Best Affordable Weight Loss Diet Techniques
A lot has changed in how our society views weight. Before, bulging bellies usually signify full wallets.
Nowadays, people have to pay more to consume healthier, organic food that can help maintain a healthy physique. The least expensive foods are usually the ones packed with preservatives, calories, and everything else that’s bad for you.
In our pursuit to achieve fitness, we may be tempted to jump from one fad diet to another. While this may bring you some results, going for the buzz-worthy diet or the latest workout trend can potentially burn through your pockets.
Affordable Weight Loss Diet Techniques
Yes, it’s a fact that most unhealthy foods are cheaper than healthier options. However, you don’t necessarily need to drop big dollars all the time in order to keep yourself healthy and within an ideal weight.
To prove it’s possible, here are some of the top techniques from weight loss experts themselves:
- Cook at home (and in bulk)
Dietitian Lauren Minchen suggests that cooking at home in bulk portions can help save you hundreds of dollars per month.
This works in two ways: first, cooking at home lets you control the ingredients that go into your meals, which will be better for you compared to the rich and high-calorie options you see in restaurants or take-out meals. Second, by cooking in bulk, you save costs related to ingredients and preparation required. It’s practically win-win!
Not sure what to cook?
Soups are quite easy to prepare – you only need to prep a few veggies and you’re ready to go. Plus, you can eat it the whole week. High fiber-foods like beans and whole grains can also be made in bulk and last for days. As for protein, buy a whole chicken and roast it one day, and add the leftovers as toppings in a salad the next.
Home cooking in bulk lets you save money and prepare meals more efficiently.
- Start portioning
When it comes to dieting, portioning may just be the key to help you go cheaper for more results. Eating in portions controls the amount of food intake for your meals, which ensures that you are eating the right kind of food in the right amount.
Even though, say, you’re eating whole grains; you can’t really expect to lose weight if you’re eating twice or thrice the recommended amount in one sitting.
So, instead of buying pre-portioned meals, prepare it yourself!
You can use a kitchen scale, measuring cups and other tools to help you get acquainted with the appropriate portion sizes. Once you get used to the sizing, you can eyeball ingredients to make your portioning easier.
Portioning will also be your friend when it comes to favorite foods. Want some chocolate? Eat it in portions. Craving for some chips? Eat it in portions.
While this will not make your stomach smaller, portion eating will stabilize your “appetite thermostat” or the level of hunger you feel.
- Add more (cost-effective) vegetables to your diet
Vegetables are great for weight loss and overall health because they are rich in fiber and nutrients while low in calories. These babies make you feel full for longer, and they are made of good stuff.
The trick to saving up while doubling up on the veggies is shopping for whole ones that are in season. For instance, winter is the prime time to go for butternut squash, persimmons, or turnips. Summer gives you affordable broccoli, berries and tomatoes. And in spring, things like asparagus and spinach will be in season.
If you’re craving for something that’s not in season, you can always opt for frozen veggies, which have just as much nutrition as fresh veggies.
Steer clear of packed salads, as you’ll end up paying more just for the fancy packaging when you can wash and prepare them yourself.
- Make your own snacks
As with meals, you can save a lot of money (and lose weight while you’re at it) by preparing your own snack packs. Whether it be trail mix or energy bars, with the right ingredients, you can readily make these at home.
Buy foods like almonds, pistachios, raisins, and others in bulk, and keep a measuring cup and a kitchen scale handy. You can pack these up in small zip bags to munch on throughout the day.
Energy bars have bake and no-bake recipes now, so have your pick of what flavors and nutrients you want to incorporate in your bars.
- Ditch the beef
Going meatless at least a night per week can help you knock off the pounds and save on food costs.
Meat is one of the most expensive things on your grocery list, so if you opt to cut down on it and choose substitutes, you can still get the right minerals in a more affordable way.
Make one weekday your meatless day, and eat something hearty like beans or a mushroom steak.
If meat is simply too irresistible for you, then you can start by mixing meat with substitutes like mushrooms. You’ll use less amount of meat and have the same level of satisfaction.
- Don’t rely on labels
Foods stamped with an “All Natural” label typically cost more than other varieties, so you might be enticed to spend more to get quality for your money. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t regulate this label, which means you won’t necessarily be guaranteed that the food is indeed, all natural.
Instead of buying expensive products, read ingredients closely, or keep these items limited in your pantry.
- Be creative about working out
Ditch those fad gym memberships; you don’t need to shell out hundreds of bucks just to keep moving. Instead, engage in activities that you can enjoy for free.
Being fit is not about where you do it but how you do it. You can join a fitness group in the park, or a local soccer league. Other ideas include hiking, dancing or simply walking. If you prefer being at home, look for free workout videos or yoga tutorials online.
If you’re creative about exercising, you can save anywhere from $50 to $300 per month – that’s quite a chunk of savings you can then spend on other things, like bills. Plus, you get to have more fun outside!