Once again, I want to emphasize the importance of how much you eat when it comes to weight loss. That being said, however, I also want to emphasize the importance of getting the majority of your calories from healthier options. Eating more healthy foods will give you more energy, improves mood and mental focus, increases longevity, fights disease and gives you an overall sense of well-being. Sadly, most people think eating healthy means switching over to organic foods, which in their minds means that they have to spend an arm and a leg every time they visit the supermarket. Well fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way at all. I’m here to answer the million dollar question “how to eat healthy to lose weight without breaking the bank?”.
Chicken (Baked or Grilled)
Chicken is a great source because it’s high in protein and low in fat. A pound of chicken breasts is over 100 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat and will run you about $3.18 on average
Weighing in at about 6 grams of protein, eggs are loaded with about 5 grams of healthy fats as well vitamins and minerals. There are a whole host of benefits of eating eggs such as increase in HDL (the good) cholesterol and providing the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health. They go for nearly $2.00 per dozen
Protein powders are very effective in reaching your protein goals, plus they’re very affordable. 2 lbs of GNC Whey protein powder is about $20. It has 24 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat per scoop. I use it everyday to help with my protein intake and as a recovery drink after my workouts. There are also other different types of protein powders if whey is not to your liking.
Dairy products such as milk and cheese are another great choice because they contain 8 grams of protein and are full of calcium, vitamin D. Milk comes in various sizes: quart, half gallon and gallon ranging from around $1.50 to $3.00. They also come in different variations to suit your needs. You can also get low-fat cheese for around $1.00. Half a cup of low-fat cheese contains about 14 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat.
Avocados are chock full of monounsaturated fat (15 grams) and potassium (750 milligrams). They’ve become my new favorite food, plus you can use them to make guacamole. Eating avocados provides you with lots of benefits such as preventing cancer and lowering bad cholesterol. They only cost about 2 dollars each.
Seafood such as salmon has omega-3 fatty acids which is good for your heart. They are also an excellent source of protein. Seafood can run a little on the expensive side, however with a little searching, you should be able to find what you need at a good price. If you’re like and seafood isn’t something you really care for, no worries. You can buy fish oil supplements at your local GNC or vitamin shop, and use them to get your daily does of omega-3’s
Not only are fruits an excellent source of healthy carbs, they contain little to no fat and are full of potassium, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. My favorite fruits to eat are bananas and apples. Bananas contain about 30 grams of carbs and 400 milligrams of potassium, while apples are about 22 grams of carbs and up too 200 milligrams of potassium. I usually have a banana along with a protein shake as my pre-workout snake before hitting the gym, and apple with lunch. Individually, you buy them for less than a dollar, or just for a couple of extra of bucks you can buy them by the bunch.
Whole grains are another great source of carbs and, just like fruit,they are also a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Not to mention, they are also a good source of protein. Incorporating whole grains in your diet has shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity, as well as promote regularity within the body. Examples of whole grains are brown rice, quinoa, and oats. Brown rice goes for about $2.00 per pound and will give you more nutritional value than white rice. One cup consists of 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of fat. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a seed that is grown from a goosefoot plant that originates in the Andes Mountain. It also contains 8 grams of protein and has all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa ranges from $4 – 8$ per pound. As far as oats go, whenever I eat them, I get them in the form of Quaker’s. They come in a jar or already made packets. They’re low in fat and sodium, and come in a whole assortment of flavors. The already packets come in a box of 12 for up to $3 or you can get the jar for up to $4.
Black beans are praised for their high fiber and protein content. They also provide vitamins and minerals that promote wellness. Half a cup of black beans contains almost 8 grams of protein and fiber, half a gram of fat and 20 grams of carbs. A 15 ounce can costs up to $1, while a 16 ounce bag can cost up to $2.
Finally, sweet potato is another food that provides vitamins and minerals, are high potassium and fiber. 1 cup contains about 27 grams of carbs, 448 milligrams of potassium, 4 grams of fiber, and are about $1 per pound.
There you have it, a whole host of delicious, healthy and inexpensive foods to incorporate into your diet. Another thing I want to say is that you can always check the circulars of your local supermarkets to get the best deals possible. Another option is that you can download the Flipp app on your smartphone. It gives you the deals going on in your favorite stores. I would love to hear your feedback on these foods I listed, as well as any other food that you would like to add. Drop a comment below and let’s talk.