Many people argue that healthy lifestyle is expensive beside being time-consuming and effort demanding and are right. It’s a bit short-sighted but doesn’t change the fact that healthier foods are pricier even if just by a few cents. Things add up especially with all the fancy supplements, gym gear, and personal trainers. But it doesn’t have to be a privilege of rich or just well off. You can be healthy on a budget if you want to cut down on medical expenses in future and simply have a better quality of life.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
The meals will become your main expenditure. Quality foods can be quite pricey but here’s where you’ll have to just learn how to be savvy with your grocery shopping and look for deals, cheaper brands, and local food markets.
You should also learn not to buy into latest marketing campains and fads. Gluten isn’t bad for you if you don’t have celiac disease and GMOs aren’t either. There, you can buy foods that are GMO and not worry about it. Don’t chase after hip brands that claim they are free from everything. At least check these claims before forking out cash for what maybe just another marketing trick.
Just make sure to utilize all of your vegetables and other perishables fast and maybe cook a little bit in advance. That will save you not only money but also time. Also cooking home is almost always considered cheaper than eating out even if you’re eating at the cheapest cafe.
Gym can be expensive especially if you hire a personal trainer (most gyms have all the basic stuff a gym goer needs anyway so no need to choose the fanciest one). All you really need though is a couple of really good consultations and technique lessons and then you can exclude that expenditure from your budget. You can make progress on your own as long as you follow basic fitness rules of calorie deficit/proficit (depending on your goal), quality rest/sleep, and progressive overload (gradually increasing workout intensity/volume).
Forget all the fancy workout clothes, wrist straps, belts, and bottles. They’re all gimmicks that do nothing to help you change or stay healthy. Honestly, unless you compete you don’t need no special gear to help you lift. You also don’t need all those shakers and fancy bottles as well as the supplements.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan you may need additional protein in powder form but all the rest is for professionals. Everything a lay gym goer needs is a really good workout, a healthy nutritious meal, and at least 8 straight hours of shut eye. Supplements should be ideally prescribed by a nutritionist or your healthcare provider because only they may know what exactly your body lacks. Otherwise just relax and enjoy quality food and you’ll be fine.
Other protein sources
Let us just look a little bit closer at protein. Protein doesn’t come only from meat, eggs, and tubs. Grains, nuts, legumes, and even greens contain some protein that adds up during the day if you’re really eating a balanced diet. But probably the most important thing is that you don’t need that much of it. 0.82g per lb (instead of ubiquitous 1 g per lb) of weight is considered a higher limit of optimal protein intake for athletes. From 2011 study “Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation” by Phillips & Van Loon:
Our consensus opinion is that leucine, and possibly the other branched-chain amino acids, occupy a position of prominence in stimulating muscle protein synthesis; that protein intakes in the range of 1.3-1.8 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) consumed as 3-4 isonitrogenous meals will maximize muscle protein synthesis.
It also states that the more experienced athletes in fact need less protein as their bodies adapt and become better at preventing protein breakdown. So if you think you still need tons of protein know that the excess is going to your energy stores.