Chances are your annual "I swear I'm going to lose weight this year" New Year's resolution has already been broken.
If last year's habits have already crept back in, don't fret - I'm here to help you not only lose weight, but also do it while cashing in. Here's how:
Skip fast food
Vow to make 2015 the year you stop stopping in at fast food joints. Maccas' Big Mac Hunger Deal wallops your wallet ($9.95) and your waistline (5402 kilojoules, or 1286 calories). If you're eating fast food two times per week, you're spending $1035 and adding 562,000kj/134,000cal to your gut.
It's my duty to spread the shame around, because Pizza Hut's new Doritos Crunch Crust tells me the end of the world is near. It's an extra that adds both cost and up to 460 extra kilojoules to any pizza of your choosing, many of which on Pizza Hut's menu run to 6000-7000kj to start with.
Kick off 2015 fast food-free. Your health, wellness and wallet will thank you.
Quit the gym
You're spending around $20 per week for that gym membership. If the only thing your card is doing is building cobwebs, cut it up and start exercising outside. A new client of mine did exactly that, and he said the magic words that I love to hear: "I just want to get outdoors, do some high-intensity bodyweight exercises, feel better, gain some energy, and lose some weight."
And he did. In fact, he's smashing it.
You won't need those Vitamin D supplements either ($30 per year), because the Aussie sun provides it for free.
Skip the protein
Dropping $3.45 on a post-gym chocolate protein drink adds up. If you're grabbing a box three times per week, you're spending $540 per year while taking on 179,400kj/42,714cal. And that 30-gram-per-serving hit of protein could also be adding an annual total of 1118 teaspoons of sugar to your diet.
You don't need protein shakes if you're on a weight loss journey. Many popular diets are loaded with meat, poultry and fish – that's all you need to hit your daily protein requirements, and that's why Australia doesn't have a protein deficiency problem.
Dump the energy drink
Energy drinks are not, and never have been, part of any health and fitness journey. Annually, one can per day of V energy drink adds 2300 teaspoons of sugar to your bottom line annually, not to mention the $639 hit. Bin the energy drinks and get healthy energy into your lifestyle by drinking water and obtaining quality sleep – both are free.
If you're no longer eating fast food twice per week, what's to eat? How about nothing? Science tells us intermittent fasting works.
I've kept in touch with (and challenged) numerous Fairfax readers, and many have lost loads of weight with my Droptober Intermittent Fasting. It's simple … two times per week, you don't eat anything from 3pm until the morning, except for water. Many continue to lose weight and utilise it for weight maintenance.
A Sydney column reader wrote me a tearful letter some time ago. Weight problems, poor health, and depression issues were all present. Today? She's down 20kg, smiling, exercising, and her confidence in reaching her 50kg weight loss goal makes me incredibly pleased to be a (small) part of her intermittent fasting team. She finds fasting not only challenges her, but now that she's controlling her food, she is able to control many other areas of her life.
Get some new gear
With all those savings, I'm going to ask you to buy two things at the sports store: a skipping rope, and a new pair of trainers. Nike sells a rope with weighted handles, and it's an outdoor gym's 'must have' for everyone from beginners to the mega-fit. Spend $200 and get a new pair of shoes as well. It's a small investment in your health.
Add it up
Small changes add up. By ditching fast food, energy drinks and protein drinks, you can save yourself from consuming an unnecessary 919,000kj/219,000cal in a year. Need more motivation than that? Well, by taking on all the changes above, you'll also save yourself about $3100. Oh, and you'll lose weight, feel better and look better.
I'm going to wish you all a happy 2015. For a healthy 2015 you're going to have to do a bit of work, but I've got a gift for you. Drop me an email and I'll send you 10 outdoor workouts and some information on intermittent fasting.
Let's have a healthy 2015 together.
What are you willing to do to improve your health in 2015?