Eating Well for Weight Loss and Lean Muscle

Nutrition Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

If you are on both a budget and a diet, don’t fret. Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the healthiest foods can be grown from home easily or, if you don’t’ have a garden, bought cheap from a farmers market. Here are a few ideas for cheap and healthy ingredients to add to your shopping list:

1. Sweet potatoes @ $1.14 per pound.

Sweet potatoes are extremely nutritious and can be added to many dishes to give them a sweet flavor. This type of potato contains a very high amount of fiber, phytonutrients, beta carotene and Vitamin E which is essential for healthy looking skin. Sweet potatoes have also been found to lower the risk of some types of cancer. They can be eaten alone baked and salted or mashed as a tasty sweet side dish.

2. Swiss Chard @ $2.23 per bunch.

Maybe you have never tried it before, but you should. Everyone needs more leafy greens in their diet and Swiss chard is full of nutrients but doesn’t cost much. Swiss chard is an excellent source of chlorophyll and may help prevent cancer. It also contains lutein which prevents muscle degeneration. When bought fresh it can be sautéed with garlic and butter for a healthy side or added into pastas.

3. Beets @ $2.14 for four.

Don’t be scared away by their bright color. That same thing that gives beets their beet red color are disease fighting compounds called anthyocyanins. Beets also contain vitamin C which is necessary for a healthy immune system and healthy eyes.

Eat healthy and eat smart without breaking the bank. If possible, grow as much of your own food as possible. You will ensure that that food is fresh and pesticide free and the seeds are extremely cheap to buy. Even if you are in an apartment, you can still grow fresh herbs on your window sill or tomatoes and peppers in a small space if you have a balcony.

4 Foods You May Think Are Healthy

If your goal is to not only build muscle and lose fat but to just be healthy, take a good look at your diet. Some of the foods that you think are healthy may be hurting you. Here are five foods that you likely label as healthy or a light snack but in fact are harmful to your body:

1.Breakfast cereal.

Many people buy cereal based on a “trusted” brand or labels that can be misleading. The truth is that cereal can contain processed ingredients and tons of sugar that is harmful to you from the inside out. Cereal can be good for you but check out the label first – avoid anything processed or with more than 6 grams of sugar per serving.

2.Granola bars.

A quick and healthy snack or a hinder to your weight loss regime? Granola bars may seem healthy since they contain oats and nuts but taking a second look how many calories are in them may shock you. Some bars contain high amounts of sugar or corn syrup making them a poor diet choice. Grab a piece of fruit and cheese instead.

3.Fruit Juice.

Even juice that is labelled 100% pure fruit juice has added sugar such as fructose. Hydrating yourself or your kids with juice may seem like a good idea but it can backfire. Too much sugar causes inflammation in the body which leads to disease, high blood pressure and obesity. Stick to water or mix half water and half juice to dilute your drink.

4.Rice cakes.

They may be enticing due to the low amount of calories but their nutritional value is next to nothing. Rice cakes usually contain additives and lots of salt. Even those that are whole grain usually do not contain germ which is the most nutritious part of the whole grain kernal. Stick to a piece of unprocessed whole wheat toast with peanut butter for a more fulfilling and healthier snack.

Be a smart eater and you can eat more of what you want and less of the foods that allure you into thinking that they are actually healthy. Avoid labels that say “fat free”, “low calorie” or “sweetened without sugar ” as these foods will usually do you more harm than good.

Meal Planning For Eating Well

When it comes to successful weight loss, planning ahead can be the key to success. However, it is not only your weight loss goals and diet of choice that require some planning, but also your individual meals.

Meal planning is a really great way to ensure that you stay on track with your diet and exercise program. By planning a week’s menu in advance you can be sure to stock up on the groceries you need, whilst avoiding spontaneous and unhealthy grocery store buys.

Making List

First off you’ll need to make a list of the meals you plan on making for the week. If you are on a diet that has very specific regulations than this should be fairly straight forward. If, on the other hand, you are one a more open concept diet, then you will need to do a little more work.

Begin by adding the number of daily calories allowed for you to lose the weight you want to per week. Then make a list of meals and snacks for each day that add up to your desired caloric intake.

Once you’ve done this you should have a list of ingredients that you need. When you head to the grocery store with this list, make sure to buy only what is on here and nothing else.

Now that you’ve got your groceries and your meal plan you can do a little prep ahead of time. Because we tend to lose motivation as the week wears on, especially when we get busy and stressed by the daily demands of work and household tasks, preparing what you can in advance can be a real diet saver.

Prep Work

Snacks in particular can be made in advance as a means of keeping you from overindulging. Because portion size tends to get lost in the shuffle, you can avoid this problem by preparing individual snack portions in advance.

For instance, if you set aside a certain amount of almonds and raisins and pack them up in a ziplock bag of container ahead of time, you can easily grab one when you’re hungry or on your way out the door.

By doing this you will ensure that you don’t just start mindfully munching away which can lead to going way over your allotted portion.

Planning ahead can really help you stick to your diet and weight loss plan and achieve better results. Even better, it can also help you save time and money.