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Lose weight, fatten your wallet

By Paula Pant ·
Friday, December 27, 2013
Posted: 3 pm ET

Did you set a New Year's resolution to lose weight?

According to research firm YouGov, 37 percent of Americans who set a New Year's resolution for 2013 vowed to lose weight.

If you hope to lose weight in 2014, follow these tips to cut the cost of reaching your goal.

Cut back on packaged junk foods

Sure, exercise is essential. But all the aerobics classes in the world cannot compensate for a diet that consists of Oreos, potato chips and beer.

Trim junk food from your diet. Not only does this decision help you achieve weight-loss goals, it helps you save money at the grocery store.

Stop eating in restaurants

Ah, restaurant food! It's delicious. However, the taste sensation often comes from the fats, oils and salt that chefs add to the dish.

Cut back on restaurant dining. Instead, cook from scratch at home. This helps trim your waistline, while adding heft to your wallet and savings account.

Incidentally, it is OK if your grocery bill rises as your restaurant dining declines. You're still achieving a net savings overall.

Work out at home

You don't need to sign up for an expensive gym membership. Instead, buy a pair of running shoes and a set of hand-held weights for an effective at-home workout.

If running doesn't suit your taste, try power-walking, bicycling or jumping rope. Watch YouTube videos to guide you through the proper form for squats, lunges and a variety of arm and chest exercises.

Trim other items from your budget

Some people enjoy leaving their house to visit the gym. If this describes you, trim something else from your budget to make room for that gym membership.

For example, cut your cable bill. After all, you won't be sitting on the couch at night watching TV -- you'll be exercising instead. Use the money you save to fund a retirement account, such as an IRA or 401(k).

Paula Pant helps people ditch the cubicle and live on their own terms. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental property units and hasn't had an employer since 2008. Her blog, Afford Anything, is the gathering point for a tribe that refuses to say, "I can't afford it." Follow Paula on Twitter: @AffordAnything.


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