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Cheap/Free ways to lose flab

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
24 replies 8.2K views
Shoxt3rShoxt3r Forumite
77 posts
Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
Hi all,

For a while now I've been doing a combination of exercises at home which consist of:
  • Bicep curls
  • Weighted above-head lifts (from waist height)
  • Tricep behind-head drops (from over head height)
  • Seated floor to chest lifts
  • Seated on-knee to chest lifts
  • Sit-ups
  • Box press-ups (due to lack of upper body strength at the moment)

Regarding amounts I've now managed to get up to 10kg on each dumbbell, 35 sit-ups and 50 box press-ups and I do this on average 2-3 times every week with a rest day in-between to allow my muscles some recovery time. I recently bought a set of barbell/dumbbells which take me up to 30kg so that should last me a fair while I think.

I also walk during my commute (I train to London every day) which is about 1 1/2 hours in total including tube per day.

As for my diet it's fairly average - a mix of home-cooked meals, salads and some (admittedly) junk food, usually on a Friday night. I've completely cut out having bread for lunches and on weekdays have a lunch which consists of:
  • Salad - made up of fresh chicken, lettuce, spinach, celery, tomatoes, green olives and cucumber, with a spoonful of sauce for flavour
  • Cereal bar
  • Small chocolate bar
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Small packet of crisps (Fridays only)

Evening meals are usually things like lasagna, chicken pieces with potatoes and veg, and Fridays just to be a bit lazy I have freezer food (e.g. pizza, chicken goujons with ketchup/mayo).

Now the obvious thing is to completely cut out any junk food which I'm aiming to do but is there anything else I can do? My aim is to lose flab around my sides and generally tone up my stomach. I feel relatively fit in myself (fully able to do short sprints without getting too out of breath) but just want to feel a bit more comfortable, but also to be able to run around with my child when she arrives without getting too out of breath.

At the moment I'm not really willing to go to the gym - mainly because of cost but also confidence, hence why I have weights to do exercises at home. My weight is around 13 stone and I'm about 5ft 10in which for being a male puts me at a BMI of 26.

Any thoughts please?

Thanks!
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Replies

  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
    5.5K posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
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    House or flat?
    If house walk up and down the stairs.
    Sit ups and push ups.
    Walk round the park the weekends.
    Take up jogging.
    Take up running when you have gained confidence jogging.
    Swap spuds for sweet potatoes.
    Drink less beer/booze/pop.
    Don't fry food or dry fry it / grill it.
    Eat more chicken.
    Lay off pasta.

    Take your time, do it slowly and you will then get to where you want to be.
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
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    At the risk of sounding facetious, the cheapest way to lose weight is to eat less...


    Your meals sound OK to me - but what about portion size? That may be where you're stumbling. Your lunches certainly sound large to me - the salad and the cereal bar and one piece of fruit would be enough. My husband found the 5:2 diet worked well for him - it isn't for everyone, and needs to be combined with educating yourself on what exactly is a healthy diet - but it certainly works for some.



    And I think you need to add some cardio to your routine. Cycling, swimming, jogging if you must (watch the knees). Get thee to the gym for short bursts on the cardio equipment (seriously, no-one cares what you look like, they're too busy fighting their own demons).
  • WenlockWenlock Forumite
    184 posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts
    I agree with trailingspouse that in order to lose weight and body fat you need to concentrate on the food you eat.

    I assume you gave up the lunchtime bread because of the carbs? Yet everything else you eat instead, apart from the salad, is pure sugar! Fruit may be natural but it is just sugar with the addition of a bit of vitamin c.

    You might want to download a phone app to record and analyse the food you eat. I have tried a few but prefer Cronometer. You can set macro targets (fat, protein, carbs) & if you set a preference for a Keto (high healthy fat, low carb) plan it will automatically advise you how many grams of carbs etc you should be eating.

    I personally follow a carnivore diet of mostly meat, fish, eggs. At the end of summer 2018 I was 14 stone 8 pounds. Currently I am 11 stone 4 pounds. I am 6 feet tall so my BMI is fine but I don’t want to lose any more. I struggle to eat more meat than I currently have so I add cheese and cream to my diet whenever my weight drops. Obviously if I gain too much I limit my cheese.
  • zacjyeozacjyeo Forumite
    4 posts
    Hi Shoxt3r,

    As long as you are in a calorie deficit you will be able to lose weight fairly quickly.

    You are on the right track in order to lose the weight since you are in the process of cutting out the junk food. However, I think if you are able to go for runs on weekends that would help out to not get out of breath! Nothing too strenuous, just enough to get the blood pumping around your body!

    What I found which helped me lose weight was myfitnesspal. This app changed my dietary needs forever as it helped me track my macros and what I was eating. If you have any barcodes on food, you will just need to scan it and enter in your quantity size you are eating! Very simple! You can also track your weight loss journey from start to finish.

    Hope this helps!
  • jim8888jim8888 Forumite
    87 posts
    Fifth Anniversary
    Over the years I've found that focusing on exercise to lose weight can be a nightmare. The harder you work out, the hungrier you become. My biggest success recently was to loosely follow a Slimming World diet. But what I found the biggest help was to plan my weekly meals in advance, avoid sugar at all costs (which I suspect is what Slimming World actually does), and try to stay off/cut down the beer and wine (really hard that one). This, combined with regular, but not too strenuous exercise, worked for me and I found it easy to follow. A half hour in the gym or pool three or four times a week, combined with trying to average 10,000 steps a day over the week seemed to work for me. I steadily lost a pound a week, despite a regular few pints every Friday night. I was about 13st 6lb and dropped to 12st 8lb without too much bother. Although my weight then crept back up to where it was, I feel I have the solution to get it back down when it begins to bug me too much. For me, the eternal enemies are beer, biscuits and butter, but often life seems a bit dull and colourless without them!
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    3.9K posts
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    I actually think you need to do both - watch what you eat, and exercise. To put it simply, eat less to lose weight, and exercise more to keep it off.



    Apart from getting rid of the junk food, I don't believe in restricting the diet to the extent of missing out entire food groups. My personal trainer put it brilliantly - nothing's off the table, but you have to remember the size of the table. Portion control, all the way.
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Forumite
    77 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Hi all,

    Thanks very much for the helpful and supportive comments!
    I've now added a bit of cardio into my routine by doing some jogging up and down our stairs (10x up and down), upped my dumbbells to 11kg and more importantly am keeping a close eye on my diet, restricting my lunch to 1 bar, salad and a couple of pieces of fruit, and limiting my portion sizes at dinner time.

    I'm also making sure I'm drinking plenty of water throughout the day and even have a short jog in the mornings on my way to work (slowly but surely building it up - taking some time as I have quite a hefty rucksack...unless I'm running late in which case it's a series of short sprints!).

    I'm already starting to feel an improvement in my fitness and a reduction in my weight.

    Can anyone recommend a decent set of scales for use at home? The previous ones I had were Salter but were really inaccurate - my pregnant wife was getting some very odd readings and I would get readings of at least a stone off compared with my readings during health check-ups!
  • zacjyeozacjyeo Forumite
    4 posts
    Shoxt3r wrote: »
    Hi all,

    Thanks very much for the helpful and supportive comments!
    I've now added a bit of cardio into my routine by doing some jogging up and down our stairs (10x up and down), upped my dumbbells to 11kg and more importantly am keeping a close eye on my diet, restricting my lunch to 1 bar, salad and a couple of pieces of fruit, and limiting my portion sizes at dinner time.

    I'm also making sure I'm drinking plenty of water throughout the day and even have a short jog in the mornings on my way to work (slowly but surely building it up - taking some time as I have quite a hefty rucksack...unless I'm running late in which case it's a series of short sprints!).

    I'm already starting to feel an improvement in my fitness and a reduction in my weight.

    Can anyone recommend a decent set of scales for use at home? The previous ones I had were Salter but were really inaccurate - my pregnant wife was getting some very odd readings and I would get readings of at least a stone off compared with my readings during health check-ups!

    Hi there,

    I've used the weight watchers scales whenever I have been tracking my weight as they're very cheap from retailers like Argos.

    If you wanted to splash the cash a little bit, I would suggest maybe the fitbit scales because if you've got a fitbit. You can also track your bmi and body fat percentage through the scales which is very good for tracking if you're on the right way for losing weight!

    Hope this helps!
  • wesleyadwesleyad Forumite
    676 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    Shoxt3r wrote:
    I've completely cut out having bread for lunches and on weekdays have a lunch which consists of:
    • Salad - made up of fresh chicken, lettuce, spinach, celery, tomatoes, green olives and cucumber, with a spoonful of sauce for flavour
    • Cereal bar
    • Small chocolate bar
    • Apple
    • Banana
    • Orange
    • Pear
    • Small packet of crisps (Fridays only)

    Hi, am I reading this correctly, you have all of that for lunch? If so that is huge (that's about 300 cals in fruit). Or do you mean you have 1 of the fruits (in which case looks fine)

    One of the main causes for not losing weight is people thinking that fruit and fruit juices are "healthy" and therefore they can eat and drink loads. But I'm afraid at the end of the day, its calories in, your body doesn't care whether its an apple or a bar of chocolate.
  • Calorie deficit 100%

    Nutrient dense foods that fill you up. Cut out a lot of that fruit. Berries for fruit if needs be.

    Intermittent fasting.
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