Most everyone either wants to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The answer for many is to head straight for the gym. The problem with the gym is that is costs money. And, besides losing weight, the other resolution most people have is to save money. So, how do you keep your body AND your wallet fit? Read on for a few tips.

  1. Pay Attention to your diet. Reducing the amount of calories you consume is the best place to start. There are several apps and websites to help you easily keep track of how many calories foods you eat contain. Also, stay away from high-fat foods, such as chips, cookies, pastries and candy; these foods carry very little nutrition. Instead, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Another good rule of thumb is to eat smaller portions (5-6 small meals per day). Eating smaller portions more frequently boosts your metabolism.
  2. Go outside for a run/walk to get that heart pumping. The CDC recommends 60 to 90 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise five days per week.
  3. Perform resistance training exercises 3-4 times per week. Resistance training builds lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. You don’t need a gym membership to accomplish this. Bodyweight workouts in your living room are easy to knock out, even while you watch TV. Exercises like squats, lunges, pushups and situps are all exercises you can do at home. Check out this list of workouts you can do at home:
  4. Get more sleep. Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. Plus, when you’re overtired, your brain’s reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good. So, while you might be able to overcome comfort food cravings when you’re well-rested, your sleep-deprived brain may have trouble saying no. Check out this study about the impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Interesting stuff!
  5. Drink more water. Water is a natural appetite suppressant, and increases calorie burning. There is plenty of research that shows the connection between drinking water and losing weight. So grab the biggest water bottle you can find, and fill ‘er up!
  6. Download a few exercise apps. There’s an app for everything these days, and that includes exercise. There are plenty of free apps to help you meet your exercise goals. Clark Howard lists 15 of the best free workout apps. Check out his list here.

Follow these six tips for a healthy body and a healthy wallet!