You want to lose weight; however, food prices are increasing, and you’re not sure if it’s affordable to eat healthy.
Here, I explore some ways you can eat healthy in a cost-effective way. Remember, having a healthy diet and being active is an investment in your future wellbeing, so it’s worth it. By keeping to healthier habits, you provide your body with the nutrition that it needs. This helps to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and it’s important to eat a variety of foods that are highly nutritious such as protein, whole grains and fruit and veg, whilst reducing the amount of added salt and sugars that you consume.
There are several ways that you can stay healthy:
Meal planning is an excellent way to save money on food and it keeps you organised too. When you plan your meals, you’ll buy the exact ingredients needed for those meals, meaning you won’t waste money on buying ingredients you might not use. If you notice that you tend to cook the same meals, you can buy these ingredients in bulk, as buying in bulk is usually cheaper. Often when we go to the supermarket, we leave with more than we planned to, so less trips also means less money that gets spent unnecessarily. If planning for a week is difficult, you can plan 3 to 4 days meals at a time.
Eat more home cooked meals
Rather than overspending on breakfast, cookies for snack or sandwiches at lunch, eat at home or take packed meals to save money. When cooking at home, you’re more likely to have a healthier meal as you decide what ingredients to use. For example, when buying pasta sauces, they have added sugars and are more expensive than making your own pasta sauces. Take a packed lunch or an easy to carry snack which saves you from buying food when you’re out.
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One of the most effective methods to prevent food waste is to organise your fridge, freezer, and pantry so you know what you have in there. This way you plan which foods to prioritise cooking and eating to reduce waste.
Having your food organised and in a specific place will make it easier to find and use them on time. When you add anything new to your fridge or pantry, move the older items to the front so these can be used first.
Buy less pre-cut packaged foods
Supermarkets sell pre-cut, packaged fruits, and vegetables, which offer convenience as you can save time on cutting or slicing. However, these are often more expensive, so choose to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and cut them up by yourself so you can fully enjoy the flavours whilst saving money.
Eat less meat
Eating meat is not the only way of getting protein; substitute some animal-based proteins with plant-based proteins. Meat tends to be more expensive, compared to the vegetarian proteins like beans, lentils, and tofu. Also, as well as saving money, plant-based protein has less fat and more fibre, plus better for the environment too.
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Unused gym membership
If you have a gym membership that isn’t being used, you should consider exercising at home rather than letting the money go to waste. Exercising at home can be just as effective and there are plenty of free resources that you can use for your workouts such as free apps and YouTube videos. So, it's time to cancel your gym membership if you won’t be using it.
Start with these practical tips to stay healthy and keep it affordable.
Sujata Din is a Certified Health Coach and Certified Professional Cancer Coach. In this regular column for iGlobal, she offers some special insights, from useful wellness tips to recipes for creations that are not only delicious but also healthy.