here are some simple ways of making sure you don’t exceed your food and drinks budget.
Make sure you buy only things you will definitely eat during the week so you don’t waste any food. Plan your meals in such a way that will be varied so you don’t get bored and freeze your meal prep to make it last longer. We often get discouraged with our new diets if the taste is bland or we constantly eat the same thing. You don’t have to eat chicken, rice and broccoli to stay fit! Variety is key as well as seasoning and some healthy treats. Before you make your meal plan and shopping list, make a mental note of the things you already have. There are many ways to repurpose leftovers. For example, put your left over salad in a wrap or your baked mushrooms on a bed of spinach. Get into the habit of asking yourself, what is actually necessary to purchase.
Now we know we said make a shopping list and stick to it, but if you see something on sale, in the reduced section or a deal don’t be afraid to switch it for your original item. The key is to make sure it’s just as healthy and it is actually cheaper. Don’t get fooled just because it says it’s on sale doesn’t mean you’ll save money. Compare and make common sense choices. If possible buy local fruits, vegetables and eggs, especially in-season foods. Another trick we would recommend is buying in bulk. Not only is it cheaper, it decreases the amount of times you have to go to the supermarket reducing temptations. Don’t forget to get a customer card, collect points and save on future shopping trips.
We all know that you’ll probably want to increase your protein quantities on your new healthy diet, especially if you’ll be working out or want to increase your muscle mass. However, meats and fish are one of the most expensive foods… The answer is legumes! Consider items such as: lentils, chickpeas and beans, not only are they high in protein but they will help you feel fuller for longer.
Frozen foods are not only cheaper but also more convenient and last longer. Great frozen choices are: berries, avocados, green peas and mango as you can add these to your smoothies, as well as fish, vegetables and herbs which are great in stir fries. If you are running out of time to eat what you prepared before it goes bad, label it and place it in the freezer.
On your healthy lifestyle all you really need to drink is water. Just think of all the money it will save you, this should be motivation enough to put down that beer bottle, gin or chocolate milkshake. If you feel like having tea or coffee choose their own brand product, they will be cheaper and you might be positively surprised with the quality.
Forget about a Personal Trainer or soul cycle, focus on alternatives such as at home workouts or outdoor activities.
The most common step we all take when starting our fitness journey is buying new clothes, fit for the occasion (see what we did there?). It’s true that exercising requires proper gear, but you can look great for less. Check out the clearance section, or find good workout clothes in H&M or Primark. Steer clear of brand names to save the most.
You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to get fit. It’s possible to get in shape with just your own body weight. Use your environment, instead of expensive workout machines. You can do bench dips using your sofa or lift heavy water bottles as an alternative to dumb bells and weights. You can have a good workout regime just purchasing a resistance band and a skipping rope. If you do have some extra pounds to spare and enough space at home, you could invest in a second hand treadmill or elliptical.
The best way to get fit and healthy is to go out doors. Walk, run, swim (if possible) or do some simple exercises in the park. If you are shy and don’t want a nosy audience, jog in the early mornings. The fresh air definitely won’t harm you!
If you prefer to stay home try running up and down the stairs, it’s a great leg workout as well as a cardio session. YouTube and Pinterest are free platforms which are filled with workout routines, videos and inspiration. Follow a HIIT workout without having to leave your bedroom and save on a gym membership.
If joining a gym is in your budget, compare different deals and choose the one that suits you the most. It’s also a good idea to have one trial session (these are normally for free) to see if you like the place before committing yourself to a contract. Some gyms offer discounts if you refer a friend, so perhaps it’s time to get a gym buddy.
Money and mental health are often linked. Poor mental health can make managing money harder and worrying about money can make your mental health worse.
Understand Your Behaviour
The WOOP it up method can help you overcome negative emotions and procrastination. It works like this:
Set a goal
Your aim should be important to you and challenging. For example:
“I won’t eat any refined sugar.”
Imagine the outcome
Picture the goal coming true, what do you feel? For example:
“I feel good about myself. My energy levels are higher, my thoughts clearer and I’m more positive.”
Identify the obstacle
Identify the main inner obstacle that stands in the way such as an emotion, irrational belief, or bad habit. What is it within you that holds you back from fulfilling your wish? For example:
“In the evening I’m tired after work and I crave chocolate or cake, then I beat myself if I don’t resist the temptations.”
Make a plan
Now create your contingency: If faced with (obstacle), then I will (take this effective action in response). For example:
“If I find myself wanting something sweet I will eat a fruit or a naked bar instead of candy.”
The WOOP method will help you build an emotional contingency plan. By reframing obstacles as opportunities — not devastating roadblocks — you internalize failure less and can easily move past difficulties by following the action steps you’ve laid out.
Good health is priceless. Having determination and motivation to get healthy is much more important and doesn’t have to be expensive.