The health benefits of low carbohydrate diets are very well-known, but at the same time the diet might prove to be expensive to most. Since the diet requires primarily fresh foods, including fresh meats, it might reduce weight in your wallet as well as your belly. Here are some much-required steps to reduce costs when following the Atkins plan.
The first thing you must do is to be innovative with your meal plans. The diet books that you might be referring to likely contain names of some expensive ingredients. It is not exactly important to go with these expensive stuffs; the authors often mention them only to make their books seem more exotic. Instead you can plan out some simple recipes that are within the limitations of low-carb dieting and don’t suffocate your wallet either. You can very well enjoy the low carbohydrate meals when still economizing on costs.
Another tip is to buy the meats in bulk. Stock up on the chicken, fish and beef. This helps you to get the foods at attractive prices. You can store them in freezer bags in small meal-sized portions if you want. It will be easy for you to take one bag out and defrost it when it’s time for a meal. The best part is that you can then cook these meats in several different ways and keep the cooked parts for refrigeration too. You can spice them in different ways and make your diet even more interesting.
Reduce the tender meats if you are following a low-budget low-carb diet. Tender beef and fillet mignon may burn a hole in your pocket. You can do very well with the rawer meats and cook them a little more in order to make tender enough for eating.
If meats are proving to be too costly, you can make do with eggs and tofu. These are much cheaper and provide the same amounts of protein. Nuts can be a good protein source, but they are expensive. If a particular recipe wants the opulent macadamia nuts, you can try substituting them with peanuts, walnuts and almonds that may not have the same taste, but have the same quantities of proteins.
Do not make the mistake of buying the precut salads that are available in the supermarkets. You might have to pay as much as $3 to $4 per bag and that could become expensive. It is better to buy the different salad vegetables and chop them up to make salads at home. This will give you much more salad at the same cost and the exercise of making the salad will do you good too.
You can try the meats that are on sale. Look out for such offers in the stores. Try using the meats that are on sale instead of those that are called for in the recipe. If there’s a turkey recipe, but there’s a chicken sale in your supermarket, substitute the turkey for chicken. But make sure you do not deviate from your permissible list of foods.
It is also advisable to buy as less of the heavily over-marketed low carbohydrate foods as possible. These are very expensive foods and they are not necessarily good for health either. They contain chemicals in them, such as sugar alcohols, and might also have more carbohydrates despite their label, which can make your dieting routine redundant. Use these low carbohydrate foods only when you have no other option.
Always plan your meals in advance. Effective shopping always helps to reduce costs. Do not go to the stores when hungry, because then you end up buying more. Buy for a week in advance. This makes low-carbohydrate dieting much more affordable.