Weight loss is all about calories-in VS calories-out. So smaller portions of "bad" food will not deter your weight loss. Eating healthy does not need to cost more than not eating healthy. Unless you are used to eating prepared foods, then the unhealthy options are cheaper, but if you are willing to do some cooking and planning than there is no reason why it should cost you more. In fact it should cost you less.
I always used to think that I could never afford to be healthy until last year when I decided to learn how to cook--really cook not just pre-packaged type of cooking. It really doesn't take any longer than going through a drive-through or waiting for a pizza to be delivered. And it is healthier, cheaper, and more satisfying.
If you like to snack out of habit, then having low calorie healthy snacks on hand is a good plan. Fresh veggies like carrots and celery are not expensive if you buy them whole (not bagged baby carrots or pre-chopped celery. By the full celery and whole carrots. Peel, chop, wash, and eat as needed. The extra preparation time will shave off some of your munching time (and burn a few extra calories than opening up a bag of something).
Last year I bought a huge package of brown lunch (I think there was 100 in the pack) bags for $2.00 or something like that. I make my popcorn in them. I bought kernels from a wholesale club. 1/2 cup of kernels into the bag. Fold the top over a few times (I like to do it three times). And pop in the microwave until the bag opens. Air-popped popcorn! I dip it in tabasco, because it makes it feel more dangerous and forbidding that way.
If you snack because you get hungry, then make sure you incorporate protein into your meals. A can of tuna is usually under $1 and good for 2 meals. Plus they often go on sale. I like to mix mine with a little balsamic vinegar. Very low calorie, inexpensive, and high protein. And again, munch all day long on your veggies. 1 whole cucumber is 4 servings of veggies, I like it sliced with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and balsamic vinegar. And it is very filling (although I find in winter months it isn't as satisfying as richer foods).
Beans are also another inexpensive high protein option. Dried beans are cheaper than canned beans but I am still trying to master the art of cooking them properly. Brown rice is also really inexpensive. There are usually coupons for the instant boil in a bag kind, but if you buy the bagged raw version it will be even cheaper, and last you longer. Of course it takes a long time to cook that kind of rice. What I do is I keep the dried beans and rice in my cabinets, and when I have a coupon or there is a sale I'll by the canned beans and the boil in a bag rice. I use those when I make dinner, but whenever money is tight or I don't want to run out to the store I still have the other options on hand. They keep for a really long time.
Meat is expensive, but if you buy a whole chicken it usually is about $1 a pound and will get you a long way. You can roast it and have it for dinner one night. Then cut all the meat off of it and boil the bones to create a stock. You can use some of the left over meat for sandwiches, make soup, chicken salad, casseroles. A whole chicken, even after feeding a family for one elegant dinner, can go a long way. I have an 8 pounder in the crock pot right now. We will have a mini- Thanksgiving style dinner tonight, then I am going to make stock and broth and store the rest of the meat for future meals this week.
Dark meat has gotten a bad wrap lately, but I looked up the nutrition information and it really isn't bad for you. It is slightly higher in fat and calories than white meat, but it has more nutrients and it is SOOOO much cheaper. Anything you use boneless skinless breasts for, you can also use boneless skinless thighs. It took a little mental preparation to get me to try it, but now I see why people say it is more flavorable. My husband doesn't even know that I am using it sometimes (if he knew he wouldn't eat it).
Iceberg lettuce is very often only about $0.99 a head. True it has very little nutritional value, but it is also very very low in calories and can fill up a bowl easily. One head, chopped up, serves as the base for at least 6 salads. Add in any veggies that are on sale. Sometimes I even will just top it with tuna and that is my dinner. Filling up on the lettuce makes my meals last longer and makes me feel like I am eating more than just having a bit of tuna on 1 slice of bread.
Make your own pancakes--from scratch. I was surprised how easy this was. Betty Crocker truly tricked me into thinking that homemade pancakes without a mix was a long arduous process. It is not at all. You can substitute eggs (if you have none on hand) for apple sauce or other things. Just look up egg substitutions. Whole wheat flour is a bit more expensive than all purpose flour, but not too much, and you can substitute portions of the white flour with the Whole Wheat if you have it on hand. Or you can keep some wheat germ in the fridge and sprinkle a little in for extra fiber. When you make things from scratch you get to determine what goes in there. Make a big batch and freeze them (you want to freeze them in a single layer first, then, after they are frozen you can throw them into ziplocks and store them in the freezer for months. Pop it in the toaster as needed.
Fruit is more expensive, but check your circulars and buy what's on sale. Apples and oranges have a pretty long shelf life so it is worth stocking up on those when they are on sale. They will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. Oatmeal is another inexpensive option to keep on hand as long as you aren't buying instant. I like the steal cut oats. I don't really like oatmeal, but one thing I told myself is that not every meal needs to be a pleasure fest. Sometimes eating is just about getting in the calories and nutrients I need to go about my day. I chop up a ripe banana to sweeten it so that I don't need to add sugar. If you can get coupons for baby food buy some jars of bananas and other sweet fruits. You can use this to sweeten your hot cereals, your pancakes, and any baking you might do.
Eggs are incredibly filling and quite the perfect nutritional package. They are also very versatile. I often have a fried egg with one slice of whole wheat toast for breakfast and that fills me up. A hard boiled egg is a protein rich 70 calorie snack, great for right before or right after a workout to stave off hunger.
Potatoes get a bad wrap, but there is some good nutritional content there, and even though they are starchy and not low calorie, they are filling and better than pasta nutrient-wise. You can throw a sweet potato in the microwave for a simple lunch. Then there are plantains, couscous (which might be a bit pricier, but has a long shelf life which might make it worth it).
There are so many inexpensive options out there. Just stay away from the packaged stuff--the healthy ones are too expensive, and the cheap ones are not healthy. Frozen veggies are fine (and there are often coupons for them if you use the coupons when the store has a sale you can get some great deals). Even canned veggies are good as long as you get low sodium. There is no reason for companies to add salt to canned goods as a preservative anymore, but many still do because we have grown accustomed to the taste. Nutritionally, frozen and canned (without added salt) might even contain more nutrients then the fresh produce you find at the stores, because they were frozen and preserved immediately after being harvested, versus the fresh produce that most likely sat on a truck for a while, then in the store, then in you kitchen. Lots of nutrients get lost during that time.
Yes, organic is better for you and for the environment then non-organic HOWEVER, eating a non-organic apple is better than not eating any apples at all. And both contain the same calories and the same nutritional profile. And if you can't afford the organic apple then go ahead and buy the non-organic. Being healthy on a budget is definitely do-able, and you might be surprised how much money you actually save by healthy eating.
Also, I see you are young and still living at home which means you might not have as much say over family meals as your parents. However, it might be a good idea to start doing your own shopping, and maybe even offer to cook some of the family meals. I don't know if you have a job or not, but maybe getting a job at a local supermarket might provide you with a discount. I am all about cutting corners. Hope some of my ideas work for you.
Edited by: CASSIQUE at: 11/28/2011 (16:34)
Fitness Minutes: (240)
80 11/24/11 10:25 P
Thanks a lot. :) I'm trying to slowly work my way from 15 min of taebo to 1 hour. In time, in time. :)
I'd say no way, just continue as normal. I'm not even tracking what I ate today. Although, for being Thanksgiving, I think I did awesome lol. Drank tons of water and ate only about three or four bites of everything (we have a big turkey day lunch and a big supper, also). And thanks to my dog keeping me up last night, I didn't workout today either.
With time, you learn to not get upset if it's not as planned. I hear people say, "I'm dieting and can't eat the small piece of chocolate." If I don't eat a small amount of it, then I'll end of binging later, I want it now! :)
Just remember, it takes time to make a change and the slower, the better for you.
Fitness Minutes: (240)
80 11/24/11 1:22 P
Thanks a lot. :) you've helped me a lot. It's Thanksgiving and all should I exercise extra today/tomorrow because of the over eating thing?
It is possible to lose while watching portion sizes of any food. I lost over 10 lbs (it seems almost instantly) by taking a 30 minutes walk during my hr long lunch brake at work and watching how much I eat. The small changes make the biggest impact, seriously.
Here are a few tips: -Take short walks throughout the day -Buy whole grain pasta -Choose leaner meats (ground turkey, buffalo, chicken, 93% ground beef-you can do anything with ground turkey that you do with ground beef) -Add even a small amount of fruit/veggies to your plate and eat it first -Drink a cup of water immediately before your meal, a cup during, and a cup after -Take stairs instead of the elevator, take that parking spot that is further away
There's so many ways to get healthy without a dramatic change. Also, check out SparkRecipes for some good recipes.
Fitness Minutes: (240)
80 11/24/11 7:21 A
Once I go from 265 to 230 I'm getting the extreme winsor Pilates kit (60$) and once I get from 230 to 200 I'm getting power 90 and once i get to 170 I'm getting P90x Maybe some taebo in between. :)
Fitness Minutes: (240)
80 11/24/11 7:19 A
Thanks, do you think its possible to lose weight eating normal portions of bad ish food? I can't buy my health food until the first of the year because of a little money problems. I do not drink any drinks only water, fried food in small amounts once a week. and really we just eat a lot of pasta and hamburger. I want to buy some un seasoned bagged salmon. I miss fish. :( One thing I hate is 1 serving of spaghetti is half a bowl of food. everyone askes me if im really eating that anorexic amount. :( But thanks, I will stay motivated. And if I feel down I come to sparks and post. :) I'm untraining myself to learn its ok to trow away food if you full.
My DD is 21 & 5'9, so I can say your lucky to be TALL. Really helps. You'll look great at 160#. Like I tell her, no young woman should spend the best years of her life being fat, since men judge women completely by their looks. The new P90X2 comes out next month.
Keep it up, Amber. And remember to only do what you can. I started Insanity (it's like P90X). I'm in the 2nd month, which is the "Max" month, and I can't do as many as the instructor or participants and I can't do all of the moves they do. But I find ways around. Example: I workout at 4:30 am with my husband and toddler sleeping. Some moves involve jumping a lot. I don't want to be jumping like crazy in fear that they'll wake up. Instead, I jog or do high knees or squats, something. About a week or so after starting Insanity, I noticed I'm able to do the warm up all the way through without getting a drink (the warm up is iinnnntense!). It doesn't bother me that I can't do it all because we all have our limit.
Stay motivated and log into Spark when you're just not feeling it. Stay focused and keep reminding yourself why you're doing what you're doing.
Fitness Minutes: (240)
80 11/23/11 7:24 P
Well I thought... People lose weight quicker in the winter why wait until 2012? So I started around oct 29th. I've lost like 10 or 15 pounds. and am aiming to go from 280 ( now like 265) to around 160 or 150. I'm female, 18yr, 5ft, 9in. I just want to feel good. In the month I've been exercising I've been able to go from 4 minuets of cardio to 15 to 20 minuets! and thats with my heart condition! I'm so happy. I'm feeling better more energetic and happier. :) Now I want to get p90x when i get to 200 pounds :) Right now I'm doing how ever much I can of 3 things 6 days a week. Taebo Winsor pilates And 5 pound dumbells ( i will have to save up for 20 pound ones) hey do you guys know a good brand of exercising bands or Ribbons or what ever their called? BTW my names Amber