Losing weight can be difficult; nutritious foods such as avocados, oily fish and other sources of protein are an important part of a healthy diet, but if you’re on a budget these foods are typically expensive. Nutritionist Luke Hanna has shared his top budget-friendly food swaps to aid weight loss.
Luke said: “I’d recommend thinking about each meal having a source of protein, two to three portions of veggies and a source of carbs in order to lose weight.
“If you plan meals ahead you will know exactly how much you need for when.
“This reduces the risk of creating waste or buying unnecessary ingredients.
“What’s more, you can make some simple swaps to get the same health benefits while paying less.
“These are my top five swaps to help you lose weight on a budget,” he added.
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Swap oily fish for tins or supplements
Luke said: “It’s a good idea to consume oily fish two to three times a week.
“Alternatively, you can supplement with algae-based omegas, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
“Those who eat fish could also try frozen fish fillets or canned tuna as a cheaper alternative to the fish you would buy fresh.
“In the context of weight loss and health benefits, the protein and amino acids in fish are required for many physiological functions and will help keep you full.”
As for how much you’d save, supermarkets offer a range of fish at a variety of prices.
Tesco offers frozen salmon fillets for £10.46 per kilogram, while frozen hake fillets are over £3 less at £6.90 per kilogram, with basa fillets costing the same. White fish fillets are priced at £4.20 per kilogram, whereas taking supplements is obviously the cheapest option.
A month’s supply of Algae Omega-3 supplements are £13.99 on Amazon, and taking one a day costs 46p.
Swap fresh fruits and vegetables for frozen
Around £2 per kilogram could be saved by making this simple swap.
Luke said: “With fruits and vegetables, you can choose whatever you want or enjoy – but don’t be afraid to opt for frozen over fresh.
“Many people think it’s not as healthy but it’s simply not true.
“Certain nutrients can actually be locked in because the food doesn’t degrade as quickly.
“There is also less chance of them spoiling, which creates wastage.
“The same applies to tinned and canned veggies,” he added.
At Tesco, you can get 227g of fresh strawberries for £1.89, in comparison, 350g of frozen strawberries cost £2.20.
When you compare the price per kilogram – it’s £8.33 per kilogram for fresh and £6.29 per kilogram for frozen.
That’s over £2 less, just by swapping the fruit aisle for the frozen aisle.
Swap dark chocolate for yoghurt
Not only is yoghurt cheaper, it’s also less calorific.
Luke said: “For dietary fats which aren’t expensive you can buy yoghurts.
“You can buy large tubs which again saves money per gram.
“In an ideal world we would be able to eat in moderation, but in reality it can be quite difficult to eat foods such as chocolate and stop at a couple of squares.
“If you can satisfy sweet cravings with yoghurt then you are not only consuming fewer calories, it’s also cheaper.”
Tesco’s cheapest dark chocolate was 50p per 100g, meanwhile, Activia yoghurts were 36p per 100g.
The yoghurts contain 90 calories per 100g, while the dark chocolate has a whopping 532 calories per 100g.
Swap avocados for olive oil
By choosing olive oil instead of avocados, you get the same health benefits but for less.
Luke said: “Unsaturated fats have been linked with numerous health benefits, such as improving cholesterol, stabilizing heart rhythms and easing inflammation.
“These fats can be found in avocados, nuts, seeds and oils.
“It’s always good to have nuts and seeds available to sprinkle over the top of foods, but these can be expensive.
“A good alternative is making use of olive, peanut and canola oils as they have the same benefits but are much more cost-effective.”
At Asda a single avocado costs 95p on average, while a bottle of olive oil is around £1.70, latestdeals.co.uk found.