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Home > Weight and budget, are they the same?

Weight and budget, are they the same?

April 9th, 2013 at 08:22 am

When someone is unhappy with their finances, the key is to track carefully, do the budget, and not spend more than you bring in.

When someone has a weight issue, the key is to track the intake and outgo and not eat more than you can expend. Identical concepts.

Going over what you can afford by just a little bit on a regular basis gets you into trouble.

If you want to eat more than your calorie budget allows, you can work on increasing your allowance through exercise. It is like getting extra income on the side.

But why is is that someone who has no problem with the one, often cannot do the same with the other?

The willpower that extends to not buying that purse often fails when it comes to fries. Is it simply that one wants fries more than one wants a new purse?

9 Responses to “Weight and budget, are they the same?”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    It's partly willpower, but it's also that it's more difficult to quantify calories than prices. If you're eating nothing but frozen dinners, then yes, the calorie total is right on the package. But we cook from scratch, lots of different meals, so it's more time-consuming and complex than checking a price tag. Then there are times when you're eating out.

    Where the willpower part comes in is that if you have a plate of delicious food in front of you, you may have to stop halfway through. Saving money is about discrete purchases that you avoid; not about only buying half a coat or whatever!

    But, that said, I've managed to use the same basic "budgeting" technique to get to my ideal weight! So it's harder, but by no means impossible. I'm now a big fan of calorie counting (calories burned as well as consumed) because this has been my smoothest and most consistent weight loss and maintenance period of my life.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I don't think either weight or budget is ever quite that simplistic. That is my answer. Being in a family full of eating disorders, by some miracle I Escaped unscathed with a very healthy mindset... We are all different shapes and sizes and not *everyone* can diet their way to a size 6, nor should there be so much pressure to. & I think the same is kind of true of finances - we all have our own "natural sweet spot" and advantages and disadvantages. This is why our weights and budgets and savings will always be different sizes, and that is okay.

    I personally find "dieting" works well for me financially but would probably never go on a food diet. Why? Because it's a sure way to screw up your metabolism and get frustrated and to increase your weight for the long-run. I approach physical health very differently, and that is watching many loved ones screw up their bodies with dieting over the years.

  3. Nika Says:

    We do not eat frozen meals EVER. That is not food in my opinion.

    And tracking calories is not that hard after a while. You need a food scale and an some tools, like MFPs food tracker.
    Calculating a home cooked meal is not hard at all. The challenge is only in going out. As far as it being time consuming, it gets a lot faster with experience.

    Also, if you are on track with your savings and budget, sure, you don't need to log every dollar to see where it is going. But if your debt is growing, you just need to bite the bullet and track it, no matter how time consuming you think that is. Same applies to weight and calories. If you are fine with your weight, no need to spend time on that. But if you are not, "time consuming" or not, that's what has to be done.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    P.S. I was put on a strict diet to *gain weight* when I was 17 and was unable to succeed, much to the frustration of my Doctors. More calories did not equal weight gain. The body just doesn't 100% work like that. If I cut my expenses and increase my income I will 100% succeed financially. IT's very different, to me.

  5. Nika Says:

    MonkeyMama, sure, human body is far more complex than a "calorie-in calorie-out" sum. There are many factors in play. However, 99% of people get overweight by consuming more calories than they expand on a regular basis.

  6. tasha123 Says:

    awesome comparision truly in terms of economics studies they are really same great deal of thought here if you have less capital invest less to get maximum out of it connecting it withj our health is greatly done here ...hats off

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    Right, we don't eat frozen meals either. That was my point.

    Sure it gets easier, but you can't convince me that weighing/recording all the nutrients in a meal and dividing by portion is ever going to be as easy as looking at a price tag! Big Grin Plus, it's easier to just not spend; you ALWAYS have to eat, several times a day.

    That said, it worked for me. You just have to be willing to put in the effort. And now, I have a pretty good feel for how it feels to eat the right amount of food in a day, so I only count calories if I go above my ideal weight. I've been pretty much on track since last fall, with only a few slip-ups!

  8. MissAngel Says:

    I have been hearing lately that willpower is like a muscle--which gets stronger with use, but also gets "tired." I sometimes think if I'm really good at money and denying myself things I want financially, it tires out the muscle that tells me to stay away from the french fries.

    Also, sometimes losing weight means spending money to lose the weight. I'm thinking of "wasting" food instead of eating it, for example. Sometimes, you do need to spend money to lose weight. Yes, it is possible to lose weight on the cheap. No, you don't need a gym membership or weight watchers. However, if the gym membership and weight watchers are what work for you--then I figure I'd better spend the money on the way to keep my weight in check than to say "I shouldn't spend money on it."

    Some "food" seems cheap now (it's only $2 for those fries), but we can't figure out the cost of how much those fries could cost us later in health issues. We are a very immediate society. If every time you ate french fries there was an immediate negative consequence, you would stop eating the french fries. With money, we see the money leave our wallet. With a purse, we see that the purse is say, $20 or $200. But the fries are only $2. Doesn't seem like much of a hit.

    This is written from a woman that LOVES french fries. Love them. I could eat them for dinner every single night--and sometimes that is all I'll order in a restaurant. Wink

  9. EarlyRetirementJoy Says:

    In thinking about this (which I have since this post first went up a month ago) I have to say I do see many similarities. Both require self awareness and discipline on an ongoing basis.

    We've had the financial part pretty much nailed for years, however that doesn't mean the urge to let money slip through our fingers doesn't arise on a regular basis. It does! The same is true with maintaining my weight - the urge to have just one more 'whatever' also still arises on a fairly regular basis. In both cases, it's in my best interest to withstand the urges and let them pass.

    With regard to weight, it really is as simple as Nika has presented. Calories in vs calories out will always prevail. If you think it's not that simple, diligently track your eating and activity in a website such as SparkPeople.com for a few days and see for yourself.

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