Everyone knows the rules when you want to eat on a budget: eat home-cooked meals, buy food items in bulk when necessary, and buy foods that are in season. It is a common misconception that healthy foods are expensive and cheap foods relate to Ramen noodles.
While it is true that some healthy foods are expensive, many unhealthy foods are also expensive. Eating healthy food need not be costly. You simply need to know what to buy. You can eat healthy food and lose weight while on a budget.
You do not need to spend much money to lose weight. Gone are the days when losing weight fast equated to having a fat wallet. Many cheap foods can help you shed some pounds.
These days many healthy foods are cheap and many expensive foods that are packed with calories that can make you gain weight.
Just because you are on a budget does not mean that you cannot lose weight by eating healthy foods.
Tips that can Help you Lose Weight and Spend Less
Cooking at home and in bulk can help you save a lot of dollars, especially when you are used to eating out. Cooking your food not only saves time and costs cheaper, it can also allow you to monitor the calories, ingredients, and portion sizes of your meals. Not sure how to do it?
Buy Foods in Season
Know what foods are in the season, especially if you are going to buy fresh produce. Out of season, foods are more expensive. In the summer, try berries, broccoli, salad greens, and tomatoes. Butternut squash, Brussels sprout, turnips, kiwis, kale, and tangerine are cheaper in winter. Cauliflower, asparagus, and spinach are light on your pocket in the spring.
Buy Frozen Foods
Frozen foods are always a great buy whether or not you are on a budget. Frozen foods contain the same nutrients as fresh vegetables but are cheaper. When you are trying to lose weight, veggies are helpful because they are high in fiber and low in calories.
Foods high in fiber makes you feel fuller longer so you will not crave for an in-between snack meal.
Pre-made Meals- in the Bin
Pre-made foods are convenient. They are, however, not too healthy. They are expensive, too. Eating real and nourishing food will give your body the nutrients necessary for weight loss.
Drink the Recommended Amount of Water
Cleaning up your body is essential when you are trying to lose weight. Shakes and juice, when done right, can be healthy weight-loss drinks. They make sure you are still getting the right amount of nutrients; however, they can be loaded with calories.
Water does not contain any calories. Your daily recommended amount of water intake should be half your body weight divided by two in ounces. If you are 140 pounds (140 / 2=70), you will need 70 ounces of water every day.
Plain water will save you a lot of money and calories and will support your weight loss goals by flushing out toxins. Water nourishes your cells, too.
Add Vegetables to your Diet
Eating more vegetables can help you lose weight. It also brings down your cholesterol levels, thereby reducing your risk of hypertension and allowing you to live longer. A high-vegetable and meat-free diet can also save you many dollars.
Go for Whole Foods
In order to eat healthier and lose weight, you need to stay away from:
- Fried foods
- Sugary foods
- Highly processed foods (packaged snacks, frozen meals, high-sugar cereal, etc)
- Creamy casseroles
Choose whole foods instead, such as:
- Raw nuts
- Healthy fats (avocadoes, nut butter, etc.)
- Foods rich in lean proteins (eggs, chicken, etc)
- Whole grains (brown rice, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, etc.)
Whole foods are high in nutrients and promote greater satiety. So do foods rich in protein and fiber. When you are satiated longer, you feel fuller longer while consuming only a few calories.
Cheap foods that can Help you Lose Weight
Foods that make you gain weight include sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meats, to name a few. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and yogurt, on the other hand, help make you lose weight.
There are many ways to approach weight loss. If you are, however, on a budget, you will be looking for cheap foods that can make you lose weight fast. The most important thing to remember in losing weight is to have a calorie deficit.
A calorie deficit means eating fewer calories in a day than what is recommended to maintain your present body weight. Reducing your daily calorie intake by 500 calories or 3500 calories a week can make you lose 1 pound a week.
When you are counting calories to lose weight, it is vital to consume foods that are low in calories but will keep you full longer.
Here are a few tips to make you more satisfied with your meal and make you fuller longer:
- Eat from a smaller plate. A full small plate can trick your mind into thinking that you are having too much. It is the same feeling you will get when drinking from a full small glass, which will make you fuller than drinking from a half-filled big glass even if the amount of liquid is similar.
- Take a glass of water before each meal. Drinking water before eating will already make you a bit full, making you feel full and satisfied with eating less food.
- Chew slowly and more. Chewing slowly will give you more time to digest food. It will also make you feel full faster.
To keep track of your weight loss, buy a food scale so you can accurately weight each serving of your food.
Here are some cheap foods that contain fewer calories but make you full longer. These are some of the best healthy yet budget-friendly foods to eat when you want to lose weight fast.
Eggs are cheap but have been proven time and again to contribute to weight loss. Eggs are a good source of protein thus, your body uses, absorbs, and digests eggs better than any food in the world.
Eggs cost about $3.50 per dozen or $0.19 each.
Almonds are rich in protein, fiber, and mono-saturated fats. They could reduce your risk of diabetes and lower your cholesterol levels while helping you lose weight, too.
An 8-ounce pack of almonds costs about $5 or $0.60. An ounce consists of about 20-30 pieces of nuts.
Rice is cheap and is a staple food in many countries. Although brown rice is a carbohydrate, it is healthy and can help you lose weight fast. One serving of brown rice contains 15% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin B6, 20% of magnesium, 3.5 grams of fiber, and 4% of iron.
Your bloodstream absorbs brown rice slower than white rice. It is high in nutrition and reduces inflammation.
Eating two servings of brown rice a week or even more reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 10%. Many studies have found that women who opted for high-fiber whole grains lost weight and those consistently consumed refined grains gained weight.
Brown rice though is not exactly low in calories. However, when consumed with a low-calorie diet can help you lose weight.
Brown rice costs about $0.08 per serving.
You can love or hate oatmeal but if you are on a budget and trying to lose weight by eating healthy, oatmeal provides many benefits.
Oatmeal is good for the heart and is filling. It is rich in fiber, too. Be wary of oatmeal with added sugar or instant oatmeal. If you need to add sugar to your oatmeal, go for honey or stevia. For more flavor, you can also add nutmeg or cinnamon to your oatmeal.
You can take your oatmeal as a hot or cold cereal. You can also consume oatmeal as toppings for your muffins and desserts. Oatmeal is excellent for granola, too.
A container of oatmeal, which is good for 30 servings (1/2 cup of dry oats per serving) costs about $3.99. Per serving of oatmeal, therefore, costs only $0.13.
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt is high in nutritional value and comes with many health benefits; thus, it is called a superfood. A study of the healthiest foods for weight loss found that a daily serving of yogurt can prevent you from gaining up to 1 pound.
A 25 gram serving of yogurt can make you feel fuller longer just as a meat-based protein meal. Non-fat yogurt or even low-fat yogurt is low in sugar and, therefore, healthy.
Non-fat Greek yogurt is excellent for parfaits with granola and food, a quick snack, or even for smoothies.
Most non-fat Greek yogurt is available in 6 or 8-ounce containers. You can save more money if you buy those in larger containers and scoop out 6-8 ounce portions at a time.
Individual 6-8 ounce servings of non-fat Greek yogurt cost about $0.89.
Sweet potatoes contain about 15% of your daily recommended amount of B6 and 377% of Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and potassium. They also contain manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, as well as Vitamins B1, B2, and C.
Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense and can, therefore, make you fuller longer and thus contribute to your losing weight. You should, however, avoid eating sweet potatoes with sugar and butter and instead use cinnamon.
Sweet potatoes are great to be part of your slim fast diet. It is also cheap at only $0.50.
Beans such as kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzos beans contain iron, protein, and fiber. They are low in calories, and you can also add any kind of herbs and spices for different flavors.
Many researchers have found that those who regularly at beans have a 25% lower risk of gaining weight and a 22% lesser risk of being obese. Regular consumption of beans also means higher intake of nutrients, lower systolic blood pressure, and lower body weight.
You can opt for fresh beans or canned beans. Thoroughly wash canned beans to reduce the sodium content.
Canned beans are cheap costing only $0.59 per can or $0.17 per serving.
Fruits are healthy and can also help you lose weight. Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits contain fewer calories but can make you fuller longer and increase your water intake, thus making you lose weight.
Some fruits can cost more than others. Apples though are cheap at about $0.50 per piece on a 3-pound bag. You can save more on fruits by opting for the canned ones because they last longer. When buying canned fruits, choose the ones packed in juice instead of in heavy syrup.
A can of mixed fruits in 100% juice costs about $0.90 or about $0.25 for every serving.
Cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli are cheap but can help in your weight loss goals. Vegetables help you feel fuller longer, and they are rich in vitamins and minerals while low in calories. Vegetables also contain Vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, and calcium. They are also high in fiber, thus preventing weight gain.
Broccoli, whether raw or cooked, has powers to prevent cancer. Cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli are great for weight loss and cost only about $0.50 per serving.
Canned tuna (chunk light) is high in protein and is also a good source of Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s is referred to as healthy fats that repair cells and aid in brain function. Canned tuna is, however, not recommended for children and pregnant women because its mercury content can be unsafe for them.
Canned tuna is great for casseroles, sandwiches, salads, and served with crackers. A serving of canned tuna contains about 15 grams of protein, 60 calories, and 500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids
A 6-ounce chunk white albacore in water canned tuna costs about $0.70.a 6-ounce solid white albacore canned tuna can cost about $1.40. A serving of chunk light canned tuna costs $0.41.
It can take a lot of planning to eat cheap yet healthy food to lose weight but it is doable. The cheap yet healthy foods mentioned above can help you lose weight but will not make you get sick.
Even if you eat junk food and lose weight, it is not a healthy way to approach weight loss. Your body needs all the proper nutrients it can get to be healthy. A nutritious diet with the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and, at the same time, low in calories can help you lose weight fast. With the right planning, you can find many cheap yet healthy foods that can help you lose weight.