Millions of people start a diet every day with the hopes of losing anywhere from 2 or three pounds to as many as 100 pounds or more depending on individual circumstances. One common thread, however, is the cost of food. This is particularly true if one is following a specific diet plan that calls for special foods or supplements. Sometimes it may feel that the only thing that is shrinking is your wallet. How to diet on a budget can become very important if you have a significant amount of weight to lose or if you simply want to eat better on less money. It can be done! Let’s find out how you can shrink your body and not your wallet.
1. Learn to love beans.
Beans in all forms are an excellent source of protein, iron and fiber. They contain very little fat and sodium. Beans are very versaitle and can be used in addition to meat to stretch the meal or as a meat replacement. Use beans with whole grains such as brown rice to make a complete protein source.
2. Peanut butter is your friend.
Peanut butter is very inexpensive. It is high in protein and mono-saturated fats, which are both very good for you. However, if you are going to get the most nutrition for your money, do not buy the regular commercial peanut butter because it is made with partially or fully hydrogenated fat. Hydrogenated fat clogs your arteries and causes heart disease. Buy only all natural peanut butter. Dieting on a budget is only cheap if it increases your health.
3. Buy seasonal fruit and veggies.
Seasonal fruit in 3 or 5 pound bags is one of the cheapeast ways to keep fresh fruit on hand. Fresh fruit is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed by the body for repair and good health. Fruit is also an excellent source of healthy carbs and fiber. the same may be said for vegetables. Buy what is fresh and in season to get the lowest price. Another option when dieting on a budget is to buy frozen vegetables. Frozen veggies are the next best thing to fresh and are similar to fresh in vitamin and mineral content.
4. Buy only lean protein.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but since meat is the most expensive part of the grocery budget, the temptation to buy products like bologna or hot dogs because of the price is real. You should resist the temptation because processed meat products are generally full of artery clogging fat, preservatives and sodium. They are nutritional disasters. Spend your money on turkey breast, chicken breast, ground round or ground sirloin.
5. Eat more eggs.
Eggs are a source of complete protein and the standard by which all other protein sources are judged. Although the medical community has warned us not to consume more than 3 or 4 eggs per week, that advice is for whole eggs only. For weight loss and general health, you should eat the egg whites only. When dieting on a budget, consider that you can purchase 5 dozen eggs for under $4.00 in many places. Egg white omelets can be eaten for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Get creative!
Dieting on a budget is easier than most people think. All it takes is a bit of creativity and a willingness to put forth a little effort. Remember that processed foods are not going to increase your health. The best diet consists of fresh, whole foods as close as possible to their natural state. Keep these 5 tips in mind on your next trip to the grocery store and shrink your body, not your wallet.