How To Lose Weight Without Gaining Debt

In this article: Weight loss guidelines from a doctor for losing pounds without losing dollars. Your waist and your wallet will thank you.

by Dr. Kelly Morrow-Baez, LPC
How To Lose Weight Without Gaining Debt photo

We know it’s wiser to invest in health now rather than pay for medical care later. But with a weight loss industry built on fear and false promises, many people throw away hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on unused gym memberships, dust-collecting exercise equipment, and “miracle” supplements that simply don’t work.

By knowing and applying the psychology of weight loss, you can maintain your motivation and make good on that health investment without going broke.

Here’s how to get healthy and protect your wallet:

Slow and Steady

You know that get-rich-quick schemes almost never work.

Rapid weight loss is the same.

Intense exercise and extreme diets are unsustainable and can upset your body and mind. Your mind is designed to shield you from anything that it perceives as harmful.

Slow and steady changes to your routine allow for comfortable adjustment in all areas of your life. Consistency beats intensity, so choose something you can do on your hardest day and make that the foundation of your exercise plan.

Commit to at least ten minutes a day to create a routine unless you are sick or injured.

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More Isn’t Motivating

You might be wondering what equipment you need. The answer is not as much as you think.

Invest in what you need to get started, but don’t expect equipment to motivate you for more than a few days. If walking or running is in your plan, good quality shoes that fit well are enough to get started. Beyond that, your motivation has to come from within.

Define Your Why

Savvy savers know that it’s important to be focused and purposeful with money. The same is true for your health motivation.

Why do you want to get healthy? The clearer you are on your “Big Reason Why,” the better you can budget your time, energy and motivation to get the desired results.

To define your “Why,” you’ll want to get a pen and paper out. Write down the reason you want to get healthy. Then look at the answer you just wrote and write down why you want that. It usually takes about five steps to get to an emotional reason, but doing it will turbo-charge your motivation.

Making the Most of Personal Trainers

Let me come right out and say I’m not a fan of personal trainers.

The idea is that your wellness goals will come true by doing what they say. While there are some great trainers out there, most will go after your weaknesses instead of your strengths and can push too hard. Pretty quickly, your mind is scrambling to protect you from what is causing you pain.

If you’re nervous about getting started in the gym and want to hire a trainer, make sure that you only pay per session, get him or her to show you how to use the equipment, and then go on with what feels right for you.

Supplements: What’s Hype and What’s Healthy?

Unless you have a specific and unusual dietary need, special supplements are not necessary. Check with your doctor or dietician if you’re unsure.

Weight loss pills typically come with unhealthy or undesirable side effects. The fact is that people who lose a lot of weight and keep it off get there by being aware of their diet and making exercise a part of their daily life.

We are bombarded with offers for an easy solution to our weight loss struggles. Don’t fall for the fads. Instead, get healthy by creating a wellness plan that is simple, safe, and savvy. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you.

Reviewed December 2023

About the Author

Dr. Kelly Morrow-Baez, aka The FitShrink, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, writer, speaker, and coach who makes the psychology of weight loss easy and actionable.

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