I've started eating healthier and losing weight without spending a fortune thanks to an unlikely ally: Costco

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  • Intermittent fasting is a diet protocol that primarily consists of fasting for 16 hours a day and restricting your caloric intake to an eight-hour window.
  • With its low prices and bulk food products, Costco allowed me to realize my full intermittent fasting potential by simplifying the way I prepare and eat meals.
  • For me, intermittent fasting has been a great way to lose weight, improve my overall health, and save money.
  • You can use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi to earn 2% back on eligible in-store and online Costco purchases, including food.

Late last year, I realized I needed to make a number of changes in my life related to food and diet. I made a simple list of my goals:

  • Spend less money
  • Eat healthier and consume more plant-based foods
  • Have more structure in my diet
  • Lose weight

After some research and experimentation, I realized that all of these goals could be achieved through intermittent fasting, a diet protocol that restricts your eating window to eight hours a day. You choose a window when you'd like to eat, such as 9 am to 5 pm, and you fast the rest of the day.

While this diet has worked for me, it's not right for everyone. You should always consult with your doctor before beginning any sort of diet or exercise regimen, including intermittent fasting.

How Costco helped me achieve my intermittent fasting goals

Spending less money

My diet and budget have long suffered because of my schedule - I was always running out the door first thing in the morning, then splurging on breakfast at a cafe or coffee shop.

I realized I would have to change my behavior and start meal-prepping if I wanted to get on the intermittent fasting train, something that Costco's bulk deals seem designed for.

I started out slow and easy with overnight oats. A five-pound box of Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned Oatmeal from Costco could last me almost two months, and cost just under $10. Carbs have proven key to keeping me full and feelings of food deprivation at bay.

Later, I bought a six-quart Instant Pot pressure cooker for $90 and started using it to make quinoa, lentils, and rice every morning, which I could also take with me for lunch in a Tupperware.

Having such heavy food in a short, eight-hour window meant that I didn't have room (or the desire) for a lot of costly snacking.

Get 2% cash back on eligible Costco purchases with the Costco Anywhere Visa. See Business Insider's review of the Costco Anywhere Visa card for more »

Eating healthier and more plant-based

I realized I needed to start eating more plant-based meals, but I hate salads and I don't always have time to make smoothies in the morning.

I'm also very lazy about meal prep. While some spend hours each weekend cooking delicious meals and portioning them out into tupperware containers for the week, I refuse to put forth that kind of effort.

But things changed when I started paying attention to the frozen vegetable section at Costco.

A two-pound bag of organic Brussels sprouts costs only $5.99, and all I have to do to enjoy the deal is dump half a bag into my Instant Pot each morning along with my quinoa and lentils and voila, I have a healthy meal on my hands.

This habit has expanded to incorporate broccoli, cauliflower, and even frozen peas for extra protein. Most days I am fully vegan, never hungry, and for less than $10.

Have more structure in my diet, and lose weight

Since the dawn of civilization, meal time has been a cornerstone of everyone's schedules, but I've always been the type to run around and snack on whatever was available.

Intermittent fasting forced me to be more conscious about my choices, be ritualized, and plan ahead.

I've lost about 10 pounds in just a couple of months without any changes to my exercise regimen (or lack thereof), which was pretty much my goal. This feels like a lifestyle that I can maintain, and there are always things I can do to switch it up and keep it fresh.

And even more important than the actual weight loss is that I've slimmed down my credit card balance as well.

The Costco Anywhere Visa has no annual fee with a paid Costco membership: Click here to learn more about the Costco Anywhere Visa »

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