Living a Healthy Lifestyle On a Budget: Tips and Tricks
October 27th, 2020 by Emily Stuart
There was a time when people had fewer resources and a simple lifestyle. Yet they were healthy and stronger than us.
Today, we have more facilities than ever but diseases such as diabetes, cancer, blood pressure, and heart diseases have become more rampant. Today, every other person is suffering from some kind of illness or deficiency.
One of the reasons is that we are disconnected from nature in most aspects of our lives. Our priorities have changed and we have forgotten that physical fitness is a basic ingredient for optimal health and wellness. The accumulation of luxuries does not guarantee a prosperous life.
Many think that healthy lifestyles are difficult to maintain on a tight budget. But this is not true at all. Even with limited resources, you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s jump into some tips on how you can do this.
1. Build and Apply Knowledge about Nutrition
It’s important that you know what healthy food is all about.
A common misconception is that healthy foods are a luxury and if you have calculated resources, you can’t afford it. However, most nutrient-rich items, such as fresh fruits, grains, and vegetables are cheaper than processed foods.
It does not take much time in learning about the nutritious value of different food items. We must have enough knowledge of how we can replace one food item with another to fulfill your body needs.
Let’s understand this with an example. Beans and legumes are nutrient powerhouses that are rich in fiber. They are excellent sources of protein and can actually be a replacement for meat.
If you have half a cup of cooked beans, it means you have taken around 7 grams of protein. This is the same quantity of protein that you find in 1 ounce of meat. It does not mean that you never eat meat and be a miser for your food.
It only means you can reduce your meat consumption more often with this method. This is a good strategy to eat healthily while staying within your budget.
2. Prefer Fresh Food Over Processed Food
In general, we compromise our health because we don’t have enough time for ourselves. We buy packaged food that is full of unhealthy fats and extra sugar just because we cannot cook fresh food. This is disastrous both ways in the long run.
On one hand, we are accumulating unhealthy substances in our bodies, and on the other hand, we are depriving our bodies to eat freshly cooked food.
Try to learn some quick recipes for your breakfast and dinner that are full of nutrition and help you quit packaged food as well.
You can also try to make some food on the weekends. It takes only 10- 15 minutes to cut some fresh fruits and make some fruit salad than to depend on costly and unhealthy packaged fruit cocktails.
3. Exercise and Make it Your Routine
Don’t think that getting a gym membership is the only workout option. At the end of the day, you have to do everything yourself.
Sleep on time and quit the habit of spending hours on mobile phones. Wake up early in the morning and go for a morning walk with a little bit of exercise. You can watch a few tutorials on how to exercise and stay fit without joining a gym.
In many cultures around the world, even middle-income families have started depending on maids and helpers for house chores. It’s good if you engage yourself in home cleaning and gardening. Not only it will save some bucks to buy some more healthy foods but it will also boost your metabolism and you will stay energetic.
After a satisfying workout, don’t forget to relax your muscles and let them heal through proper rest. Using red light therapy for recovery at home is another safe and natural option.
4. Replace Fizzy Drinks with Water or Lemon Water
The average spending on fizzy drinks with everyday meals is getting higher than ever and this is not a healthy choice. Try to replace them with water or lemon water. You can also consider drinking mineral water. Since it contains the right amount of minerals our body needs, it’s proven that mineral water is a much healthier alternative than tap water or any other fizzy drinks.
Your cravings for sugary food will also reduce due to being properly hydrated. Lemon water can also help you detoxify, provide vitamin C, and aid in digestion.
5. Grab Something Healthy for the Office
Start your day with some good breakfast. It’s unhealthy to start your day without having something super nutritious.
Also, pack some healthy food at work. This way, you will reduce the chances of ordering calorie-rich junk food that is bad for your stomach and pocket. You can have some nuts, fruits, and vegetables or leftover pieces of fish or chicken that you had prepared last night.
6. Don’t Make Eating Junk Food a Habit
You will be surprised to know that the average American spends around $1,200 on fast food per annum. If we break this one down, it makes around $100 per month and roughly $12.50 on one meal.
This spending is not wise if you make it your routine. By cutting your budget on fast food and adding home-cooked fresh food, you can avoid obesity, acidity, cholesterol, and heart diseases.
7. Grow Some Veggies in the Backyard
Take some time out for gardening on weekends. You will find fresh vegetables for daily use and an interesting hobby for yourself.
Fresh spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, lemon, ladyfinger, and many herbs are easy to grow. Once you start loving your own green vegetables, your daily intake of meat will also reduce, which is estimated to be the most expensive grocery item.
This activity will beautify your surroundings and you will get an opportunity to connect with nature. You won’t need any big investment for this. Also, if you have a good space, you may exercise or meditate early in the morning.
8. Quit Alcohol Consumption
For many people, drinking alcohol is quite common. It is important for its users to know the health and financial consequences of its intake in any of its forms.
The excessive intake of alcohol can destroy you financially and also increase your risk of life-threatening diseases. This includes but not limited to mouth, breast, throat, and esophageal cancers.
If someone is already suffering from cardiovascular disease, the chances of sudden death increases with alcohol use. This means if you are spending a huge amount on alcohol consumption, you are buying death.
Try to quit this habit gradually. Maybe not all at once, but taking small steps will benefit you both ways – better health and more savings for other necessary items.
9. Supplements are Not Alternative to Food Nutrients
When you are young, your body has the ability to absorb nutrients easily. You should not compensate for poor eating with dietary supplements. Nutrients are potent when they come from food directly as compared to the processed form.
Eat oranges, drink milk, and spend some time in sunlight than taking supplements to fulfill your vitamin C and D requirements.
Also, you can enjoy tasty food with less money as compared to a pill. However, if you have a serious deficiency, go for supplements with your doctor’s approval.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot to live healthily. You can make smart choices and save money by following at least one of the strategies above. It may take some effort, but it works! I hope these tips will help you.