Losing weight can be hard and eating healthy can be expensive. With thorough wisdom and discipline, you can be your dietician and personal trainer by making small lifestyle changes, you can save a lot of money and make the habit of healthy eating more affordable and sustainable. Here is a list of things you can follow to save money while eating healthy and nutritious foods.
What is a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet consists of whole foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, and whole grains. It’s important to avoid processed foods that are high in sugar and fat. Plus, it’s better for your body if you eat smaller meals throughout the day than three large ones.
In other words, a healthy diet is not about doing without foods you love or keeping yourself thin. Rather, it is about eating healthy meals and being energized, feeling healthy, and raising your spirits.
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be hard. Whether or not you’re overwhelmed by all the differing nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. Every expert that comes up to you is going to have an opposite point of view on a certain food’s effects on your health, but at the end of the day, it is your diet as a whole that matters most. The cornerstone of a healthy diet should be to swap out processed food for natural food. Natural food, because it contains fewer calories and is also close to what the earth has produced which can significantly affect how you look and feel.
When following these basic rules, you’ll have an easy time creating and sticking to a healthy diet. It will taste great, offer plenty of variety, and be just as good for your body as it is for your mind.
The Fundamentals of Healthy Eating
There are many simple ways you can eat a healthier diet and lose weight without breaking the bank. Here are some of the most important things you should know about eating healthfully on a budget.
To maintain a healthy body, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diet. It is not necessary to eliminate particular categories of unhealthy foods from your diet. Instead, choose the healthiest options from each.
One source of dietary fiber is eating food with fewer calories like fruit and vegetables, grains, nuts and beans. All of this has many health benefits, from regularity to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. As a side effect, it can improve the condition of your skin, and help you lose weight.
Protein provides you with the stamina to go and keep going and support mood and cognitive function. Protein can harm people with kidney disease but recent research has shown that many of us need more of it especially as we age. There’s no need to increase your consumption of animal products to achieve your protein goals all sorts of plant-based sources of protein every day can guarantee that your body has the nutrients it needs.
Too little calcium can result in more than osteoporosis–depression, anxiety, and poor sleep are other side effects. Regardless of your age or gender, it’s crucial to include calcium-rich foods in your diet, cut back on calcium-depleting foods, and have a balanced intake of vitamins D and K.
Not all fats are the same. While unhealthy fats may wreck your diet and contribute to diseases like diabetes and heart disease, good kind of fats, such as Omega 3s, promote a healthy heart and brain and keep us feeling happy and motivated. Consuming healthy fats may help improve your mood, boost your well-being, and even reduce your waistline.
Most carbs should come from complex, unrefined carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruit) rather than sugar and refined carbs. By cutting back on white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar, you will prevent quick, rapid spikes in blood sugar, mood fluctuations, and an increase in weight around your waistline.
Why do we Crave Junk Food?
It’s no secret that we all love junk food. The salty, crunchy, sweet treats are the perfect fuel for times of stress and boredom. But eating too much junk food can lead to obesity and other health problems down the road.
Food scientist Steven Witherly has spent the last 20 years studying how certain foods make people addicted. This article is based on his excellent report, Why Humans Like Junk Food.
Two factors contribute to the pleasure of eating tasty food, according to Witherly.
Food sensations include tastes (salty, sweet, umami, etc. ), smells, and how they feel in the mouth. The last quality, referred to as “or sensation,” is very important. Food companies will spend millions to develop potato chips with the perfect crunch. For your brain to associate a particular food or drink with a particular sensation, food scientists will test for the right amount of fizzle in a soda.
The second factor is the food’s macronutrient composition – the ratio of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. As for junk food, food manufacturers strive to combine salt, sugar, and fat in a way that entices the brain and keeps it coming back for more.
Budget-Friendly Sources Of Protein
Protein does not have to always come from meat. Since most meat can be expensive, look for affordable protein sources for meals. Protein-rich foods like eggs, lentils, and legumes contain fiber and protein. This combo is very satiating. Protein-rich foods like quinoa, tofu, tempeh, teff, cottage cheese, and yogurt are also some excellent choices. Also, consume lots of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits like guava, avocado, apricots, jackfruit, kiwi, and raisins, berries like blackberries, and raspberries are some rich sources of protein. You can also opt for plant-based protein. Some protein-rich sources of plant-based protein are lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, pinto beans, lima beans, green beans, and mung beans. Moreover, dry raw beans cost you much less than canned beans. These fruits and vegetables are cheap and filling. Plus, you can save money.
Pump up the Water
Let water be your go-to beverage. This calorie-free drink quenches thirst without adding up calories. When 60% of our body is composed of water, then our body needs lots of it to function properly. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. If you don’t like it plain, drink infused water with your favorite fruits and herbs. Replacing the morning coffee or a soda with zero-calorie water can save money between 2 to 5 dollars a day. Which sums to a whopping 60 to 150 dollars a month.
Drink herbal teas which add some refreshing flavor. You can pluck some fresh herbs or flowers to make herbal teas. Lemon tea, green tea, ginger tea, cumin tea, hibiscus tea, and peppermint tea are some of the popular options for you to try. Make sure to not add any sweeteners as this will add up a lot of calories.
Try Natural Fat Burners
Fat burners have always been a debatable topic. But these natural supplements are here to help you for sure. These natural supplements can boost your metabolism, lower fat absorption, and increase energy expenditure by burning more fat for fuel. Natural supplements like caffeine, green tea extract, and green coffee bean extract are some great choices. Soluble fibers like glucomannan and psyllium husk are great too.
A type of omega-6 fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid is known to cause modest weight loss. Garcinia cambogia is a popular supplement to lose weight. It is made from the extracts of garcinia gummi-gutta fruit. The high amounts of HCA are linked to weight loss. Invest in any of these that fit your budget.
Meal Plan for Weight Loss
A meal plan can be a potent tool if you aim to lose weight. If done right, meal plans can help you curate a perfect calorie-deficit diet along with keeping it nutrition-dense. Planning it can also make the process simpler and save you time. Include plenty of proteins and fiber, as this will keep you fuller for a longer time, and they also reduce cravings.
Limit sugar, salty, deep-fried, and processed foods. They are low in nutrients and rich in calories. Eat fewer calories by filling one-third of the plate with non-starchy vegetables and rich in fiber and water. Fill the rest one-third of the plate with meat, eggs, fish, and tofu. Lastly, add healthy fats like olives, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Easy Recipe Ideas for a Healthy Meal
Soups are easy to cook and can be frozen in individual portions. Make sure to add lots of veggies, quinoa, eggs, meat, and lentils. Make a pizza with a whole grain wheat crust, and add your favorite toppings along with meat, sauce, and seasonings. Salads can be a great choice to lose weight. Experiment with a variety of dressings, toppings, whole grains, sprouts, nuts, and seeds.
Make fresh fruit smoothies without adding extra sugar. Drink lots of fresh fruit juice. Try grain bowls that are rich in nutritional value, batch-cooked grains like brown rice and quinoa, topped with dressing, and proteins such as eggs, chicken, and veggies.
This is a Buddhist concept based on mindfulness. It helps you gain control over your eating pattern and habits. It has been proven to promote weight loss, curb binge eating, and combat eating disorders. It is a form of meditation that helps you cope with physical sensations and emotions. Mindful eating is a state of full attention to your cravings, experiences, and physical cues while eating.
Mindful eating involves differentiating between true hunger and non-hunger triggers, engaging your senses like smell, color, and texture of food. It promotes eating slowly without distractions, responding to physical hunger cues, and eating only until you are full.
Mindful eating can help you recognize physical hunger and fullness cues. So, one can differentiate between emotional, true, and physical hunger. Research shows mindful eating reduces food cravings, body mass index, and body weight.
Make your Protein Bars
Protein bars can cost you an arm and leg. You do not have to spend so much on them when you can make one at home for a much lesser price. If you prepare protein bars by yourself you will certainly save a good amount of money. All you need is nuts and seeds that are rich in protein like almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, raisins, pinenuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and some dates.
You can make granola bars, oatmeal bars, dry fruit nut bars, and protein clusters. By making your protein bar you know what you are consuming while also saving a lot of money. Find help from your mom or Martha Stewart for DIY protein bar recipes
Home Cooked Food
Cooking at home can save you a good amount of money. An average American eats out four to five times a week. This is equal to 18.2 commercially prepared meals. And this can cost you an arm and leg without coming to our notice. Simply put, cooking at home is more economical than dining out. A family of four can be fed for the same price of food that feeds one or two at a restaurant.
Make a habit to eat home-cooked food and avoid eating out in the nick of time. Meal prep is a great way to save time. You can cook for the entire week on the weekends or cook fresh meals once a day. However, keep in mind that pre-sliced or pre-cooked foods cost a lot more. By doing the prep work by yourself, you can save a lot of money. So meal prep is an easy way to cook at home. By cooking yourself, you can have control over the ingredients, which otherwise is not possible when consuming at a restaurant.
Cut down on Saturated Fat and Sugar
You need fats in your diet, but it is important to understand the amount and type of fats you’re eating. Saturated and unsaturated fats are two main categories of fats. Foods with too much-saturated fat can elevate the cholesterol in your blood, putting you at risk for heart disease. Men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat in a day. Women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. Compared to adults, children under 11 should consume fewer saturated fats.
Many foods contain saturated fat, such as sausages, butter, cakes, biscuits, lard, and cuts of meat that are fattening.
Eat unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats, like vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish, and avocados. Replace butter, lard, or ghee with vegetable, olive, or reduced-fat oils. If you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and trim off any visible fat. Because fat is high in energy, it should only be consumed in small quantities.