One way to really tighten up your budget and generate a multitude of other life and money-saving benefits, of course, is to tighten up your diet. Now overall, what and how much you eat is the most important thing of all when it comes to meeting your physical and financial goals. Simply put, if you eat more you will spend more, and if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. And vice versa. That is the crux of it all, simple. How you get there is up to you really, but here’s a bit on some of my own findings.
The main way I make sure I don’t eat too much and therefore spend too much is by skipping breakfast. In 2016 I heard about “Bulletproof Coffee” right in and around the time I heard of fasting as a modern practice and, in particular, intermittent fasting. There are various benefits to fasting depending on the type, and high-fat diets such as the ketogenic diet are emerging as very popular as we move past the confusion created by the misnomer and double entendre of the word ‘fat’. But above-all, to me, it was what allowed me to justify skipping breakfast as I have never had much of an appetite in the mornings, especially early. I’m usually up well before the sun to either surf or work, and now that I know I can just add some fat (clean butter or ghee and coconut or mct oil) to my coffee and blend (if you’re so inclined to froth), I feel free to get out into the world knowing that the coffee will keep me going for hours. The fat keeps you feeling satiated (full) and feeds your brain the much-needed energy it requires to function at its best.
The idea that waking up and filling ourselves with sugary grains (aka ‘cereal’) and empty carbs (aka ‘bananas’) first thing in the morning is dying. Starting your day like this keeps your body running on these sugars and begging for another hit the minute it starts to run low. Eating one or two meals per day, or sporadically within a window of 6-8 hours each day, allows your body to reach homeostasis in between meals. Eating higher fat diets and only fats during your fasting periods allows the body to adjust to using ketones for energy from time-to-time instead of glycogen (carbs). This way, when you do run low on fuel from your food later in the day or while entering your 4th hour of your morning out and about pursing the activity of your choice (remember, you’re going to be retired soon) you don’t get hangry, or desperately hungry enough to buy ($$$) a sugary snack to tie you over for the next 20 minutes until you get home and can enjoy your healthy, well-rounded, affordable lunch (that you’ve already paid for anyway when you got the groceries so don’t waste).
Now, do you love breakfast way too much to skip it? Is this all unfathomable to you? That’s OK. It’s more about demonstrating some little things I’ve found along the way that I find helpful and that suit me, but you gotta do you, and the point is to find out what works for you. Maybe you skip lunch? Or eat little in the afternoon/evenings? Where I live, most of the people eat sparsely through the day and have huge meals at 9pm just before going to sleep, which isn’t recommended in most fitness and weight-loss circles, but that’s OK. The bottom line is that if you live active, eat good food (and not too much of it) your general fitness will take care of itself and, by extension, so will your budget (or is it the other way around?).
The most important notion I am trying to get across is that it is important to question norms. We buy diamonds for weddings because DeBeers made it a societal norm. We smoked in cars with our children because it was a societal norm. We ate three starchy, environmentally unfriendly and unsustainable meals per day because it was a societal norm. We worked the majority of our lives to pay for things we didn’t actually need and couldn’t actually afford because it was a societal norm. But none of these norms are based on sound fact and judgement. And none of these norms are necessities. And none of these norms need live-on.
All you really have to do to break free of these norms is to recognize them for what they are, develop your own path (the easy part) and execute that plan consistently (the harder part). Money. Diet. Fitness. Love. Life. That’s it.