The Bottom Line

“If you eat less, you spend less.”

With all my jabbering, this summer about the west and everything that is wrong with it… (There is a lot of good too, but I’m trying to make a point.)  The reality across cultures and across time is that being financially affluent usually leads to big guts. (Henry the 8th) So the trick is to not allow your prosperity to punch you in the gut. (intentional)

Examples:  My wife and I have moved to Boston. It is an expensive city, but not our food. We buy vegetables, fruits, some eggs and Salsa and do so every couple of days. We eat it all up and we don’t throw anything out. I will add we are a 10-minute walk from the grocery store, so we have been less concerned with having to shop for an entire week. We are not buying any junk food there. We are working hard at keeping the lessons learned in Africa and are being more Stoic in our lifestyle.  The caveat being we are not in Africa. Within a 10-minute walk (or train ride) we have a craft brewery, rum distillery, Chinese, Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Ethiopian and Brazilian food. There’s more; like 5 Irish Pubs and all their grub, and I’ve lost count with the pizza shops (Italian).  The point is that we are surrounded by opportunity and temptation. We had to create rules. I will admit it helps I’m working every day of the week. But here are the rules. Veggie trays, fruit, eggs during the week.  We get two date nights on the weekends and on one of those nights it is usually Asian, or Latin cuisine.  They just happen to be inexpensive spots here in Dorchester. The other night tends to be a couple slices of pizza from the joint a block away.  We are both practicing intermittent fasting and I am enjoying my coffee. This all has kept our grocery bill modest and our overall expenses on food minimal. The result. We are leaning up again. Yesterday I went to a fast food joint called Qdoba. It’s Mexican. It’s fast. Their Burritos are amazing. They are also 1400 calories. I bought one. I ate half in the restaurant for my lunch/brunch/first meal of the day. I took the other half with me into work. I ate the second half on my dinner break. The burrito was $9.00. Each meal only cost me $4.50. I don’t recommend Qdoba Burritos every day, even if you remove the wrap and just do the burrito bowl like I did, but if that is what you ate, and you only ate one whole Burrito a day, every day, your monthly food budget would be under $300.00 dollars. Obviously shopping at the grocery store would be even cheaper.

Now that I am working as a Personal Trainer at a commercial gym.  I am meeting with clients and going through the their “Needs Assessment” establishing how I can help them best and sell my services to them. It’s Boston, so I’m not cheap. But it is also Boston so a lot of these members are spending a lot on food.

I think you can imagine what I am telling my potential clients. If they took an honest hard look at how much they wasted on non-nutritious junk food and eating out at relatively expensive places (along with alcoholic beverages etc.) I think they would be easily able to take that money and instead of spending it on food that went directly to their waistlines, instead take that surplus and follow the advice from “The Richest Man in Babylon” or put it towards a holiday, or buy books or do courses online.  Or maybe spend that money having a qualified and competent Coach crush their soul.  By not buying the extra and unnecessary food. Weight loss will almost be a certainty. Spending the surplus on personal growth and development is just a wonderful bonus.

If you are looking to lose weight; here is the homework. Look at how much you are eating. This time let’s not look at the calories, but the actual money spent (yes, I see the monetary loophole but work with me.) and look to reduce what you are buying and how much you are spending as well as what you could purchase differently that would be far more nutritious and still far less expensive. Then look at your left-over cash and see where that could go instead. That surplus could be used to either pay off credit cards, or get put into savings, or into your Retirement plan. Or you will be able to hire a trainer/coach like myself.