If you were to look at current statistics, you would find that more than two-thirds of the American population is either obese or overweight. What’s worse is that one in three children is now also considered to be overweight or obese. Healthy eating is not only time consuming, but it can get very expensive too. When money gets tight, it’s often healthy food and grocery shopping that takes a hit because there are other bills that need to be paid and prioritized. Unhealthy groceries like frozen foods, processed or packaged meals and cheap fast food is an easy way to feed a family, but it’s not the only option. Believe it or not, it is possible to create a healthy meal plan on a budget. With a few smart swaps, efficient meal planning and educated shopping you can easily create a healthy meal plan on a budget for your entire family.
Eating healthy is important not only for fitness and weight loss purposes, but it also significantly lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. You will also have more energy, increased productivity and you won’t suffer from sicknesses like the common cold because your immune system will be strengthened.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you figure out how to create a healthy meal plan on a budget:
- Create A Menu
When you are trying to eat healthy, especially at the very beginning, it’s very important that you create a menu to follow daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We would even recommend planning out your snacks in advance. When you have a menu, it makes it easier to shop for groceries and stick to a list so you’re not buying food in excess, which helps maintain your budget.
- Plan Around Foods That Are on Sale
Check your mail often for flyers from local grocery stores that feature coupons and sales. You’ll be surprised how often healthy favorites are offered at discounted prices. If you are buying fresh foods on sale make sure that you use them up, so they won’t go to waste.
- Plan A Meatless Meal
When you are trying to eat healthy, you’ll learn that protein will become a very important part of your daily routine. Lean meats are a great source of protein, but it can add up quickly if you’re eating steak every night. You can replace meat protein with beans, lentils, eggs or fish for an equally delicious, healthy and budget friendly meal.
- Shop Seasonal
It’s very important to shop for fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Not only are they priced well and more likely to be on sale, but fruits and veggies taste so much better when they are in season!
- Use Leftovers
Get creative with your leftovers – if you’re cooking up a big meal of chicken with rice and vegetables, then you can use the leftovers to make a big pot of chicken soup the next day. Throwing away leftover food is not only a waste of food, but also a big waste of money.
- Make Extras
If you bought extra beef or veggies on sale – don’t let them go to waste by going bad in your refrigerator. Use up extra veggies to make a big pot of soup and make two batches of lasagna instead of one if you have extra meat. You can always freeze the extras and save them for another week. If you make more than you consume in one day, then you also ensure you have food for lunch and snacks so that you are not tempted to eat out, or waste money on an unhealthy fast food fix.
- Switch to Whole Grains
If you want to eat healthy and lose weight, you need to work more whole grains, fruits and vegetables into your diet. Whole grains have a ton of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy, and it helps you feel full faster. Buy superfood grains, like quinoa, in bulk and get creative with implementing it into your menu – you can add quinoa to salads, soups, bowls and more.
It can be difficult to eat healthy all the time, especially on a tight budget. Even though it requires time and a financial commitment, it’s important to eat healthy so you can feel better, reach your fitness and health goals and ultimately live a long and happy life. If you are ready to make a lifestyle change then contact us to make an appointment and learn more about our weight loss services. We look forward to meeting you and helping you be healthier and more confident!