Fit and frugal?

It’s no good. I have to come to terms with it. I NEED to lose some pounds. Not from my wallet but from my waistline, where there are more than enough pounds to go round, if you catch my drift. Bad habits, like eating too much pasta (sometimes twice a day…I admit it!) snacking on anything with chocolate in the title and avoiding exercise as much as possible (I’m traumatised still from my days of secondary school PE and the terrifying Mr Stannard…honest…) are finally catching up with me. When my Dad described somebody recently who was overweight by saying she would “make you look like Twiggy” (the cheek!) I realised it was time to do something about it all.

But the question is, how do you get slim and fit without spending any money? Just joining Weight Watchers online will set you back £34.90 for just one month (although there’s a special offer of £39.80 for three months at the moment) or £5.50 a week if you go to the local meetings, not to mention some of the special food you might have to buy.

The South Beach Diet (one I have tried at least three times and never been able to stick to) book will set you back only a few quid or is free from the library, but our weekly shop went up by at least £20 a week because, like with the Atkins Diet, you have to buy expensive steaks, fish, mineral water and obscure American ingredients.

Then there’s gym membership. I once joined the gym (I only lasted about two months and never made it to the multi-gym) through work until I realised it really wasn’t me, and it cost me about £36 a month through the work subsidy and £50 without that – which is £600 a year. Madness!

In fact, according to research by, the average woman spends £1,137 a year trying to lose weight. Which is completely crazy when surely the whole point of dieting is to eat (and therefore spend) less!

So I’ve decided to try to form my own frugal fitness & slimming plan. I am going to attempt to get fit by going ‘running’ or swimming three times a week. And eat a sensible diet which includes fewer calories and naughty snacks. I started yesterday by trying to eat my main meals more regularly and in smaller portions, trying to eat fruit or nuts instead of biscuits when I got hungry between meals and…yikes…going for a ‘run’ for 30 minutes. I call it a ‘run’ rather than a run because it actually involved jogging for a minute (when none of my neighbours were looking), followed by walking for a minute (until I stopped panting like an Alsatian on heat), etc. until 30 minutes were up and before I keeled over on the pavement to meet my maker. Apparently this is the sensible way to get started with running, however, so not as pathetic as it sounds. My limbs are still aching now. And you repeat this three times a week, allowing your muscles to recover between the sessions. I’m just worried about my knees as I know running on pavement isn’t good for your joints – although I am wearing some proper trainers and trying to run on soft ground in a park near us.

Wish me luck! What do you think is the best way to get fit frugally? Do you think diets and the gym are a rip-off?

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6 Responses to Fit and frugal?

  1. Charlotte Hunter says:

    Dad\’s are the worst aren\’t they. Mine was visiting this weekend and mentioned i was looking "well insulated". I\’ve just moved and new food and a new job coupled with losing my usual not too unhealthy routine have sent the scales tipping. I\’ll join you on your quest, 3 times a week we\’ve to run you say…in this weather?? Fair enough, I\’ll start tomorrow. Frugal weight loss tip: make your own lunch. Saves calories and pennies. With the temperature like it is I like to make a huge batch of chunky filling soup at the weekend and then freeze it in single portions take it with me in a thermos for lunch. Good luck! Charlotte

  2. Charlie says:

    You could try climbing up the stairs a few times a day, apparently its good for all your muscles because you have to keep your posture and so forth. It\’s worked for me anyway! Gym memberships are such a rip off! I\’m at university so I went to the gym on campus a couple of times but it was still expensive. I\’m told the main trick with losing weight is excercise so keep at it and good luck!

  3. piper says:

    Dads are very cheeky.  And if you try to come back with something equally mean you just end up feeling guilty about it. Will try out your soup making tip, Charlotte. Spending a lot of time going up and down the stairs at home but thought I\’d lost some weight last week and realised I hadn\’t, which made me feel depressed! 

  4. mo118 says:

    Go running using interval training = freeDo as much housework as possible – apparently you can burn just as many calories as you do in the gym but it\’s free and productive!!

  5. leila says:

    dancing is good especially with funky music

  6. Lawrence says:

    Dancing is wonderful, hearing the elegant music… Just so crazy

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