Losing pounds without spending them

My stomach = economic alternative to a bouncy castle

I seem to have returned from holiday with a stomach that needs its own postcode. My children take delight in poking my tummy to see it wobble, but I’d rather rediscover my feet.

To avoid a future filled with elasticated waistbands, I really do need to shift some weight.

I also remain interested in healthy eating on a limited budget, and how to lose pounds without spending loads of them.

Healthy eating and especially dieting are often regarded as expensive, whether it’s forking out for fresh fruit and vegetables or stocking up on pricey processed food. An entire dieting industry has been founded on mountains of shakes, drinks, bars, ready meals and low fat this, that or the other.

I’d rather eat real food than unpronounceable e-numbers and sugar added to make fat-free food taste palatable.

However, as I found when doing Live Below the Line and feeding myself on £1 a day for 5 days, the hardest things to shoehorn into a tiny food budget are fresh fruit and veg (blog post here).
Many of the less fatty sources of protein featured in slimming recipes are more expensive, like chicken breasts, steaks, prawns and salmon fillets.

Much budget cooking over the ages is based on filling up with cheap carbs, like potatoes, pasta, pastry, rice, dumplings, yorkshire puddings and pies, topped up with bread and more bread. Unfortunately, shovelling down carbohydrates is hardly a recipe for weight loss, even if I’m more a fan of “all things in moderation” than cutting out entire food groups.

I thought I’d have a try at losing weight the low cost way, based on eating from the value ranges and other cheaper alternatives. The other option would just be not buying much food, but I don’t think starvation is ever going to work for me…

Anyone else find slimming difficult on a limited budget? Or keen to join a mission to fit back in their trousers?

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