How weight loss can save you money

There’s more to gain from weight loss than just looking and feeling great – it’s amazing how much cash you can stash away, too.
Motivated lady

Save more with a healthy lifestyle
When you read about expensive ‘superfoods’ and high-tech workouts, it’s easy to assume a healthy lifestyle is costly. But losing weight can actually save you money. “You don’t have to eat the latest buzz food – sustainable weight loss requires having fresh fruit and veg, lean protein and wholegrains every day,” says accredited practising dietitian Lisa Renn.

“People often think that processed foods are cheaper, but when you fill your shopping trolley with fresh produce, you save money.” And you won’t just pocket the savings on your groceries – as well as eating better, you’ll save by being fit and healthy. Here’s how.

Food

Pack your lunch
Whether you make a salad or take a container of healthy leftovers, a packed lunch is a slim person’s number-one rule. It can help keep your daily allowance under control and you could cut your spending by half if you work full time.
You’ll save: $7 a day ($1827 a year)

Cut down on waste
Write a shopping list and plan to use up all ingredients so you don’t end up binning food. “The average person wastes about $600 a year on food they throw away,” explains sports scientist Andrew Cate. “The more organised you are, the more likely you are to eat well.”
You’ll save: $600 a year

Reduce your portions
"If you cut back your portion size by five per cent, you’ll reduce your kilojoule intake by five per cent and your food bill by five per cent – it’s so simple,” explains Cate.
You’ll save: $10 a week on your grocery shopping ($520 a year)

Drink more water
It’s amazing how much money you can save by simply swapping your coffees, juices or soft drinks for a glass of free tap water.
You’ll save: $3 a day ($1095 a year) by cutting out one daily coffee or soft drink

Lose the booze
Say no to a glass of wine, and the savings to your wallet and your waistline will be significant. Be designated driver and you’ll save taxi fare!
You’ll save: $44 a week ($2288 a year) if you have two glasses a week rather than six.

Fresh is best
You can save money and your food budget by switching from packaged food to fresher versions. For example:
Oven baked potatoes 150g = 58¢ vs. Crisps per 50g = $1.11
Rolled oats per 40g = 13¢ vs. McDonald’s Sausage & Egg McMuffin = $3.65
Cooked skinless chicken breasts per 100g = $1.20 vs. Frozen chicken nuggets per 100g = $1.35
Apple per 50g = 20¢ vs. Mars Bar per 50g = $1

Fitness

Walk or ride
Forget forking out for petrol or a bus fare – hop on your bike or walk to work and you’ll save some serious coin.
You’ll save: $32 a day ($8352 a year) if you used to drive 5km to and from work five days a week. This factors in car costs, petrol and parking.

Workout with a friend
Split the cost of a personal trainer with a friend and get the extra push without the big bill.
You’ll save: $25 a week ($1300 a year), based on a $50 one-on-one personal training session per week.

Follow our Fitness Plans
You don’t have to shell out big bucks for a gym membership – your body is ample weight for building strength. Check out our Fitness Hub and if you're a member you can log in, take our quick quiz and find a plan that suits you.
You’ll save: $20 a week ($1040 per year) on a gym membership.

Play with your kids
Instead of taking your kids to the movies, take them to the park. “Kick a ball, fl y a kite or throw a frisbee,” suggests Cate. “These fun activities have you doing something active instead of sitting in a chair.”
You’ll save: $47 per movie (price of a family ticket).

General health

Fewer visits to the Dr.
Obesity can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnoea and back pain, so overweight people tend to spend a lot more on GPs and health specialists.
You’ll save:

No more pain
Not only can weight loss help you banish back and knee pain, but fewer trips to the physio will free up your funds.
You’ll save: $75 per physio visit.

Medication reduction
According to Dr Frank Jones, vice-president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, weight loss can cure type 2 diabetes, and reduce blood pressure, back pain and many other health conditions, which makes for considerable savings on medication.
You’ll save: $73.80 per month ($885.60 a year), according to the Heart Foundation, if you’re on medication for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.