Did you know that eating healthy accounts for 75% of your weight loss regime? Yes, despite exercise being a huge talking point for many weight-loss programs, your meals are what ultimately shape your body. By eating healthier, you not only lose weight, but you can also gain a host of other benefits, which include:
- Keeping your skin, eyes, and teeth healthy
- Building muscle
- Strengthening bones
- Keeping your digestive system regular
- Improving Immunity
The body is like a machine. Sure, keeping it moving will keep it from rusting (exercise), but at the end of the day, the fuel is what keeps it running (food). You need to eat healthy to exercise. You need to exercise to get the food you eat to do what you are supposed to do, even if it’s just light exercise.
A common misconception some may have is that eating healthy is expensive. That is not true. Keeping your spending within budget is easiest when eating healthy. Throughout history, humans were built for endurance and efficient body usage. They did this by eating from the land. Simple fruits and meats were enough to make humans the apex predators for thousands of years.
While we won’t be hunting caribou and gathering berries, we can eat both of those things. If you know where to look and do your research, eating healthy can be potentially cheaper than your usual menu of unhealthy cravings. Today, let’s talk about 5 tips you can apply to your lifestyle to eat healthier. Not only that, but these tips will also help you save on your food expenses.
Buy in Bulk During Sales
Every supermarket in the world will have a sale at one point or another. During such times, it’s in your best interest to buy in bulk. For example, if potatoes are in season and on sale, buy lots of them and use them to supplement your meals. If your local grocery store or mall has social media, make sure to follow them. They will post promos there regularly.
In addition to buying in bulk, buy fruit juice concentrates for mixing at home instead of expensive fruit juices from the market. This not only allows you to add something healthy to your diet but you may also make smoothies, healthy yogurt, healthy soda pop, and countless other money-saving possibilities. The Tart Cherry Concentrate is a Northern Michigan favorite!
Make sure to keep a lookout for coupons as well. Always keep all your receipts as you never know when they might come in handy for a promotion. You can manage your money better by buying your food cheap and smartly.
Plan Your Meals
Cravings aren’t inherently a bad thing. Sometimes, partaking can be beneficial to your stress levels. However, you have to start training your body to crave healthy food. To do this, you can plan your meals. It doesn’t have to be super detailed nor do you have to follow it every single day. However, you do need to be consistent. That is the key to reaping the benefits of eating healthy.
Carbs are going to happen. Be it a party or a gift from family, you may need to eat something outside your diet plan. This is fine. What you need to do, however, is make sure the bulk of the food you eat is from your diet plan.
To plan your food ahead of time, make sure you buy all your ingredients for the rest of the week. Do not buy any junk food or tempting snacks during your diet period. From there, plan your meals throughout the week. Make sure to add variety to your meals so you don’t get bored and try junk food. Lastly, keep the calorie count under your daily intake.
Eat Small Snacks
Another way to minimize your desire for more food and save money is to make yourself healthy snacks. Oatmeal mug cookies, sliced fresh fruit, and whole-grain cereals are some cheap examples of snacks compared to the usual junk food suspects. Whenever you have cravings instead of reaching out for a bag of chips, find your granola mix and eat that instead. Small snacks have been shown to have a positive effect on digestion. Not only that, it curbs your desires for cravings, which saves you the money you would have spent on unhealthy snacks.
Cook Your Own Meals
Cooking your own meals can save you more money than ordering takeout. Make it a habit to eat at home whenever possible. Since meals are no longer predetermined for you, cooking them yourself can let you portion the meals exactly to your liking. This lets you control how many leftovers you have as well. Instead of wasting gas or electricity cooking small portions, you can cook large portions and have that be your meal for the rest of the day. Additionally, you can also cook your own lunches for work. For those on a budget, learning to cook is a must.
Buy Cheaper Meat
Meat is one of the big expenses when it comes to buying food. Whenever possible, buy yourself the cheap cuts. While it may be tempting to get that center-cut tenderloin, don’t discount the other cuts as impossible to make good meals out of. With the proper cooking technique and preparation, even the cheapest cuts of meat can be fit for a king. More importantly, it’ll keep you fit. Fresh cuts of meat, even when cheap, are way healthier than processed meat.
Try Other Sources of Protein
As above, chicken, pork, and beef are some of the most expensive food options. If you aren’t much of a carnivore but still want to keep your protein levels up, try other sources of protein. Legumes, eggs, canned fish, and beans are some alternative protein options that you can work with. They are cheap, easy to add to any meal, and have a much longer shelf-life than your typical meat.