DIARY OF A FIT FOODIE: 10 PROVEN WAYS TO WATCH YOUR WEIGHT AND YOUR WALLET
As this week is Global Money Week, I will be sharing tips on how I get to save money while watching my weight.
For those of us who have spent some years on this weight watching journey, we know it can be quite expensive. Especially if like me, you like to eat.
And be full.
That means eating more of the healthy stuff and less of the fattening stuff.
But sadly, most of the healthy things (I like eating), tend to be more expensive than the non-healthy things. For example, a plate of jollof rice with all the carbs loaded in it is more expensive to buy or cook than grilled fish and salad.
Meanwhile the salad wouldn’t even fill your tummy like that. Maybe with the grilled fish though…
Anyway, I have had to learn how to watch my weight and watch my wallet at the same time.
I cannot comman go and start begging for food because I got broke from eating too much food.
So here are the 10 ways I have managed to watch my weight and my wallet at the same time.
1. Drink plenty water
Duh! If your belly is full with water, you wouldn’t be so hungry. If you are not so hungry, you spend less on food. Tadaaaa. Money saved!
I usually have a water bottle, jug, or glass cup nearby at all times. Before I eat any meal, I try to drink a glass or two of water. This helps me feel full faster, and eat less – so I spend less on meals.
2. CYOC – Cook Your Own Chops
Cooking is much cheaper than buying food and it also helps me be in control of the quality of what I eat. It’s easier to eat healthier for cheaper when you shop for the foodstuff yourself and cook them yourself.
3. Planning and preparing meals ahead of time
Knowing what I was going to eat before I got hungry, or even before that day, helped me ensure I ate right. I usually cook about two or three healthy dishes and store them in the freezer, to eat for about two or three weeks. I store everything – including my ketogenic cabbage swallows. So when going to work, I just pick up a plate or two for breakfast/lunch and off I go.
There are also meal planning mobile apps which help you have a more detailed plan of what you will eat on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
4. Quality over quantity
Some foods are more filling than others. And some foods even make me hungrier than others. I discovered that half a plate of beans keeps me full for much longer than a full plate of rice. Generally, proteins and veggies are healthier and keep you full for longer. I had to condition myself to stop going for the full plate of rice or big wrap of swallow, but to go for healthier options which were also filling, and money saving.
5. Walk! Walk! Walk! Walk!
Walking is like the cheapest form of exercise ever. Followed by aerobics. But if you don’t have the time or the discipline to be doing jumping jacks and pushups in your room all by yourself, then walk. Whenever you can, walk rather than take a bike or bus. Park your car farther from the entrance of places you are going to. I sometimes look for reasons to go ‘buy something’ just so I could take a stroll from point A to point B.
6. Eat slowly
I used to think eating slowly was over-rated, but my dear, it isn’t. For someone who likes wolfing down food, learning to eat slowly hasn’t been easy. But I noticed that when the food finishes too fast, I am more likely to go for third helpings (seconds are a given. lol). Which leads to me spending more money on food. However when I eat slowly, the quantity of the food seems more because it takes longer to finish. I am also more likely to feel full, unlike if I ate the same quantity of food in my usual rush and before I blinked, the food was gone.
7. Portion control
For those who have mastered the mysterious art of portion control – I doff my wig to you. This portion control thing takes a special grace which I am still struggling to tap into. I like my food, and I like it plenty. But eating smaller sizes means there’s more money left in my wallet at the end of the day.
So here’s a trick I sometimes do. On the days I eat at the office cafeteria, I often leave my desk with just the exact money I plan to spend – e.g just enough cash for moin-moin and fish. That way when I get there, I am constrained to eat just the amount I have on me. (Though I sometimes break this rule and tell them to come collect the money from me at my desk – or cash me ousside, howbow dah?)
8. Become besties with fruits
Especially fruits with fiber like pineapples, oranges, etc. Banana is also very filling. Though some people argue that these fruits are not so ideal because of their sugar content, but this is natural sugar which your body actually needs a percentage of. Eating a pineapple for dinner is usually cheaper than eating a full meal.
9. Brushing after dinner
When I brush my teeth after dinner, I usually don’t feel like eating any other thing till I sleep. And this goes a long way in watching that weight and watching that wallet.
10. Check the price tag and the labels
Lastly, whenever I buy any food time from the supermarket, I check not just the price tag, but also the labels. Reading and comparing labels between similar products helps me know which products have less calories, sugars, gluten, etc, than the other. Cheaper is not always better, so the trick is to find the balance of good price and good ingredients.
Which of these tips did you find most helpful? Tell us in the comments section below.