How to lose weight and save money

Three great ideas to get two for one on life goals.

Losing weight and saving more money are two of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But they remain unmet goals well after January 1st for many of us, as they’re probably two of the hardest objectives to achieve. Why? Well they tend to involve some serious lifestyle changes and – let’s be honest –  at first glance at least, achieving them is not much fun. And yet they remain at the top of many a goals list and are also two of the most common reasons that people feel bad about themselves. So, how do you turn it around?

Go vegan – it’s not boring, really

No, wait – don’t stop reading! Veganism has come a long, long way since the days of a lentil-only diet. In fact, some of the dishes created by the new generation of superstar vegan influencers, such as Deliciously Ella, end up being the meal of choice for meat eaters too. Of course, it’s possible to still spend a lot of cash and put on weight as a vegan – nuts are the main culprit on the weight side and fancy herbs and sauces on the money side – but you can avoid it. On the whole, meat, eggs and cheese are some of the priciest items in our shopping baskets – as well as some of the most calorific. Swap these for cheaper veggies, beans, pulses and nuts and you’ll see a drop in weight, as well as the pressure on your finances.

Cook for yourself from scratch

There is all sorts of research to indicate that we tend to take more time eating food that we’ve prepared ourselves. And the slower you eat, the more likely you are to know when you’re full and stop eating. Although it’s become something of a hipster term there is real value in ‘mindful eating’ – your brain is aware of every mouthful, chew and taste so you’ll feel more satisfied than if you’re just pretty much inhaling a ready meal without any thought. If you’re cooking for yourself you also have more control over cost and you know exactly what is in your meal. You can batch cook and then save money by eating the leftovers across several days and you won’t accidentally be eating vast quantities of sugar and salt that are often hidden in pre-packaged food.

Plan your meals – and budget

If there’s one sure fire way to waste money and blow your budget and your diet in one go it’s to head for the supermarket with no clear idea of what you’re buying at a time when you’re hungry. Rather than healthy, low cost food you’ll probably come home with a pricey, high fat feast. Instead, plan your meals in advance on the basis of a plate made up of smaller servings of protein and starch and more vegetables, minimal fat and sugar and occasional meat and fish. Make a shopping list from that and stick to it. Don’t buy what’s not on the list and don’t eat what’s not on your meal plan – it really can be that simple.

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