As you adjust to the lifestyle of medical weight loss, you will begin to incorporate healthier food choices into your daily diet. Unfortunately, healthy food carries the stigma of being expensive. With the average American spending approximately $6,300 per year on food, there really is no desire to increase that budget to allow for healthier choices.
However, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, eating healthier foods can actually save you money. But how is this possible? Researchers found that when families made efforts to eat healthier, they reduced their food budgets while also reducing their waistlines. The savings came from reduced portion sizes and buying fewer high-calorie foods that typically cost more at the grocery store.
As you progress with your medical weight loss program, there are additional ways to maximize your nutritious food consumption without breaking the bank.
Here are a few ways you and your family can enjoy healthy yet affordable food.
- Grow your own produce. Gardening is one of the most economical ways to enjoy healthy, fresh food for nearly a quarter of the price. If you’re a bit nervous to start one on your own, talk to people in your neighborhood about building a community garden for several families to enjoy.
- Stay in for dinner instead of dining out. Today, Americans spend almost half of their food budget on eating out at restaurants. Save yourself some money by making an effort to make healthy meals at home. You can even double your recipe to freeze the leftovers and enjoy them later to really save some dollars each month on food.
- Visit a farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets offer healthy eaters an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the source. By joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you not only help support local farmers but have access to healthy produce options that have less genetic modification. Compared to inflated grocery store produce, Farmer’s markets tend to sell items at a more reasonable price.
- Make a list and stick to it. Oftentimes, most of the money we spend at the grocery store goes to impulse purchases on unhealthy and unnecessary items. Make a list of only the health foods you need for the week to supplement your medical weight loss diet and only purchase what’s on the list. You will be surprised how much you save by excluding impulse purchases.
- Shop for what’s in season. An easy way to save a few extra dollars at the grocery store is to buy the healthy fruits and veggies that are in season at the time. These items tend to be less expensive than produce that’s not in-season. No matter what season it is, there will always be healthy items to choose from; you’ll just have to pick the ones you enjoy the most.
There’s no beating around the bush when it comes to healthy food—if you want to create a healthier lifestyle for you and your family to supplement weight loss, then you’ll have to change the way you shop and eat. With a little practice you can eat nutritiously without busting your bank account.