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Saving on Low Carb Diets

26 Sep

My husband is fat.

It’s blunt. And I put it out there. But it’s true. And he’s the first to say it.

My husband has been overweight since I met him many years ago. In fact, when he used to stand on his Wii Board to work out using Wii Fit, it would tell him he was technically considered obese. If you look at him, you probably wouldn’t guess that, but according to his BMI, he is obese. (Please don’t forget that BMI is not a good factor for everyone. He is a big dude.) When I first met my husband, he told me that he used to be over three hundred pounds! I could not believe it, except for the fact I caught a rare picture or two of him looking much bigger than he currently looked. He told me that he lost weight doing his own version of Atkin’s.

What Is Atkin’s?

I’m sure you have already heard of Atkin’s, which is a low carbohydrate diet that is supposed to induce rapid weight loss by reducing your intake of carbohydrates and stimulating ketosis. His intent was to merely use this as a launch pad to eventually transition into another phase of eating, which Atkin’s is supposed to let you do.

Why Atkin’s?

My husband eventually stopped losing weight and once he transitioned off of Atkin’s, put some of the weight he lost back on—approximately thirty pounds. After almost two years of struggling to lose LITERALLY a single pound, he decided to go back on Atkin’s as a lifestyle choice, not just a short-term diet. He decided to do this upon our return from vacation and he has already lost over five pounds, which makes us both very happy.

Here is the thing about my husband: he eats less than I do, he eats better than I do and he works out anywhere from three to four days a week. Here is the thing about me: I eat like crap, I eat all insane hours of the day/night and never work out. I’ve never been overweight. He has always been overweight. I have never, ever seen someone struggle as much as him to lose a single pound. It breaks my heart and almost seems a little unfair that I could sit down with a Slurpee and chips while he chomps on a salad and the end results stay the same.  He has an insane amount of self-control when it comes to eating, whereas I do not. It seems that for whatever reason, his body only responds to his version of Atkin’s. He has been restricting himself to 30 g of carbohydrates a day, which I could NEVER do.

Atkin’s – Not a Friend of Your Wallet

If you look up a list of foods that are low in carbohydrates, you will find that list incredibly small. Atkin’s severely limits what you can eat. In fact, I had to make a list of things that I could purchase from the store for my guy and that list was quite short. I have to look up recipes so that he can get some variety in his diet.

This means that your ability to shop sales is also quite limited. So what can you do?

1. Make an All-Encompassing List First

The first thing I did was list everything, within reason, that was low in carbohydrates that my husband could eat. Depending on the carbohydrate limit for the day and what foods you like, this can vary a bit. Generally, your list will include meat, fish, cheese, eggs and certain vegetables. My husband needs to still get in some carbs everyday, especially because he goes to the gym, so he limits himself to the lowest carbohydrate breads he can find. If you’re looking for a start, this list has a pretty good overview.

2. Find Your Sales & Stock Up

Once you know what you are looking for, start searching for your sales. Luckily, there were some decent meat sales this week and it’s even easier when the person on the low carb diet isn’t as picky of an eater as I am! Freeze as much as you can, especially if you know there won’t be another good sale for awhile.

3. Check Your Labels and Make Note for Next Time

You will find that all foods are not created equal. If you buy that fake cheese or fake hot dog crap, it is loaded with who knows what and tends to have carbs (or a bit more in carbs) than the regular stuff does. When you find something that is low in carbohydrates, such as a certain brand of bread or snacks, make note of the item so that you’ll be able to pick up the item again next time. I have seen nearly identical looking things vary greatly in carbs.

4. Make Meal Plans Wisely

In order to make the most of your food, you really need to look into low carbohydrate recipes. After awhile, if you just eat burgers wrapped in lettuce, you’re going to get tired of them.  If you have ground beef or turkey, try to find as many recipes as you can using those ingredients. Simply Google recipes and start writing them down!

 

Have you found changing your lifestyle and how you eat to be difficult on your wallet? Do costs prohibit you from eating the way that you want?

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When a Cheap Person Wants to Exercise…

25 May

When I was a kid, I used to be fairly active. I would play outside all summer long. Gym, like many kids, was my favorite period of the day. I would spend my entire summer playing tennis multiple times a week for hours a day. Sometimes I found myself on softball teams. Summation: Good stuff.

Then…

I got older. Why does this happen? There was no one left to play tennis with and I couldn’t get enough people interested in playing a game of softball. I found myself sitting in front of the TV more and more. I was always studying for an exam. There were no more athletic activities for this old soul.

Years go by and I am still lazy. I am thankful for the genes that have allowed me to stay on the thinner side while I continue to stuff my face. To be fair I am not as thin or toned as I was in high school but I am no where near being overweight either. Go me?

Every once in awhile I get this crazy idea in my head that I want to exercise. Yeah! I want to be in shape. I want to get rid of these love handles. I want to tone up. Of course, then you remember that you’re too cheap to join a gym and want to partake in free exercise. Maybe I need some more inspiration or maybe I want to try to figure out what I should do because I currently do nothing. Maybe that’s why I am documenting everything for you guys.

For kicks, here are my attempts (and subsequent failures) for my exercise on-the-cheap:

Jogging

One day at an old job of mine I made an astute observation—everyone who was a “runner” was a type A personality. I am not so I should have known that I would have immediately failed at this venture. Every once in a while I decide that I am, once again, going to take up running. I get the sneakers on. I get the sweatpants or other related gear on. I put the headphones in my ears. I’m off! I have an absolutely gorgeous spot to run that is right next to the water. The views are spectacular. You would think this would be nothing but inspirational.

But then again, you don’t know me.

For whatever reason, I am the queen of side stitches. No matter what I do, no matter what I try to do beforehand, I end up with side stitches. Sometimes I try to jog through them. Other times the pain is so bad that I have to stop. In fact, the last time I jogged my side stitch was so bad I think I ended up tearing something behind my rib cage! (I know they can’t do anything for rib injuries but allow them to heal so I just found myself to be in pain for two weeks.) I also have a lot of trouble breathing whilst taking a jog, so much so I need to stop at times.

Thus I have failed at one of the cheapest forms of exercise—but I am sure it will make its triumphant return one day! I mean, triumphant attempt. Yeah.

Biking

I have to say I always liked being on a bike. I used to ride a bike when I was a kid. Bikes are fun.

Except I find that I have a general hatred for people on bikes.

People on bikes seem to think they can do whatever they want. Something in their way? Sure, just dart right in front of your car. They’re coming from behind? Get out of their way. There are some seriously angry people on bikes and as a result, there are some seriously angry people in cars (read: me) who find themselves behind these bikers.

Now I have had bad knees since I was about thirteen. I did ride a bike on occasion after the age of thirteen but not very often. One day a couple of years ago I got a bike from my grandma’s basement and brought it to my apartment. “I don’t want to jog. I want to ride the bike. Much easier!”

Words of infamy, my friends.

I started off well. I biked down to that same beautiful landscape that I can run on—it has a bike path as well. At first, all seems to be going well. And then I realize it’s happening—the knee pain. I think that I can bike through it. I keep going. I get to a point not too terribly far that I realize the knee pain is overwhelming.

I can only describe this pain as someone is violently stabbing me in the knees. Repeatedly.

You see, I have found that biking must bother my knees far more than anything else because they are essentially completely bent when I am biking. Something about this really hurts the old joints. I took a breather. I sat down for a few minutes. “I’m ready to bike back,” I thought. This thought process was so successful that I ended up walking my bike halfway home.

The Result of Failed Ventures

I don’t know about you, but I foresee myself attempting to jog or bike in the near future.