You’re in luck! A good nutrition plan doesn’t have to be expensive! Eating healthy on a budget is not only possible but it’s not as hard as you think – especially where weight loss is the goal and we want to reduce our food intake. This guide will tell you how to eat healthy, and get the nutrition that you need, whilst sticking to a tight budget.
1. Choose simple ingredients
If it wasn’t food 100 years ago, it’s not food today! For general health, staple foods should be proteins, good fats and complex carbohydrates. Foods to avoid are anything processed. Not only are these bad for our health but often cost more than healthy alternatives. Concentrate on getting basic, raw unprocessed foods and get creative with your cooking. Also, remember that nutrition starts at the supermarket – if it’s not in the fridge, it can’t go into your body.
2. Don’t eat too much!
Use an app such as My Fitness Pal to track your calories and avoid eating too much – this will massively increase your chances of achieving your goals. If you’re eating more calories than your body needs, it simply will be impossible to lose weight, plus you will be wasting your money.
3. Train with weights
Weight training increases your metabolism by stimulating new muscle growth. Exercising will help you stay healthy, and will accelerate any weight loss program. Try to work out at least 3 times a week and you will see much faster results.
4. Do cardio
It may sound simple, and you probably already know this, but cardio is great for your health – it helps burn calories and in turn can be used to reduce body fat. Try to get in some cardio on days when you aren’t hitting the gym. This could be anything from a short walk to an hour of running, but anything is always better than nothing! Get moving!
5. Avoid parties and alcohol
If you’re spending all of your money on parties and alcohol, then you need to seriously reconsider your priorities – eating healthy on a budget requires some sacrifices. Being in shape is about being healthy as well as looking good, and one of the worst things you can do for both your wallet and physique is blow all your money at a bar or club. There are a thousand things more fun in life than getting intoxicated, and it’s likely you won’t remember anything in the morning anyway!
Staples of Each Food Group:
Here are some basic examples of what to eat and what not to eat from each food group. If you are not sure what proportion of protein, carb and fats you should be eating, give our nutrition calculator a go.
Eat – Canned fish, fresh fish, chicken breast, turkey breast, beef mince, chicken/turkey mince, eggs
Avoid – Processed meat (including sausages and hams), fried chicken, cheese, pork
Eat – Olive oil, coconut oil/milk, raw nuts, avocado, nut butters (with no added sugar)
Avoid – Sunflower/vegetable oils, butter and spreads, anything deep fried, cream, milk
Eat – Rice, potato, sweet potato, yams, onions, rolled oats, all vegetables
Avoid – Sugars, cakes/cookies/doughnuts, white bread, white pasta, energy drinks, soda, sweets, chocolate
For a full breakdown, read our full article on Foods to Eat and Avoid to Stay in Shape.
Example Day of Eating:
Here’s an example of a day’s meal plan that should work for anyone eating healthy on a budget. You can switch food sources with those from the list above to create a long-term plan.
Porridge oats with water and berries
Omelette with tomato and onion
Baked potato with Canned tuna, 1 tbsp olive oil and salad
Roast chicken breast, rice and broccoli
Handful of raw nuts, berries, rice cakes with unsweetened almond butter