Eating healthy is often frustratingly expensive and with protein being the rage right now and the must have (and rightly so) and you wanting to eat more of it for good reason, I mean it’s getting added to Weetabix (maybe not to large quantities mind you and it’s 60p more) and you can now swap your regular Snickers or Mars bars for their protein alternatives (for an extra £1 and then some I may add). In this article we will go over ‘3 Quick and Cheap Ways to Improve Your Diet’.
You may notice the price of food shopping even more trying to get in all these protein based foods.
So why the craze?
Protein isn’t just important for muscle building but can play a super special role in those looking to lose weight.
Now your interest is piqued and we are going to bump it up an extra 60g per day for only £1.03 per day!
Where Do You Find Protein?
Firstly, so that we are on the same page, let me list some great sources of protein.
– Meat: steak, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, ham, ground beef
– Fish: salmon, sea bass, tuna, cod, mackerel , prawns
– Dairy: milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whey (protein powder)
– Eggs – now, are they dairy? Think about where they come from and I’d say they cluck rather than moo.
– Vegetarian Options: Lentils, beans, chickpeas and meat alternatives are some other sources but not as common as the above.
Many of these can be pricey ^
Why Is Protein Important?
Anyway, I persoanlly have found that when my ladies and lads have successfully increased their protein intakes they are less likely to wall off the wagon and as a result they adhere to their diet more consistently.
All because protein helps keep them feeling full and satisfied, honestly give it a try, you won’t regret it!
You may also find that including more protein or meat in your meals is that it takes you longer to consume, which will help in terms of again feeling full as it takes a while for that signal to be received.
Not only that but merely just consuming protein is energy costly to the body, digesting and absorbing it requires a lot of energy and it takes time to break down. So it is one of the few things that technically is ‘metabolism boosting’.
From my experience, the majority of the population does a great job at eating enough protein at dinnertime, less so at breakfast and lunch.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
So how protein should you consume I hear you ask….
This one is really simple, I tend to have my ladies and lad shoot for around 0.8g per lb of bodyweight.
So lets say that you are 12 stone, then you would shoot for around 135g of protein per day.
I’d even go as far to suggest a 10% range either side of that would be more than ‘ideal’.
This would translate to around 120-150g per day.
Work it out for yourself and see what you too should shoot for. Hit it consistently and you will no doubt be delighted with the results.
And download this, to work out how many calories you should be consuming too!
Without further ado, here your 3 Quick and Cheap Ways to Improve Your Diet!
Yogurts can be quite pricey and I do love my Arla protein pots and tubs of Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt but at £1.00 per pot/serving, this isn’t the most cost effective way to getting in an easy 20g of protein in your diet.
Instead a great purchase is the Lidl Skyr and it is 45-49p per pot. For each week that is an extra £3.15-£3.43 to up your protein by another 17.7g per day, a worthy snack based investment indeed.
Eggs are one of the foods mentioned in the list above and they are dirt cheap and the simple act of replacing a bagel breakfast with an egg breakfast has been shown to lower daily calorie intake by 469kcal.
One of the best things about eggs are they are the perfect breakfast food and have plenty of health benefits and as these studies point out….
“Subjects consumed fewer kilocalories after the EGG breakfast compared with the BAGEL breakfast” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20226994
“ The egg breakfast enhances weight loss, when combined with an energy-deficit diet, but does not induce weight loss in a free-living condition. The inclusion of eggs in a weight management program may offer a nutritious supplement to enhance weight loss.” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755181/
You can buy 21 eggs for £1.40 at Lidl or Aldi. So for another £0.20 per day, you could have 3 eggs giving you another splendid 18g of protein.
Don’t go believing the Dogma that eggs are bad for you.
3. Whey Protein
Lastly, the universally cheapest and most convenient way to up your protein intake is by buying a big bag of whey protein. A 5kg bag could set you back £57.19 (if flavoured) but this would give you another 24.6g of protein per day for 166 days.
That is 0.34p per day.
Plus if you are someone that is a rush in the mornings then drinking a simple whey protein shake along with a portion of fruit can be a very handy emergency breakfast, snack or ‘meal’.
You can even use the protein powder to make pancakes or to add to oats or smoothies, plenty of options to improving the quality of your diet without sacrificing any enjoyment.
And as MyProtein and the Protein Works often do massive sales, this could be far cheaper if you shop around right.
Doing these 3 quick and cheap ways to improve your diet will likely double your protein intake, which again (like the egg) has been shown to spontaneously reduce calorie intake by 494kcal. If you consistently manage to do this for everyday of the week, you could be saying goodbye to a pound of fat each and every week.
And it won’t break the bank doing so.