Eating for Fat Loss on a Budget
Often we will get asked how you can eat healthy for fat loss on a budget. Whilst we truly believe the cleaner the food the better, i.e. organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed meats etc, this is not always possible for everyone’s budgets.
We believe the important aspects of nutrition to work on are the macronutrient proportions (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), combinations and simply eating whole foods. Once you have mastered that, your increased vigour and confidence in your new body leads to a promotion and therefore you can spend more on even better quality food!
It should be noted that for many the quality level of food is a lower priority than what it should be. The fast paced nature of modern day life has increased our drive for convenience foods, which on the most part are not healthy choices. It is like seeing a Ferrari in a drive through McDonalds. Surely that individual can afford to spend more money on the fuel they are consuming rather than the fuel their car is consuming, even at today’s fuel prices.
The basics of a good diet that will bring about long term fat loss are finding the macronutrient proportions that work for you. For most people in the leaning up phase this is reduced carbohydrates, increased fats and proteins. In our time as personal trainers and nutritionists based in London we have seen less than 1 in 20 that are truly tolerant to carbohydrates, by that I mean they can eat carbohydrates till they come out of their ears and rarely put on body fat. These individuals tend to do better on lower fat higher carbohydrate and moderate protein, and in some instances do well on close to a vegetarian diet. But let’s assume you are one of the 19 out of 20 that are best suited to reducing their carbohydrate levels down, if so our guest blogger Ben is going to show you how he manages to eat a healthy eating plan for less than £50 per week and still build a ripped physique.
There are many reasons why our guest blogger can achieve great fat loss results on a budget, to name a few he is organised, he trains at least 4 times per week, he does not make excuses but works with Body Solutions London to find the answer to his fat loss challenges.
Below is a summary of my 6 day food diary. My total spending for 6 days of food came to £42.50, and I should add that at no point did I go hungry. This diet works for me and I went to the gym 6 times in 6 days. My diet was clean and in line with trying to lose fat, with enough variety to avoid being boring. Importantly the diet is easily prepared despite having a fairly busy schedule (I leave the house around 6.30am each morning to go to the gym before work, and I usually get home around 7pm each night.
Without fail each morning I have an apple and a little bit of peanut butter before I set off for the gym. Peanut butter gets me out of bed in the morning, I might be addicted to the stuff, but eating it with an apple is a good way to get me going, and I am told the fat in the peanut butter works well with the apple. It takes no time to prepare so it’s perfect for me at this time in the morning. I understand that eating this meal stops me breaking down tissue during my morning workout. After the gym, I eat 3 boiled eggs (boiled night before in batch, usually 6 at a time to save effort for the next day). For lunch, I eat a roast chicken salad. I roast the chicken the day before and use 1 chicken breast for my salad. This leaves 1 breast for another salad, 2 drumsticks for a snack, and 2 wings for a snack as well. For my 4.30pm snack, and to avoid a chicken overdose, I have a can of mackerel. I get home at 7pm and get busy with dinner. For dinner I have 2 x salmon fillets (roast from frozen) with some peas, chopped onions and some jalapeno peppers for a bit of a kick. I make twice the amount I need (4 x fillets), so that lunch for tomorrow is already taken care of. A few hours later (around 9pm) I have a snack before bed (1 x can of tuna does the trick). I buy the “no drain” tuna – it’s much easier to eat when on the go, and I think it leads to less waste, as you don’t squirt half the can across the room whilst trying to drain it.
Pre gym snack again is apple and peanut butter. Breakfast after the gym is 2 x chicken drumsticks (from the roast chicken I mentioned previously). Lunch is the salmon fillets with peas that cooked the night before. As an afternoon snack I have chicken wings (so far I haven’t had to prepare anything today thanks to what I did the day before). Dinner is 2 x cod fillets (with some peas etc, same way as salmon – I cook double the amount so lunch for tomorrow is taken care of again). Before bed I have a can of mackerel for a snack.
Pre gym - Apple and peanut butter (you get the idea now). Breakfast is 3 x boiled eggs (eaten after gym – cooked these on Monday). Actually it gets easier to peal boiled eggs the less “fresh” they are...so if you cook in batch, by about the 2nd or 3rd day they are much easier to peel, thats a bonus! For lunch around 12.30 I eat the cod fillets that I cooked the night before. Snack around 4.30 is a can of mackerel. For dinner I make a salad with the remaining chicken breast. I prepare a huge salad, use half with the chicken breast for dinner, and mix the other half with tuna for lunch for tomorrow. I also mix up a batch of home made burgers (use 1 x packet of beef mince, approx. 800g, chopped onion, chopped jalapenos, olive oil, seasoning). I cook all the mince / burgers and split into 4 lots of burgers (approx 200g each) which I wrap in foil, each can be used for a meal / snack, and they are easy to take around with you. *note go easy on the garlic if you plan to eat in public. Later that night, the first lot of burgers serve as my evening snack (how can I resist after cooking them).
Starting with pre gym snack as always (Peanut butter and apple), for breakfast after the gym I tuck into some homemade burgers. For lunch I have a tuna salad which I prepared last night. Afternoon snack is a can of mackerel. Again I haven’t had to prepare anything so far today thanks to last nights’ efforts. When I get home I make a big stir fry with turkey fillets, cabbage, peas, jalapenos etc. This will serve as dinner and 2 other meals. I also boil another batch of eggs and have 3 for my evening snack. I read somewhere that eating a high cholesterol snack before bed can be good for boosting testosterone levels.
Apple and peanut butter kicks things off. After the gym I have some homemade burgers for breakfast – they dont get boring when they taste this good. Lunch is the second 3rd of the turkey stir fry. For an afternoon snack I have 1 can of tuna. For dinner I use some homemade burgers chopped up in a salad, nice. Before bed my snack is 3 x boiled eggs.
Apple and peanut butter pre gym. Breakfast after the gym is 3 boiled eggs. My lunch is the final 3rd of the big Turkey stir fry. For my afternoon snack I have a can of mackerel, and for dinner I make a tuna salad. Later that evening I snack on a can of tuna before bed.
- 3 for £10 meat (1 whole chicken, 1 turkey fillets, 1 beef mince) = £10
- 1 x Frozen salmon (4 fillets) = £4
- 5 x cans tuna = £5
- 15 eggs = £2.50
- 5 x Mackarel = £4
- 6 x Apples = £1.50
- 1 x Peanut butter = £2.50
- 1 x Lettuce = £1
- 1 x Cabbage = £1
- 1 x Pickled Onions = £1
- 1 x Jalapenos = £1
- 1 x Frozen Cod (4 fillets) = £4
- 1 x Frozen Peas = £1
- 1 x Frozen Sweetcorn = £1.50
- 1 x Frozen Stir-fry = £1
- 1 x Frozen Spinach = £1.50
TOTAL £42.50 FOR 6 DAYS