Welcome back to Broke in Bristol the blog that helps you save money, make money and live life to the full on a budget. One of my biggest bugbears is the billions of pounds the diet industry makes every year out of those of us who want to lose a few pounds after an over-indulgent Christmas. With these handy diets and tips you shouldn't have to spend any more money on your food shop than you would on a normal week.
Some people swear by the 5:2 diet which is where you eat normally for five days a week and fast on another two non-consecutive days. On normal days you need to eat no more than 2,000 calories for women (2,500 for men) and stick to 500 calories (600 for men) on your fasting days. Because this is about calorie restriction, you can eat what’s already in the house and you don’t need to fork out any extra dosh. You don’t even need to buy the book – just check out this Marie Claire article for recipes. A handy app is www.myfitnesspal.com which will help you count the calories.
Struggle to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
Now if you asked me to drink eight glasses of wine I wouldn’t have a problem, but drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day is a real tough one for me. Although some studies suggest caffeinated drinks do count towards your recommended daily amount of water intake, others recommend laying off the caffeine altogether. I love my tea (almost as much as my wine!) and have recently made a switch to decaf, which has pained me less than I thought. Ty-phoo’s decaf tea bags have got my thumbs up as have Tesco’s own branded version.
South Beach Diet
If you hate calorie counting, then you need to try the South Beach Diet. This is a low-GI diet with no calorie counting and no portion limits. You're encouraged to eat three meals and two snacks a day, while following an exercise plan. The first two-week phase is restrictive with most carbohydrates on the naughty list, but this diet should help most people lose weight. Check out www.freedieting.com which is a useful site and includes a list of South Beach Diet friendly foods.
Taking regular exercise
Expensive gym memberships are so last year! There are countless ways to get fit for free and if you need other sweaty bods around to motivate you, you can sign up to a free fitness group like This Mum Runs or Mums Get Fit. I prefer to work out at home and have definitely had my money’s worth out of Insanity: Fast and Furious which I invested in a couple of years ago. There are loads of free fitness apps out there, check out our review of some of the more popular ones here.
New Atkins diet
I tried something similar to this when I needed to shift four stone of pregnancy weight a few years ago and at the time it did work for me when I combined it with exercise. It works by starving your body of carbs so that your body burns fat for energy. There are online resources available so you don’t need to buy the book, try www.ukatkins.com to get you started.
The Paleo diet consists of meat and seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. This is as a low-carb, high-protein diet and processed foods, wheat, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes and salt are off the menu. It’s a bit more complicated than some other diets out there, so check out this website for recipe suggestions.
NHS 12 tips for weight loss success
If you don’t want to follow a restricted diet, but you would like to be healthier in 2017 you can’t go wrong with these 12 tips from the NHS. Don’t skip breakfast, eat regular meals, eat plenty of fruit and veg, be more active, drink more water, eat high-fibre foods, check food labels, dish out smaller portions, don’t ban foods, don’t stock junk food in the house, cut down on alcohol and plan your meals in advance.
Work your workout
When exercising, rest for no more than 30 seconds between exercises or try interval training if you find that your metabolism is slow. Research shows that combining high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods burns more calories. There are loads of free apps available for android and i-phone that will help you with your interval training.
Get enough sleep
I definitely like the sound of this weight loss rule which recommends you get between six and eight hour’s sleep a night to prevent stress which can lead to you putting on weight around your mid section. Less sleep makes me feel more miserable and I’m more likely to snack or eat junk food when I’m not at my best.
Take your homemade lunch to work
Taking your own pre-made lunch to work means that you can prepare something healthy and save up to £100 a month. Try bbcgoodfood.com for some healthy recipe ideas.
Ms Broke in Bristol doesn’t endorse any of these diets and recommends that you do your own research before deciding which plan is best for you. However, Ms Broke in Bristol does believe that beating the blubber shouldn’t break the bank ;-) If you found this article useful, please share it and like our Facebook page to never miss an update.