I’m about to make the leap from nutrition-help to self-help.
Only, it’s not actually a leap…it’s barely a hop.
Let’ start with a generalization:
I’m guessing that you would like to have a bit less body fat, a bit more money and a lot more time.
Maybe you want to have a LOT less body fat, a LOT more money and a LOT more time.
The key is- there’s a RELATIONSHIP between these three things.
And it’s a big one.
Here’s a personal fact that plays into this story ==> I spend as much money on snacks, lunches and coffee’s away from my home as I do on gas for my car every month.
And I won’t be vague….I spent $311.22 in November on ‘snacks, lunches and coffees’ eaten or drank away from my home.
Doesn’t seem like that big a deal until you consider the fact that I fast twice a week, don’t take any supplements and typically try to eat responsibly (IE eat a little less).
I think that most of us spend much more money on foods and drinks then we think we do.
I don’t have research to prove this, but let’s assume its true.
So here’s the irony…we want to be leaner and the cause of our extra body fat is how much we eat; and how much we eat directly takes away from how much disposable money we have and how much free time we have.
Here is an ironclad fact – If you are overweight, you’ve spent more money on food than you needed to.
Now I’m not saying I wish that the 300 dollars I spend on coffee etc was actually zero dollars.
After all, I REALLY enjoy my coffee, and I REALLY prefer my coffees out. I like the atmosphere and the break provided by the 3 or 4 different coffee houses I visit each week.
The point isn’t self denial, the point is that responsible eating can also allow you be fiscally responsible (ie more money in your pocket).
Between groceries I didn’t really need and a couple extra coffees or lunches I didn’t really need, I figure that monthly I have about 200 dollars that could be spared.
This is 200 dollars worth of food not contributing to my waistline, and its 200 dollars that could be divided up evenly…100 bucks extra against my morgage, 100 bucks extra dong something fun with my family.
And it’s not just money, it’s your time.
I spend about a half hour in the morning and a half hour before bed doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Granted I’m doing dishes for four, but we’re not exactly a 6 meals a day family, and Heather and I both fast….I can only imagine what kind of time people who have 4 kids and who are overweight must spend in the kitchen.
Dishes…what a collosal waste of time, but…they need to get done.
So here’s the point to this ramble: Food is a very important part of your life…and there’s more than the reason of ‘weight loss’ to really be responsible with how you eat and what you spend your money on.
The facts are, you probably need your car, and the gas you buy to get to and from work. You need gas, electricity etc for your house. You HAVE to pay taxes and your mortgage…so food is one of the few expenses that you can control.
Learn to eat a little less and you:
A) lose weight
B) save money
C) gain time.
So here are 6 tips that have worked for me:
Lunch meetings – Order coffee or tea instead of lunch. For some reason if you order a water or diet soda people look at your funny like you are doing something wrong, but coffee or tea is OK. I don’t know why this is, but I know it works.
Groceries – Once a month take one week and don’t buy anything. Try your best to work your way through what is in your fridge and pantry. Get creative.
Out of home expenses – Set up simple rules that fit into your life that limit times you can eat out of your home. I try my best to never eat in my car. This works for me.
Dishes – Look, if you are trying to lose weight it means at some point you’ve eaten more than you wanted to. so to add some balance AND save time in the kitchen this try this technique…towards the end of the day, clean your kitchen, once it’s clean the kitchen is now ‘closed’. You are not going to go hungry, your kitchen stays clean, you eat less, you don’t spend time doing dishes again… (Obviously if you have young children this only half works)
Dining out – In this day and age there is simply no shame in sharing a meal. Besides, most restaurant meals have at LEAST double the calories you need anyways. Split a personal Pizza AND a dessert. You get way more flavour and probably less calories than if you ordered your own Entre.
Finally – Fast. Once or twice a week.