Most of us are looking to shed a few pounds during the winter months, but dishing out big bucks for specialty weight loss products isn’t something that necessarily blends well with the rest of family life. Here are a few cheap produce suggestions for those who are currently working on a weight loss solution.
Setting aside the debate on whether or not lemons boost your metabolism, lemons have been used for generations as a natural diuretic and detoxifier. Considering you only need a slice or two in a glass of water to begin noticing a change, the required consumption rate alone makes them a great value when it comes to cheap weight loss foods. You can also squeeze some into a bit of olive oil with some black pepper for an easy salad dressing. On a night when you need an easy side dish, this could be just the ticket.
Known widely as a low-calorie, high-nutrient food, dark leafy greens make a healthy addition to any family’s list of frugal food strategies. Favorites in our house include spinach, collard greens, darker lettuces and Swiss chard. Kale is also popular with a fair number of people. The point is, if you make the greens your main dish and keep the other menu items as smaller add-ons, you’re developing a great habit that will assist with long-term weight loss and maintenance.
Dirt cheap and packed with protein, brown lentils are one of the most versatile grocery items on the market. And one of the most underutilized. Another well-kept secret is how affordable they can be when buying organic food as well. Sure the conventional variety is affordable, but the organic version is usually priced competitively as well. In this house, we use them in everything from soups and salads to sloppy Joes and tacos.
A powerhouse on the list of super foods, pumpkin gets the job done. If stocking up on in-season sugar pie pumpkins and making your own puree isn’t exactly in your schedule (mine either), you can purchase the canned variety for a relatively affordable amount. There’s so much fiber in pumpkin (or any of the winter squashes, really), that working some into your menus in any form is a great way to keep yourself highly nourished and satiated between meals.
Used in a variety of international cuisines, black beans are cheap, healthy and loaded with stick-to-your-ribs goodness. Which makes them a perfect choice to add to your list of weight loss foods. This just in: they are also extremely high in antioxidants. Like, cranberry-level high. I’ve been collecting black bean recipes like a crazy woman since I found this out, and use them in everything from chili to mango-black bean salsa and even in my salads.
Weight loss foods don’t have to be pricey and come in a designer box featuring photos of your favorite celebrity. They can be found in the produce and pantry staples aisles of your local grocery store just as easily. These are some of my top picks for tasty foods that help maintain weight loss. What are yours?
A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.