The current trend in fad diets is toward organic, natural, free-range foods that have been sung to by virgins and massaged by monks.
As much as these may seem like the ideal things to eat, they come at a steep price.
And with the economic climate the way it is, there is a serious problem for anyone on a ‘normal’ income – it appears that you can’t AFFORD to get thin and be healthy.
GOOD NEWS! I’m here to tell you this is NOT THE CASE!
Organic, natural, free-range foods may be a bit better for you, but the difference is largely overstated if you’re eating mostly fruit and vegetables with a little meat. The ‘normal’, non-organic stuff will do you just fine.
Here are 5 budget-friendly foods that will help you lose weight, combat belly fat, and get TONS of nutrients too.
1. Pilchards and sardines
Oily fish can be part of a healthy diet. People will tell you this means Norwegian Salmon at a massive price. Actually, pilchards and sardines are just as beneficial, and very affordable.
They provide Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. These are important for everything from brain function to fat loss. Open a tin, pop the contents onto a couple of rice cakes or cracker bread pieces, add a few drops of soy sauce, lots of lettuce and tomato, and you have a cheap, tasty, quick, healthy meal.
2. Peanut butter (unsweetened, unsalted)
Peanut butter is a good source of protein, carbs and healthy fats.
The problem with the off-the-shelf stuff has always been the amount of salt, sugar and chemicals added to it to make it taste ‘better’. Instead of buying the usual stuff, pick up the Black Cat sugar-free version, with no salt added (yellow lid).
To make a meal of it, cut an apple into quarters and spread some peanut butter on the slices of apple. The apples will make it taste a bit sweeter and add some fibre and vitamins to your diet. It is a pretty filling meal, and great for lunch times at your desk, as it is crumb free (but greasy!).
Eggs are cheap. Even the ‘expensive’ free-range ones are around R3.00 each. Three scrambled eggs makes a protein rich, nutrient dense meal. Add lots of veg, salad, or carrot juice and you have a great way to start the day.
No matter what your granny tells you about how little fruit used to cost, fruit is relatively cheap.
You can buy 4.5kg of bananas for the same price as a take-away meal – but try eating 25 bananas for lunch… not so easy!
And no matter what the so-called diet ‘gurus’ tell you about the sugar content of fruit, fruit is HEALTHY! Can we please all accept that eating a banana, or any other fresh fruit, WILL NOT make you fat, like chocolate bars, baked goods, fried/fatty foods or chemical/sugary drinks will?!
If you need a quick, easy, healthy, nutritious lunch, a budget of R10.00 will get you two bananas and two apples. That’ll keep you full for a while!
5. Whey protein shakes
Whey protein powder shakes are a way of getting a healthy dose of protein at a reasonable price.
If you buy in bulk, you can get good quality protein powders for around R6.00 per serving. When one considers what tuna or chicken or beef would cost to get the same amount of protein, it’s a bargain.
Make sure you get a good quality protein powder from a company that tests its products independently.
Find a flavour you like and mix with water or milk for a simple meal, or blend into a fruit shake for some extra energy and vitamins. If you’re mixing it with milk, consider the extra calories that come with milk, and build those into your daily intake.