How the right mindset can save you cash
How to Lose Weight without Gaining Debt
by Dr. Kelly Morrow-Baez, LPC
Each year, millions of dollars are spent on health equipment, gym memberships, and pills that all promise to be the solution to our expanding waistlines. Most people know what they need to do, but turning that knowledge into lasting lifestyle change can feel impossible. With a weight loss industry built on fear and false promises, many people throw away hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each year on unused gym memberships, dust-collecting exercise equipment, and "miracle" supplements that simply don't work.
We know that it's wiser to make the investment in health now rather than pay for medical care later. By knowing and applying the psychology of weight loss, you can maintain your motivation and make good on that investment. Here's how to get healthy and protect your wallet:
Slow and Steady
You know that get-rich-quick schemes almost never work. Rapid weight loss is the same. Intense exercise and extreme diets are not sustainable and can be upsetting for your body and mind. Your mind is designed to shield you from anything that it perceives as harmful. Slow and steady changes to your routine allow for comfortable adjustment in all areas of your life. Consistency beats intensity so choose something you can do on your hardest day and make that the foundation of your exercise plan. Commit to at least ten minutes a day unless you are sick or injured in order to create a routine.
More Isn't Motivating
You might be wondering what equipment you need. The answer is not as much as you think. Invest in what you need to get started, but don't expect equipment to motivate you for more than a couple of days. If walking or running is in your plan, good quality shoes that fit well are enough to get started, beyond that, your motivation has to come from within.
Define Your Why
Savvy savers know that it's important to be focused and purposeful with money. The same is true for your health motivation. Why do you want to get healthy? The clearer you are on your "Big Reason Why," the better you will be able to budget your time, energy, and motivation to get the results you want. To define your "Why," you'll want to get a pen and paper out. Write down the reason you want to get healthy. Then look at the answer you just wrote and write down why you want that. It usually takes about five steps to get to an emotional reason, but doing it will turbo-charge your motivation.
Making the Most of Personal Trainers.
Let me come right out and say I'm not a fan of personal trainers. The idea is that by doing what they say, all of your wellness goals will come true. While there are some great trainers out there, most will go after your weaknesses instead of your strengths and can push too hard. Pretty quickly your mind is scrambling to protect you from what is causing you pain. If you're nervous about getting started in the gym and want to hire a trainer, make sure that you only pay per session, get him or her to show you how to use the equipment, and then go on with what feels right for you.
Supplements: What's Hype and What's Healthy?
Unless you have a specific and unusual dietary need, special supplements are not necessary. Check with your doctor or dietician if you're unsure. Weight loss pills typically come with unhealthy or undesirable side effects. The fact is that people who lose a lot of weight and keep it off get there by being aware of their diet and making exercise a part of their daily life.
We are bombarded with offers for an easy solution to our weight loss struggles. Don't fall for the fads. Instead, get healthy by creating a wellness plan that is simple, safe, and savvy. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you.
Reviewed December 2017
Take the Next Step:
- Don't overspend on new clothing as you drop pounds. Use these cheap ways to update your wardrobe as you lose weight.
- Replace your gym membership with these free exercises.
- Try these 12 ways to improve fitness on a tight budget.
- What shape are your finances in? These tools and guidelines can help you lose the debt and strengthen your financial situation.
- Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
Dr. Kelly Morrow-Baez, aka The FitShrink, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, writer, speaker, and coach who makes the psychology of weight loss easy and actionable.
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