First Person: I Spent $100 to Jump Start My Diet

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According to a report published by ABC News in May 2012, Americans spend around $20 billion dollars a year trying to lose weight. The report went on to say that the money was spent on things like diet books, diet medications, weight loss surgeries, and other methods.

My husband and I recently began dieting, and one month in we now have a clearer idea of how dieting will affect us financially. For the most part I've found that dieting has been a positive thing for both our health and finances. Eating less food means buying less food, which means we are spending less on groceries. In the first month we saved $60 on food alone. However, there were some items I purchased to help me stay on track with my diet and exercise plan. Here are the three dieting tools I bought, and what they cost me.

Food scale

The first step of our dieting plan was to start monitoring our daily calorie intake. We decided to take advantage of a free online service that lets us record our daily food, and calculates our total calories; however, we ran into some trouble when trying to gauge portion size. In order to get an accurate total we purchased a food scale from the local big-box store. The scale I bought weighs items up to five pounds, and cost $15.

New running shoes

Last year a family member decided to get rid of their gym equipment, and since it was in great condition my husband and I gladly took it. One of the items we were given was a treadmill, and I've decided to use it as a part of my exercise routine. Since we don't wear outside shoes inside the house I needed a new pair of running shoes. I decided to splurge on a new pair, and they ended up costing me $60.

Heart rate monitor

After doing some research, I learned my ideal heart rate when exercising is between 102 beats per minute and 158 beats per minute. I also learned that it's important to monitor my rate to ensure I'm getting the most out of my workouts. Our treadmill is older, so it doesn't have all the new gadgets some of the newer models have, which meant I had to buy a heart rate monitor. I was able to find a great monitor online for $25.

All told, I've spent $100 on items needed to help with my current diet. However, since we've already saved $60 on groceries, the money will balance itself out in less than two months.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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