Here’s how to get fit and lean on the cheap with budget training and diet tips.
What’s your fitness goal? Whether it’s to lose weight, change your body composition, get fitter or build strength, it’s definitely going to benefit your lifestyle. But will it benefit your bank balance? It’s important to make sure that your positive lifestyle changes don’t leave you strapped for cash (after all, you’ll need some spare change to buy new clothes!). Here’s how to eat, train, and supplement your fitness journey – without breaking the bank.
1) Save Money On Training
There are lots of at-home training plans, apps, and video series you can use to get started with a fitness programme (or to maintain your physique). Bodyweight training and calisthenics, yoga, and home cardio workouts will definitely get you fitter. So don’t let lack of cash for a gym membership stop you from getting started. Running outdoors costs nothing (once you’ve bought running shoes). And long walks can’t be overlooked for their calorie burning, CV boosting benefits.
If you do want to join a gym, do fitness classes, or take up a sport then there are ways to do it on a budget. Look around your local area for the cheapest gym membership, and ask if gyms offer an off-peak membership. PAYG options can be a great way to do it if you won’t make use of a full membership.
Sports teams are often very cheap to join, offering 1-2 training sessions a week that will get you fit and help you make like-minded friends, too.
There’s no need to put all your eggs in one basket. Why not try a combination of free, at-home workouts, outdoor cardio, and a few gym sessions or classes per week?
2) The Best Low-Cost Supplements
You don’t need a kitchen cupboard full of supplements to live a healthier lifestyle. And we can definitely help you buy supplements on a budget. Don’t pay over the odds for fancy labels and unnecessary ingredients. Look at the ingredients list, the formula, and the quality of the product. Assess the cost-per-serving. We challenge you to beat us on those factors!
A good quality whey protein powder will help you build and retain muscle – and this is important whether you’re a gym goer, an athlete, a team sports player, or simply wanting to tone up a bit and lose weight. Our best-selling Pure Whey Protein™ is top-quality whey protein concentrate and comes in a massive range of flavours to suit all tastes.
Another useful supplement is creatine monohydrate, especially if your goals include strength and power. It has been proven to increase physical performance in successive bursts of short term, high intensity exercise like lifting, HIIT, and sprinting. Creatine is totally safe and natural, and one of the most widely researched sports supplements in the world.
An all-round vitamin and mineral supplement is also a great idea. Our Complete Multivitamin Complex™ combines 30+ vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants, chosen to support your healthy diet and help your body be fitter and leaner. Or take it one step further with our Sports Multi AM:PM™ blend – a premium formulation with 31 vitamins and minerals, split into daytime and night-time capsules to give your body what it needs, when it needs it.
Fish oils – or another omega 3 supplement – is a great addition to your healthy diet. Omega 3 fatty acids have tons of benefits for your heart, cardiovascular system, skin, energy levels, and mood. Our Super Strength Omega 3 Softgels have 1000mg omega 3 per serving, with a great balance of 30mg EPA and 220mg DHA per softgel. Or try our Omega Oil Blend with added Vitamin E – it’s a combination of Flaxseed, Sunflower, Hempseed and Evening Primrose Oil (so it’s vegan friendly too).
Finally, a Vitamin D supplement will help you stay healthier in body (and mind!) especially over the darker months between October-April. Vitamin D is important for bone health and immune function, and can help boost your mood making you more likely to stick to your new fitness plan. Our Vitamin D3 tablets have 5000iu per serving.
3) Eat Healthy On A Budget
It’s never been easier to eat healthy food without paying over the odds. There’s no need to buy fancy ingredients, weird foods, or overpriced fad diet products. Your body needs healthy nourishing food – and there’s no better way to get that than from natural home cooked meals and snacks.
Stock up on carbohydrates like oats or oat bran, rice, potatoes, rice cakes, and pasta – most carbohydrates can be bought in bulk and will keep for ages. It’s also a great idea to buy big bags of dried pulses, lentils, and beans. They’re super cheap, and amazingly healthy. And if you think it sounds boring, think of all the curries, chills, and stews you can cook up. Make sure your kitchen has a supply of dried spices and herbs – guaranteed to make even the most basic food tastier!
Good protein choices include poultry, meat, and fish, but if you’re strapped for freezer space then don’t forget budget classics like tinned tuna (and tinned oily fish). Whey protein, jerky, and biltong are brilliant sources of low-fat protein which you can carry with you (and keep for a long time). Ideal if you travel a lot or don’t have much storage or fridge space. For your healthy fats, try to eat some oily fish, use a little olive oil, and add nuts or seeds to your snacks. Add in as many vegetables, fruits, and berries as you can afford and your body will thank you. Job done!
Bulk cooking and food prep will save you a huge amount of money. Not only will you be able to buy ingredients in bulk (always cheaper in the long run) but you will avoid the need to buy food on a whim. We all know that this leads to impulse purchases! Prep your own food, portion it out, and you’ll have healthy food for the future – no need to panic buy and overspend. A slow cooker, food storage tubs, and some freezer space will be your best friends for healthy food prep.
What are your best budgeting tips for food and training?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.