Weight Loss on a Small Budget
Many people are under the impression that eating healthy is more expensive, making it quite expensive to lose weight unless you eat dramatically less. This trap can be avoided by taking the time to learn what types of foods are actually good for you. There’s a wonderful saying: Eat like you’re poor. You may say it’s easy, I’m poor. Unfortunately, many people think they can’t eat healthy because they don’t have much money and end up buying spaghetti-os, cheap noodle soups, and eating fast food. But when we translate what the saying actually means, it can give you tremendous insight into ways to cut the cost of groceries while staying healthy and thin.
The saying “eat like you’re poor” simply means you’re eating whole foods. Whole foods, when bought in bulk, are much cheaper than ready-made meals. There are many different types of whole foods that are highly nutritious, filling, and take little time to eat. Whole foods can be pretty much defined as single ingredient foods. Regardless of whether the packaging says “organic” or “natural,” whole foods never have a laundry list of unidentifiable ingredients. The fewer ingredients, the less processed the food is usually. By preparing the food yourself, you have the opportunity to know exactly what’s in what you’re eating, giving you control over the exact portion size and calories.
For example, you go out and buy a frozen pizza with an average price of $5-6. Depending on appetite, this can be one or two meals. The amount of fat, salt, and preservatives in this pizza is off the charts. Empty calories make up most of the caloric value of pizza, and you get very little nutritional value. Don’t be fooled by “extra vitamin and nutrient levels” as this type of supplemental nutrition does nothing about cravings. With the same money you spent on pizza, it would be possible to buy a significant amount of corn, lentils, beans, rice, and maybe some squash or vegetables. Not only is this much healthier, but you could cook a significant amount more food for the same price. Additionally, you now have complete control over the amount of salt and other ingredients you put in your food.
Whole foods make it much easier to lose weight for several reasons. First, the calories in whole foods are almost never empty calories. Processed foods are loaded with empty calories, refined sugar, cholesterol, fat and dangerous additives. All of this works to slow your metabolism, keep you hungry so you eat more, fuel cravings, and inevitably add more weight to your body.
Second, whole foods are easier to digest, making the nutrients easier to absorb. When nutrients are absorbed more efficiently, you feel full faster and eat less. Basically, these natural ingredients are much easier for the body to recognize, while artificial additives like high fructose corn syrup (found in almost all processed foods) are much more difficult for the body to recognize and understand how to use them. When the body cannot recognize an ingredient, some of it is eliminated and some of it is neutralized the way the body does best, it is stored in fat molecules.
Eating cheaply is actually quite easy. It’s just a matter of deciding how much weight you want to lose. Your budget will always allow for more “whole foods” than canned processed foods. Buying groceries in bulk is a great way to save money, give you complete control over what’s added to your food, eat healthier, reduce cravings, and lose weight.
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Thanks to Cory Brusseau