Want to know how to eat healthy on a budget AND lose weight?
I’ve always been a frugal person. My family just didn’t have a lot of money growing up.
But as I grew up and started working, I started to learn more about nutrition. Specifically when it comes to the quality of food you put in your body.
Nowadays, food is just something that I don’t cheap out on anymore.
My health is my number one priority in my life. I value it above all. That is where I choose to direct my money. Everything else just has to fit right in.
The way I see it, I’d rather invest in my health up front through eating the best foods money can buy to keep my body healthy.
Rather than having to pay for it later through expensive medication, surgeries, and poor quality of life that comes with living an unhealthy lifestyle.
You cannot keep eating bread, Doritos, and Twinkies, and expect to stay healthy.
You might be able to get away with it while you’re young. This is when you see people eat the worst diet and somehow stay skinny. But father time is always undefeated. It will catch up to you.
Did you know that the average American gains 1.5 lbs of fat and loses 0.5 of muscle every year starting at the age of 25 up until 55? If you do some simple math, that adds up real fast.
This is why people get into their 40’s and wonder how they put on all the extra weight they’re carrying. With all that extra weight, specifically all that visceral fat around your belly, comes a boat load of problems.
Do you know the number one cause of bankruptcy is in the US? Illness.
People getting sick and not being able to pay for hospital bills and medication.
So if you focus on proper nourishment now, it will pay dividends later on. Studies have shown that Europeans spend 20% of their income on groceries. In North America, especially in the US? It’s 8%.
Europeans also tend to have better health than Americans. So that right away tells you where the problem starts
But I also understand that we all don’t have big budgets. I get it. You can’t give what you don’t have. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot eat healthy. I refuse to believe that. You just have to make some adjustments in your life.
So today, I’m gonna show you my top 7 tips on how to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight.
How To Eat Healthy On A Budget And Lose Weight
1. You need to be financially literate
The first step on how to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight, and this is a two for one process, is figure out where your money is going to begin with.
You need to be financially literate. This is why I have such a big problem with our school system.
I might ruffle some feathers when I say this. But why are we are teaching kids that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and we still read old english literature in high school, yet we are still financially illiterate after graduating.
We come out not knowing about taxes, interest rates, and how to even create a budget. So that’s where we should start if you want to know how to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight.
Learning about money and budgeting is crucial when it comes to being able to allocate your money accordingly. This concept isn’t even just about eating healthy. This is just how you do life in general.
A lot of people don’t know where their money is going. And then, come the middle of the month, they look at their bank account and all they can afford is to eat cheap ramen noodles until their next pay cheque.
You can literally type how to create a budget on youtube after reading this and start learning more about managing your money.
2. Write down all your expenses every month
Once you figure out where your money is going, write down all your expenses every month.
There are fixed costs like rent, phone bill, utilities, and groceries. Then, there are variable costs. Things like gym memberships, eating out, Netflix, Spotify, and buying alcohol.
If you’ve never done this before, this is gonna be an eye opening experience for you.
For example, if go out for dinner and drinks every weekend, one night can range anywhere from $30 to $100 or more for some people.
If we use that lower number of $30 and you multiply that by 4, that’s $120 a month. If you go out Friday and Saturday, that’s $240 a month. And that’s just with a $30 budget for one night.
I know people who blow $300 in one night and then they’re eating ramen noodles for the rest of the week.
Are you paying for multiple entertainment subscriptions? Do you have Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Disney Plus, or whatever else is out there?
Those easily cost $10-$15 each. Do you really need all 5 of them? If you even get rid of one, that will free up some money and you can buy 3 cartons of pasture raised eggs instead.
Do you shop online on things you don’t need that’s just gonna sit in your closet? That adds up real fast.
Also, designer coffees. I’m talking about crappy Frappies from Starbucks which you should not be drinking to begin with.
That’s at least $5 every day. Add it all up and that’s $150 a month that you can dedicate towards healthy food.
If you eat avocado toast every day which i’ve seen cost $10 at some restaurants, and this is the number one reason why millennials can’t afford a house, you can basically retire off of that money. Just kidding.
My point here is little things like that add up real fast.
With the designer coffee and avocado toast alone, even if you just cut that in half, that’s got you covered when it comes to switching from cheap feed lot meat to grass fed and grass finished beef.
You can go from cheap low quality eggs to pasture raised eggs. Trust me, the difference in taste is night and day. It’s not even close. You won’t want to go back.
This is why being financially literate is the first step on how to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight because you need to know where your money is going.
If you want to prioritize how to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight, then you should evaluate where your money is going every month so you can afford more than just ramen noodles.
The thing is, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. And that’s a huge myth in that if you wanna eat healthy, you have to buy these “health” foods and green powder superfoods.
Do you know what the best superfoods are? Whole foods. Focus on buying real food.
You should buy high quality meat and vegetables. Not açai and super greens. And I see this all the time. People buy the cheapest quality meat and eggs but then they buy a tub of greens powder. That makes no sense.
3. Buy frozen and in bulk.
I was at the grocery store the other day, and I live in Canada by the way, and I was looking at an avocado. It was $2.50 for one.
But then they have bagged ones and it was 5 for $5. That right away saves you over 50% per avocado. That adds up real fast.
Also, when it comes to vegetables, frozen ones tend to be cheaper.
Pro tip on how to eat health on a budget and lose weight: Buy in bulk whenever something that you normally eat is on sale.
When it comes to eggs for example, whenever organic free run eggs go on sale, I’ll buy it in bulk. Just watch out for the expiry date.
Same thing with vegetables. Whenever something goes on sale like asparagus, I would prep it and just freeze it. Same thing with meat. Little conscious decisions like that add up real fast.
Quick note on meat. If you have no access to grass fed and grass finished, hormone and antibiotic free beef, you should buy lean cuts instead.
Studies show that when animals are fed corn, grain, fillers, and candy. That’s right, these animals are fed candy to fatten them up. All the bad stuff in these animals accumulate in the fat.
So if you buy a leaner cut, then you’re gonna get less of that harmful stuff. And then, to add back some healthy fat, you can buy grass-fed and grass finished butter like Kerigold.
If you’ve never had it, prepare to get your mind blown.
4. Learn some basic cooking skills
This tip alone will save you so much money so you can actually afford the best quality foods.
The mark ups are insane when you eat out. I know this because I used to be a bartender. A salad for example after taxes and tipping can easily cost you $20. That is, if you don’t get a drink.
$20 also buys you two boxes of grass-fed and grass finished burger patties that will last you a week. Making that switch takes care of the most expensive part of your food budget.
If you skip your designer coffee one day and make coffee from home, that gets you a dozen pasture raised eggs which can last you a week, depending on how many eggs you consume in a day.
Also, you do not need to be a top chef when you meal prep. The microwave and oven are your best friends.
I like buying grass-fed and grass finished meatballs and burger patties because I can just throw them in the oven.
Eating eggs is a staple for all my meals because they’re kinda hard to mess up. I love roasting my vegetables and then I freeze them so they last longer. I do all those things once a week.
My prep time every day is literally just heating up my food and making eggs. And usually, people have more time than money. So put that to good use by meal prepping.
You can also make your own homemade avocado toast at home so you can one day afford to buy a house if you’re a millennial who’s reading this.
If you have kids, spend some of that money that you would normally use on your kids meal when you’re eating out and hire a baby sitter for a couple of hours.
That way, you can have time to meal prep for your kids and actually feed them quality food. Instead of just giving them breakfast cereal.
I’m not saying you should never eat out. I eat out once maybe twice a week. But I do it in a way that doesn’t break my budget. Here’s how.
5. Look for daily deals
This is gonna be individualized for every city.
But let me give you some examples. I love tacos. Do you know what I love even more? Cheap tacos.
Usually, most Mexican or Tex Mex restaurants do cheap taco Tuesdays. If you like wings, a lot of places do wing deals every week. Why pay full price if you can get it for cheap?
A lot of places also do happy hour. If you’re meeting up for drinks on weekends for example, try to schedule it during happy hour.
Where I live, at some bars, you can get a highball for $3 instead of $10 during happy hour. You just saved $7.
Again, it’s all about being conscious with your spending and you can put the money you save towards buying higher quality foods.
6. Don’t buy workout supplements.
I kinda brushed on this earlier but taking supplements when you’re eating a crappy diet is basically like lighting your money on fire.
If your goal is to just be healthy, build some muscle, get a flat stomach see some abs, and have that tight and toned look, you can accomplish all those things without ever taking a scoop of pre-workout, BCAA, magic green powder, or protein powder.
In fact, a lot of these supplements are not good for you. Protein powders for example are extremely insulinogenic. Because whey and casein, which is what a lot of these powders are made out of, are extremely processed.
They’re also usually sweetened with sucralose or artificial sweeteners which makes them extremely fattening.
It’s the same thing with BCAA and pre workout. You can get all the amino acids and so many more nutrients and minerals that your body needs, like vitamin K2 and vitamin B12, from eating a piece of steak.
Again, try to buy high quality meat. You’ll be able to afford it if you stopped buying useless supplements.
If you really need the caffeine kick, coffee or tea instead. You can probably buy a second house by the amount of money you’re saving from not buying workout supplements.
Before I reveal it my next tip on how to eat healthy on a budge and lose weight, I just have to say that this was an unexpected bonus when I started doing it.
This has saved me a fortune.
7. Do intermittent fasting
I talk a lot of the therapeutic and healing benefits of fasting on my YouTube channel so make sure you check out my other videos about it. But let’s look at it from a budget stand point.
If you’re someone who normally eats 6 meals a day which I am not a big fan of, and you just cut that down to 3 meals, you’re gonna save some money.
You shouldn’t be snacking to begin with because we don’t really snack on the healthiest stuff.
If you cut those three meals and just ate two, you’re gonna save even more money. Take things to the next level and just eat once a day, and this is what I do, you’re gonna save a fortune.
If you do this, you can probably afford a really nice car on top of your two houses that you can now afford from cutting out designer coffees, avocado toast, and workout supplements.
Even if that one meal is a little bit bigger, or let’s say you eat two meals. And this is the minimum effective dose of intermittent fasting that I love to preach. Do a 16 hour fast and just eat two bigger meals.
You only have two meals you need to worry about. This is why I always say that when you skip breakfast, think of your body burning your body fat as your “breakfast”.
It’s stored energy waiting to be used. That right away saves you so much money.
Now, I just have to mention this quickly because this is just part of living a healthy lifestyle and that’s the topic of exercise.
We live in a world where it’s not uncommon, especially for specialty gyms like CrossFit, spin, or yoga to charge upwards of $200 a month. Barry’s Bootcamp charges $300 per month and I have no idea why.
If you’re already on a budget and you look at those prices, you most likely wouldn’t be able to afford it. That’s okay.
This is why I don’t even recommend signing up for a gym membership right away when you’re just starting out.
There are so many things you can do on your own like going for a walk outside. It’s free. It’s also been proven to lower your stress levels.
I’m getting stressed just thinking about paying $300 a month for a gym membership.
If you can’t go outside, just do home workouts. Even if you have a small space you can workout in a hallway and do burpees there.
You should check out my Lean Body Blueprint: 21 Day Weight Loss Challenge if you want a more detailed plan on how to do home workouts properly.
My point is do not let your budget discourage you from working out. I’d rather you spend your money on high quality food than paying $200 a month for a gym membership.
The biggest take away here is eating healthy is not expensive. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
You just need to make some small adjustments with your lifestyle so you can free up some of that money to buy high quality meat and eggs.
For example, I don’t have a liquor budget because I don’t drink. But I have a big food budget because that’s important to me.
The last thing point that I want you to take away is nourishing your body, by feeding it the highest quality food, is one of the greatest forms of self love.
Your health is your greatest asset and you are absolutely worth it.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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