On a diet and low on money? No problem! You can actually diet while still being broke and get great weight loss results. In fact, budget restrictions automatically limit your ability to spend money on pricey junk foods you know you don’t need. The key is learning to avoid diet products that are overpriced and that get a bunch of marketing hype. Here’s a tip: the best foods for you aren’t marketed as diet products - they’re just real foods! So don’t fret if your food budget is incredibly slim. By sticking to the most important things to buy if you’re on a diet and low on money, it won’t be long before you’re pretty slim yourself!
1. Canned Tuna
Tuna is a rock star food when you’re on a diet and low on money! Tuna is cheap, it has 0 carbs, only 1 gram of fat, and has 40 grams of protein in just one 6 ounce tin. Choose tuna packed in water and preferably chunk light instead of albacore for less mercury. Tuna also contains selenium, a nutrient that boosts your thyroid to help you burn more fat, and it’s a great source of lean protein, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D.
Eggs are also a great source of protein that keep you full longer and help your body build lean muscle. Don’t fear the yolks either - they’re a great source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), choline, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 that your metabolism uses to burn fat for fuel instead of store it. Choose organic eggs if you can and have two for breakfast each morning for dieting success all day long!
3. Romaine Lettuce
You still need to eat your leafy greens and veggies on a diet too, even if you're low on money. Kale is great, but romaine is much more affordable per serving, it keeps you full a long time, and it lasts longer than other greens in your fridge.
Oatmeal is incredibly cheap per serving and it’s a top fat-burning food. If you’re not a fan of eggs for breakfast, have a bowl of oatmeal instead. Oats contain beta-glucans, which are carbohydrates that help your body burn fat instead of store it. Oats are also lower in starchy carbs than other grains like rice, and they’re higher in fiber.
Celery is a great veggie to choose if you’re on a diet and low on money. Celery is cheap, it curbs your sweet tooth, and it lasts a long time in the fridge. Celery's water and fiber content also trick your body into thinking you’ve had more to eat than you have. Plus, it even beats bloating to give you a flatter belly!
6. Unsweetened Almond Milk
This nondairy milk is the perfect replacement for milk if you’re on a diet. It’s affordable, only 30 calories per serving, and it's full of Vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin D, which are all critical for a healthy metabolism. Use it in your coffee instead of creamer, in your smoothies, and in your oatmeal.
7. Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is a great weight loss food - but only if it’s plain. Those pricey flavored options aren’t only bad for your budget, but they’re not a good choice for your diet either. Plain yogurt is fairly economical per serving and it keeps you full a long time, which is key to losing weight and saving money.
There’s no excuse for any dieter out there not to take advantage of these foods because they’re amazing for you and your budget! If you’re vegan, beans and legumes make a good substitute for tuna and eggs, so feel free to improvise a bit if you need to. What’s your favorite budget-friendly and diet-friendly food?