I am an 18 year old college freshman, and since I have been here I have actually lost about 10 pounds.
But I don't think it's because I have been eating healthier, I think it just might be because I haven't been eating as much.
That's not to say I've been starving myself, I have just been eating the same stuff day in and day out.
Let me give you a typical idea of what I eat:
I don't eat breakfast (which is taking a toll on me I bet) because I sleep in until maybe just an hour before class, and then shower and get ready for class, and by the time all that is over, it's lunch or early dinner time. This sometimes leaves me with having one meal a day (unhealthy I know!)
So here's the food on most days:
Wake up: Orange Juice
3 PM: Mozzarella, Tomato, Balsamic, on Wheat & Some Juice
Snack: Mandarin Orange or Two
9 PM: A frozen dinner (like Lean Cuisine or Amy's etc) & Some Juice
The fact of the matter is, I don't eat very much (partly because of my budget), and I drink most of my calories. I calculated it today and I drank about 1200 calories. And ate about 800. Which is ridiculous. I haven't had soda in a week, I just drink A LOT of ocean spray. Which is sugary and a bad excuse for juice.
So I need some help. I am on a budget, maybe around 15 dollars a day to be honest, and campus food is either cheap and unhealthy or expensive and healthy. What do you recommend I eat? I want to start eating breakfast and I want to start eating more well-rounded meals. Also, I would like some advice on how to avoid drinking so much juice.
Because soft drinks have always been my number one source of calories.
Help me out?
And in the midst of this self inflicted pain, I can see my beautiful rescue.
I'm super biased against frozen and processed foods, but even without my bias, please remember that making your own food is cheaper than buying pre-packaged stuff. And healthier.
Cut out the juice. Even 100% juice with no sugar added. Juice is more expensive and not as nutritious as fresh fruits. Replace them with fruits- oranges, bananas, apples etc.
Tuna, eggs, and beans are all really cheap and can be made with minimal kitchen equipment. There's tons you can do with it... tuna salad, tuna melt, egg salad, quiche, omelet, egg over a salad, egg sandwich, tuna sandwich, chickpea salad, dal (lentils with indian seasoning), hummus, veggie chili.
The second set of foods I would try to incorporate are healthy grains. (I am currently eating lower carb and do not eat grains, but they are inexpensive and easy for someone living in a dorm.) Whole-wheat or spelt pasta, low-carb tortillas, oatmeal, ezekial bread/sprouted bread/other non-flour breads, healthy low-sugar cereals (Kashi).
Also, peanut butter. The natural kind if you can. If you can't, that's ok. Peanut butter is cheap and easy. Put some in your oatmeal, on a slice of bread, on an apple, or banana.
Dairy. Yogurt- greek yogurt if you can. If you can't, regular is fine. And milk and cheese. Easy to keep in a dorm, a great snack.
Indiblue is right... your body is like a car engine...give it good fuel and it will run wonderfully...pour mud in the gas tank and it's dead.
Your body craves nutrients and it dosn't care how many calories it takes until you gets them. Plus, eating so little is only going to kill your metabolism...which will only slow or even stop your weight loss.
Drink water, nix the juice. if you're bored with the taste of water, you can add flavor packets to it. They are cheap (store brand) and come in all sorts of flavors and they add little to no calories (Make sure you look at the calorie info to be sure)
Your body does not respond to liquid calories well. You can drink your day's worth of calories and your body will still be hungry (no nutrients.)
Are you hungry? and just have no time to eat? or are you undereating because you don't feel hungry? Whichever the case is, I would get some high cal food that's good for you. Indiblue talked about peanut butter...it's really good for undereaters or for people who just can't seem to make their calorie goal. Avacado is another high calorie food loaded with good fats (Hello shiny hair!) Though avacados might be $$ depending on where you are.
Beans are your friend...Full of protine and cheap as dirt. Even canned beans will work (rinse them with water to take off some of the sodium.)
I also agree with Indiblue when she says that it's nearly always cheaper to make your own food. Perhaps you can plan out your meals and make them the night before so when you get up, you don't have to worry about it, just grab it out of the fridge.
Like today, I made a mushroom and potato soup for me and my man. It cost maybe $5 to make a whole pot. (4 servings) we were stuffed.
the plus side of making your own meals is that you can control just what's in it. Plus fresh fruit/veggies/grains ect are LOADED with nutrients and fiber. Your body will have the high class fuel it needs to run well and as a student I know you wouldn't mind more energy and focus.
Hardest part of working out, is that first step out the door.
Long term goal- revised after baby
240 goal - 02/17/10
Had a baby- 06-01-12 gained 46 pounds.
234 lost baby weight 3-21-13
220 goal = half way!
218 goal = Lowest ever weight!
I've never liked soda, but I too had a juice addiction for awhile. When I drank it, I realized I just craved more and more. I could easily drink a whole (large) bottle of cranberry juice in a couple hours.
Now, I ONLY drink water. (Well, and coffee, beer, and wine-- when they're worked into my plan). I remember thinking water was boring/not good/not refreshing, but I love love love it now. I used to use the packets to add some flavor, but now I don't even need it. I think transitioning to flavored water would be a good start. If so many calories come from drinks, you'll never have any left over for treats!
I don't cook, so not gonna lie- I live off of lean cuisines. I also eat things like kashi bars, almonds, yogurt, hummus & pretzels, etc.
1. Under 160 by 10/31 Goal met!
3. 150 or under by 2/1/12
4. Hit goal of 135 in March 2012
Last edited by lissvarna : 10-17-2011 at 05:51 PM.
I used to be a fizzy juice junkie until I started my diet and now im drinking 2.5litres of water a day which is hard because I dont even like water!! lol. Try diluting juice, that might help get you started, it lasts longer and still tastes nice, Also try and get some proper meat in you for protein etc...and oily fishes too.xxxx
I would get some stuff that you can grab and go for breakfast. 100 cal granola bars (like quaker Chewy bars) are great and cheap. Pair that with an apple (get a bunch- they last a while and you don't have to keep in the fridge) and maybe a string cheese and you've got a cheap and healthy b-fast!
Eggs are also cheap, and really, they're pretty quick and easy if you think about it. Hungry Girl has a bunch of recipes for "egg mugs" where she mixes egg whites with frozen veggies and lowfat cheese in a coffee cup and microwaves them. That might be a good, quick solution.
I know a lot of people on this board try and avoid artificial sweeteners, but I do drink an occasional diet soda every few days or so, and I really like them. Also, have you tried flavored sparkling waters? What about starting by cutting your juice with some of that (half juice and half seltzer), so at least the calories are lower?
indiblue is right on. It's very inexpensive to make your own foods, and $15 is a lot of money for one person per day.
What I do is make a lot of foods in advance when I do have time, throw them in the freezer in portion sizes, then I take them out when I'm ready to eat. If you want more detailed info, I have posted it before:
I invested in a chest freezer, and load up on frozen veggies when they go on sale for $1 or less a bag at Kroger. I also invested in a crock pot. There are so many cheap things you can make with it. It just takes several minutes in the morning to throw in a couple bags of veggies, maybe some boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can buy bulk bags for around $7 at Walmart), and go on your way. I like to add half a box of whole wheat pasta when it's fully cooked.
New Exercise Regimen:
Walk Away the Pounds Dvds: 3xs a week
Quick Callanetics Dvds: 7xes a week
Jari Love Dvds: 3xes a week
Let's do this!!!
Diluting the juice is a great idea, especially if it's something you really don't want to give up. I started doing that awhile back, and I liked it so much that I stuck with it even when I wasn't on a diet. I usually do 1 part juice to 2 parts water or club soda (if you crave fizz).
I'm single and am also on a tight budget. I totally bought into the myth that it's more expensive to eat healthy but it's really not. Breakfast for me is usually yogurt, oatmeal, or a small bowl of cereal, and some fruit. Since you're limited on time in the mornings try granola bars or a bowl of cereal. Soups are good for lunch and/or dinner...I'm a terrible cook so I buy the Progresso Light soups. They're very filling! Cottage cheese, lunch meat and low-cal bread or tortillas. Salads are good and cheap.
I used to be addicted to pop for the fizz but I weaned myself off by buying those flavored, carbonated waters at the grocery store.
I am a produce freak. Pay attention to what's in season and cheaper in your area. Also check out local farmers markets. They can be hit or miss on price, but the quality is undeniable. I love to get things like green beans (steamed green beans are my favorite) carrots, spinach (thrown into a salad it hardly noticeable if you don't like but dark leafy green are very nutritious) avocados, and apples, pineapples, pears and grapes. Oh and pomegranate coming into season for me!! Mmmm....
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