Staying On Track When Budget Constraints Become Real

2009_3_coverstoryIt’s no longer a fad topic amongst fitness bloggers, it’s very real folks. The economy has reached some serious lows, especially in the job market. And while eating healthy, whole foods costs less than most people make it out to be, that doesn’t mean that people won’t have to make some cuts.
So today I figured that we would take a more practical look at cutting costs to your health and fitness budget. Cuts that will hopefully help people save some serious cash that they may not have known they could save. Just remember that making adjustments doesn’t mean sacrificing results. It just means that precision must supersede carelessness and that we have to be more careful not only about our spending but also about how we use our resources.

Understanding Protein Powder Consumption

Oddly enough, I feel as though we never discuss the topic of protein powder even though I myself use it on a daily basis. But we’ll get into the benefits some other time. What I want to talk about here is the amount we use per serving. Most labels on protein powder products recommend 30+ grams of protein per serving. Some with 40+ grams found in two scoops (1 serving).
But what about cutting the serving in half? If you do that, you’ll be using that same bottle of protein twice as long! So stick to one scoop. After all, unless you’re trying to do some serious bulking up, most fitness folks recommend around 20 grams per shake anyways. And if you’re worried about using protein shakes because they’re hard on your liver, don’t, unless you already have liver problems (Fitness Black Book):
I really thought that I was going to find that excessive protein was really hard on the body! What I found was surprising, to say the least. A study at the University of Connecticut called “Dietary Protein Intake and Renal Function”, shows that there isn’t any concern for people with healthy kidneys. This paper references recent studies of high-protein diets for both weight loss and athletes, which have found no negative impact on kidney function. There is no evidence that supports the idea that high protein intake is a cause of kidney damage or dysfunction.”
Protein shakes are cheap, effective and convenient. Just stick to one scoop (or a 20-gram equivalent serving) so that you can maximize your use of the product.

Ditch The Multivitamin

To most, taking a daily multivitamin seems to justify a sense of upkeep in one’s health, however, when spendingVitamins becomes an issue, you may want to rethink using these pills (especially since a bottle can cost up to $60). If you are eating a diet that contains a good assortment of vegetables and fruit, you don’t need multivitamins. Plus, recent studies have refuted the efficacy of this supplement staple altogether (Diet Blog):
The largest study of its kind has reached a verdict… and it’s not a positive one for multivitamins. It concludes that long-term multivitamin use has no impact on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease or overall mortality in postmenopausal women. The study is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.”
So with these very basic proposed benefits of taking multivitamins in question, during economic times such as these, it makes sense to ditch the multivitamins.

Snacks At The Health Food Store Cost The Most

Just because you are a Whole Foods, Wild Oats or a Trader Joe’s doesn’t mean you are not fraught with danger lurking around the corner. Many times people feel that all they need to do is stick to these types of health food markets in order to stay healthy. True, you’re going to see less processed garbage than in the larger supermarkets.
But be careful when you’re shopping on a budget. The really expensive stuff may end up slipping into your cart without you noticing. It happened to me the first time I realized how expensive a little box of dried strawberries really was ($10!!!, I don’t eat those anymore). So next time you’re in the market/grocery store, take an inventory of the little snacks you buy. I’ll bet if you just stick to the whole foods, you’ll find your grocery receipt is much cheaper than usual.
What practical steps do you take to keep from spending too much money on your health and fitness? Share them with us in the comments section!



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