All across the personal finance blogosphere, you hear a lot of talk about spending less, saving more, and investing for a happy retirement down the road. What we don’t talk about a lot is how to ensure that we enjoy retirement to the fullest.
Part of getting the most out of retirement – may it be early or right around age 60 – is your health. After all, what is the point of saving all that money if you won’t be able bodied enough to enjoy spending it on experiences and things you love?
Carrying around too much weight is not only bad for your health, but it also keeps you from enjoying the now as well as the later. Frugal activities such as hiking and a bit more strenuous plans involving travel can become too much to handle.
When moving from New York to the Carolinas, I had gained a bunch of weight. Right after the move, I starting sitting for the CPA exams. All that meant lots of sitting at work and even more sitting at home to study. Take out food galore was on the menu more often than not.
How I lost 25 lbs in 3 months!
Once my exams were done and over with, I couldn’t ignore the obvious any longer. My clothes didn’t fit any longer and I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. Something had to change and I was fresh out of excuses. Here is how I lost 25 lbs in 3 months!
Sugar – My go to study food was anything with sugar on top. It kept me going strong during the exams but also added a bunch of inches to my waistline. Aside from naturally derived sweets such as fruit sugar and honey, all else went out the door.
Dairy – I had read many articles about dairy causing allergy symptoms as well as attributing to weight gain. And sure enough, a lot of my daily diet consisted of milk, yogurts, and cheese. I wasn’t sure how successful I would be with cutting out dairy but tried it anyway.
Meat – Chicken was always my go to meat with red meat showing up on my plate every once in a while. I had never tried a vegetarian diet and was curious whether I would actually miss eating meat products. Same as dairy, I was unsure as to whether this one would last.
The 3-month long path to success…
Cutting out food groups like dairy and meat made meal planning a bit of a challenge for the first few weeks. Breakfast used to consist of yogurts and a glass of milk, which I switched to bread with honey and a glass of water with some pomegranate juice. For lunches and dinner, I decided either on salads or rice and potato dishes with some fresh, steamed vegetables.
I truly thought this diet would deprive me of food I wanted so badly that I’d just quit it within a few days. Surprisingly, after a few days, the cravings stopped completely. Particularly for sugar. After a full week, I didn’t think anymore about what I couldn’t eat but instead thought about creative vegetarian dishes to make. In the interest of full disclosure, I ended up adding cheese back into my diet.
Skipping certain food groups made meal planning a necessity. While it sounds tedious at first, meal planning actually comes with a lot of bonuses. For one, it takes away the daily hassle of figuring out what you want to eat for your three meals. Secondly, planning and purchasing food all at once for, let’s say the whole week, prevents impulse purchases.
I also noticed myself saving money because I skipped food groups that tend to be quite pricey. Good cuts of meat are expensive, so skipping meat for three months saved me quite the bundle. Sugary snacks as well are very expensive. A chocolate bar and a bunch of cookies here and there at home or work add up to quite a bit of money at the end of the month.
Furthermore, planning lunches to take to work prevents you from going out to eat or eating at the cafeteria. I myself spent $2,000 last year eating out for lunch. So far this year I have been taking my lunches to work and it has saved me enough money that I see a difference in how much money I save and invest. How much money do you spend every day at work? How much could you save every year if you didn’t?
This is how I lost 25 lbs in 3 months and saved big bucks in the process.
Do you have any weight loss plans? Share your strategy in the comments!
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