Keto Diet On A Budget: Keto Diet Tips Without Spending Too Much
We know starting any diet or deciding on a meal plan can get expensive. But does it have to be that way? Thankfully not! It may require some creativeness and resourcefulness, but there certainly are ways to make the keto diet within your budget by arming yourself with the know-how.
Sof you are someone who wants to start the ketogenic diet but is hesitant because of the cost it may entail, this article is for you.
What is the Keto Diet?
Ketogenic or the keto diet is a diet that has been popularized through the years because of its benefits in terms of weight loss, managing diabetes, insulin resistance, and blood sugar levels. But the keto diet has always been around since the 1920s, primarily as an alternative treatment for epilepsy. The goal of the keto diet is for your body to reach the metabolic state of ketosis by converting your fats to fuel your body.
How does it work?
The keto diet works by depriving your body of carbs and loading yourself up with fats. When you determine your body of carbs, it will give your body less opportunity to use glucose to fuel your body. Meanwhile, loading yourself up with healthy fats allows your body to convert those fats into ketones to fuel your body. When your body successfully does this, your body reaches the metabolic state of ketosis–the ultimate goal of the keto diet.
How low on carbs should I go? How high on fat? A standard keto diet’s macronutrient ratio looks like this:
60-75% of fats
20-25% of proteins
How Can Counting Calories Help with Weight Loss?
Many health experts subscribe to the idea of calories in v. calories out and believe calorie counting is crucial to weight loss in a keto diet. Calories in v. Calories out is a model from the idea that your calorie intake should match your calorie burn to be more healthy metabolically and stable for body weight.
Calories in are calories coming from your food, while calories out are calories you use as energy. Based on this calorie in v. calorie out model, you can achieve weight loss when you’re in a calorie deficit, and you consume fewer calories than you burn for energy. The opposite is true, based on this model. If you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning for energy, then you might gain weight.
Calories in are the types of calories you get from your food, and calories out are the calories you burn as energy. With this model, you should achieve weight loss if there’s a calorie deficit, and you consume fewer calories than you’re burning for fuel. On the other hand, if you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning for energy, you might gain weight, according to this model.
Counting calories may be a tedious process, but if you consistently switch out unhealthy foods for healthier and more keto-friendly options, you might not need to measure your calories to lose weight.
Budget Saving Tips on a Keto Diet:
Following a keto diet doesn’t always have to be expensive. So watch your wallet with these tips for a budget-friendly keto diet:
1. Plan your meals.
Planning is one of the most underrated yet useful tips for a more efficient and affordable keto diet journey. You can start this off by choosing simple recipes you want to try for the week. You can prepare your meals, freeze them, and have your leftovers transformed into delicious meals for other days.
You can also choose affordable recipes like Chia Seed Puddings, frozen for up to four or five days. Planning your meals helps you become more efficient and creative in choosing different ways with what’s already in the fridge.
2. Buy Cost-Efficient Foods
While there undoubtedly are expensive food out there, the good thing is, you always have the power of choosing the less expensive options out there! For instance, when choosing meat, go for more affordable cuts like shoulder, ground beef, ribs, and roast that are way affordable than leaner beef. These types of foods are not only affordable, but they are also better options for keto!
This rule can also apply to other foods. Always remember that you have the power to choose where you put your money so you can always be strategic about it. Instead of selecting the most expensive option, go for more affordable keto-friendly alternatives and use your creativity to spice things up!
3. Experiment on simple keto meals you can do at home
Most diets you can see may require you to spend a lot on pre-packaged food that is not keto. Besides having the assurance of the ingredients in your pre-packaged food, it’s much easier to save money by resorting to whole natural foods! You can choose foods like avocados, asparagus, and other keto-friendly unprocessed foods instead of those pre-packaged keto foods.
The only challenge in choosing all-natural foods is your creativity and idea in transforming those ingredients into one meal. But don’t worry! There are always thousands of simple recipes you can find online such as:
Chicken Avocado Casserole
We know that the ketogenic diet relies primarily on a high intake of healthy fats, which may come as a struggle for most people. But when you can consume avocado daily, you will see that reaching your daily fat macro goals isn’t as difficult as you think.
When you can incorporate avocado into your meal, you’re good to go! You can pair this with the 50lbs of chicken you have stored in your freezer so you can get the right macro count in your body.
Protein: 39 grams
Fats: 40 grams
Net Carbs: 6 grams
You can always try finding the best recipes online, depending on your preferences to incorporate keto-rich food into your diet. This way, you can not only be sure you know what’s on your meal, but you can also enjoy the process and save a lot of money with those simple recipes.
4. If you can, grow your own food
Growing your own food seems like a stretch for most of us. You might feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the thought of gardening. This is because you might think that you will need a whole backyard for it, but gardening or growing your plants is complicated.
Growing your food can save you a lot of money. Not only can you enjoy fresh produce, but at the same time, you can save yourself from buying expensive ingredients, especially if you will be successful in growing them. Not only will you use real natural foods for your meal prep, but it will also lessen your grocery bill.
Also, another benefit of growing your keto is it can help you be active. Growing your keto garden will surely make you move around. It will make your experience not only rewarding (since you will be able to eat your vegetable or fruit produce), but it will also allow you to be more intimate with nature and hopefully enjoy your early morning outside while feeling the fresh air.
5, Buy in bulk
There is one particular catch when it comes to plant-based diet like the keto diet–it is expensive. If you want to save money from your long shopping list, we recommended that you buy the ingredients you often consume in bulk! This will likely entitle you to a discount. Also, when you regularly buy in bulk in your community’s local farm or market, you get to be a regular, and they may offer personal discounts only for you.
6. Shop Online
What is the easier and better way to get your favorite keto diet essentials as cheap and convenient than online shopping? With the advent of the internet, most of what we need is already online, including keto-friendly ingredients. There are a lot of ingredients such as almond flour, nuts, seeds, and spices, and many other keto-friendly options that are cheaper when you buy them online. If you are in luck, you will find half of the price ingredients you see in the store!
Below is a list of some common keto ingredients that you will typically find online for a lower price than the store:
Almond Flour- Almond flour is one of the best low-carb alternatives than the regular flour available. Although this type of flour is complicated to use and requires an intermediate skill when used in your baking recipes, mastering the usage of this flour will likely give you more benefits. Most keto-friendly baked goods are made from almond flour.
Coconut Flour- Aside from the almond flour, coconut flour is one of the most used flours in a keto diet. Most of the time, keto-friendly baked goods are created from the combination of almond and coconut flour. For most bake goodies, the almond flour is required to help balance out the absorbent property of the coconut flour. However, the coconut flour can still be used alone, but it needs the baker to be more experienced in controlling the absorbent property of the coconut flour fully.
Almonds and other nuts- Nuts can be a great snack, but it can also be used in different varieties of keto recipes. Nuts can be used to make delicious crusts and breading. It can also be used as a low-carb flour or nut butter. Amongst the nut varieties, almond is the most versatile nut when it comes to keto baking because most recipes call for almond meal or almond flour. However, nuts can be expensive and may really burden your grocery bill. If you really want or need them, you can buy them in bulk or online to save not just time but money as well.
Olive Oil- Olive oil is one of the best keto-friendly oil available. Not only does it contain various health benefits, but it can also be used in multiple keto recipes. Olive oil has high antioxidant content, which means that you reduce the free radicals and prevent damages to the cellular membrane of your body. You can use the olive oil as you cooking oil in your various keto recipes, or you can use it as your salad base. Also, there are recommendations to opt for extra virgin olive oils since it has a high point, which means it does not quickly burn.
Coconut Oil- Aside from keto oil being a good source of fat for your keto diet, it can also be a good source for you to save some money! Coconut oil is one of the most popular oils used in keto recipes since it has a high heat point, which means that it can be used for cooking. It has a natural sweet element, which makes it an excellent oil to be used in your keto dessert or salad.
Psyllium Husk Powder- Psyllium Husk Powder can be an ideal choice for your daily fiber nutrient. It can do wonders in your keto recipes since it can add taste and texture to it. Also, it is an excellent keto-friendly ingredient since it has an absorbent property and only contains low calories. So, the next time you are making one of your keto-friendly baked goodies like bread, muffins, donuts, or tortillas, be sure to add some psyllium husk powder to add an extra texture and flavor.
According to various online sources, anything that has a long shelf-life can be usually found online. Most of the time, they are cheaper than the grocery store. If you have extra cash, you can spend, stock up beforehand, especially with these keto-friendly nonperishable goods. This online shopping strategy will likely give you a significant amount of savings.
Though online shopping allows you to have a cheaper alternative when grocery shopping, it also has its fair share of disadvantages. For instance, when you do online shopping, it comes with it the shipping costs. You may find some online purchases affordable since it is at a lower price than in the physical grocery store; however, the total grocery bill might shoot up because of the additional shipping and handling charges. So before you hit that check out button, be sure to review the additional charges added on top of your items since it might be as expensive or worse, more expensive than what is in your physical grocery store. In this case, this will hurt your budget and might be counterproductive instead.
Being in a keto diet or any plant-based diet will surely put a strain in your wallets since most diet-friendly options are expensive. However, there are some tips and tricks that will help you save money!