Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Eating Healthy On A Budget: College Edition!

If I could get a $100 for every time a client says to me, “Eating healthy is expensive”, I’d have a profitably side business just off that. The truth is, many, especially college students,  think that in order to eat healthy, you have to beak the bank. Subsequently, many students just put their diet and health on the back burner until they ten or fifteen pounds heavier and baffled as to how they gained so much weight. With a little forethought and planning, eating healthy on a budget is possible! Here are a few tips to help you lose weight or maintain your healthy weight.   

Cook Your Own Meals
Rather than buying expensive cooked meals, cook your own at home. This will save you calories and money. All you need are a few good recipes and a shopping list. Then you can make your own delicious low-calorie and low-cost meals. According to one study, planning out your meals for the whole day really does help you lose weight. Substituting fatty meats and over processed grain for high fibre food options such beans and whole grains not only makes you feel fuller for longer but its also more affordable.

Eat More Veggies!
Eating lots of fruit and vegetables are a must when it comes to losing weight. Because they're high in water and fibre and low in calories, the fill you up without adding pounds. But they don't have to be expensive once you buy them in season. Frozen veggies can be another great option, with just as much nutrition as fresh ones.

Learn What A Portion Looks Like
Its interesting for me to listen to clients whenever I ask them to do a 24-hour recall of what they’ve eaten. What I find is that most people, whether thin or overweight, underestimate how much they eat. They’re often shocked when I show them what a real standardized portion looks like. So, instead of buying expensive pre-portioned meals, I advise clients to get themselves familiar with proper portion sizes so they can help stop overeating. Easy way to do this is by using a kitchen scale or measuring cups to measure proper servings of your favorite foods. Do this a few times until you can eyeball portions. And try making recipes that offer built-in portion control, like mini casseroles in muffin tins.

Make Your Own Low-Calorie Snack
Grab your measuring cups and measure out individual servings of your favorite healthy snacks (whole-grain crackers, nuts, popcorn) to pack up in reusable containers or small zip-lock bags. You’ll be more mindful of the portions you’re consuming as well as saving money by buying less of those small packaged snacks. One of my favourite snacks is the extremely inexpensive and super healthy homemade popcorn. Popcorn kernels don’t cost much and you can air-pop them in the microwave. All you do is add 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, fold over several times to seal and cook it in the microwave for a couple minutes or until you hear pops become more infrequent. Three cups of popped popcorn contains 3 grams of fiber and just 105 calories—provided you don’t add butter—and it’s a whole grain!
Write It Down!
Studies show that keeping a food journal helps you not only to keep track of what you're eating but it also helps you to lose weight. Technology has made it so much easier to keep track of what you eat. There are so many free apps like 40-30-30 or Lose It! - and then there's regular pen and paper. writing down everything you eat helps you lose weight. You can use a notebook and pencil or try one of the many free food-tracking apps, like Lose It! The important is to write down everything you eat. That will compel you to become more aware of what you’re eating.

Skip the Gym
Forget shelling out a bunch of money for gym membership. Instead, search for fun activities you enjoy for free like a sport. If you’re new to exercise start out with something as simple as daily walks. As you feel yourself getting stronger, you can increase the time and speed of your walks. Other options include hiking, jogging, playing a sport like football or netball and dancing. You can also find a ton of free workout videos online such as those on PopSugar Fitness on Youtube.

Eat less
Yes, if you just eat less food you will lose weight and save money. Start by splitting your
meals in half or substituting expensive meat options for cheaper vegetarian options like
beans, lentils and eggs.

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