You might think that the harder a fitness plan is, the better your results will be. Sounds logical, but you would be mistaken. People who sustain a healthy weight do everything they can to make the process as painless as possible. They keep things convenient by choosing a fitness plan that meets their budget, schedule, and living arrangement. If you’d like to get fit on your terms, practice these healthy habits that save time and money.
Note: If you missed part one of this series, which contained habits 1-5, you should probably read that first.
6. Buy generic label groceries to reduce your shopping bill.
If you’re a busy parent, grocery trips could be more expensive than rent. The average family of four spends anywhere from $131 to $299 per week on groceries according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Reduce that expense by swapping name-brand groceries for their generic counterparts. Del Monte canned vegetables, for example, won’t taste much different than the generic vegetables offered by your local grocery store. Also consider buying generic tissue paper, trash-bags, cleaning products, and other household items.
7. Get your children and partner involved in a healthy lifestyle.
It’s easy to claim your family isn’t being supportive if they object to a menu change. Before you assume the worst, consider this: do you think they might be upset because you didn’t consider their tastes and preferences? Involve your loved ones in the meal planning process to save yourself a lot of trouble. Browse a cookbook or search online for recipes. Find 10-20 dishes that you think sound healthy and delicious. Ask your partner and/or children to pick their “Top 5” from that selection. Repeat this process until everybody is happy. If your children refuse to eat fruits and vegetables no matter how hard you try, “The Sneaky Chef” might be a helpful resource.
8. Take advantage of seasonal bargains on fruits and vegetables.
The more in season a fruit or vegetable it is, the cheaper it will be. Grocery stores must pay a higher cost to obtain fresh produce during an off-season, which is reflected in their retail price. To test this theory, look for blueberries the next time you visit the produce department. I bet you’ll notice they’re priced a lot lower than usual. Am I psychic? Nope! But I know July is the peak season for blueberries, so it is a safe wager to make. Click here to access a full calendar breakdown of the cheapest produce by month. You could even print this list and take it to your local farmers market. Try one new fruit or veggie every time you go to keep things interesting.
9. Prepare several days of food in advance for serious time savings.
If you’re so busy that you couldn’t imagine finding the time to prepare meals every day, then you might want to cook in bulk. Choose the least busy day of the week and prepare several days of food at once. For example, you could: chop a whole onion, pepper, and tomato; grill a pound of lean beef or chicken; and refrigerate those items in reusable containers. Those ingredients could be turned into a healthy salad, tasty tacos, or whatever you desire. If you’d like to learn more about bulk cooking, I recommend starting with “Fix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your Family.”
10. Feel free to enjoy a drink (or several), but don’t get carried away with it.
Alcohol is a treat that is to be enjoyed, but not abused. Liquid calories can add up in a hurry and drinking to excess can be deadly for your liver. Let’s implement a weekly six-pack quota to keep things under control. You have two options for spending it:
- Have one beer per day (or the equivalent in wine/liquor)
- Save it all for the weekend (but only if you won’t be driving!)
Too many fitness approaches ignore the reader’s individual needs. I hope these healthy habits provide you with actionable steps you can take today, no matter where you’re starting from. Thanks for reading!
About the Author
Daniel Wallen is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) of the Wallen Way. He is a personal trainer, Lifehack contributor, and author of, “The Busy Woman’s Guide to Getting Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous.”