General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

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Old 01-21-2019, 10:23 AM   #1  
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Default help! gaining weight!

hi i will try to make this short- I was on phentermine april-august and lost about 14 lbs, well now that I lost my job( so im home 24/7), its winter (hate cold weather) and my kid turned 21 few months ago ( lost food stamps) I dont have any income to buy food the past 3 months so Ive been living on cereal, grilled cheese, bread,and lots of pasta and noodles, so now Ive gained almost 10 lbs! and Im so upset! and I dont want to gain anymore! so I need help with very cheap somewhat healthy meals , I usually only eat 2 meals a day and 1 snack (breakfast is a bowl of cereal, plain Cheerios and a cup of coffee, snack is usually a a string cheese and nuts) dinner is the hardest part for me
any suggestions til I find a job. my budget is $5 a week or less
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:54 PM   #2  
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$5 a week is difficult, but here are some tips:
Eat at home, not at restaurants.
Look for sales. If there's more than one food store, check which one has the best prices.
Some supermarkets have bulk sections (which may or may not have better prices).
Buy foods that are healthy and cheap:
Brown rice, oats, or whole wheat bread
Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach (check both the fresh and the frozen section)
Fruits: Watermelon, bananas
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:41 PM   #3  
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I would stick with the cheerios, it's fortified and provides a lot of essential nutrients.

As mjf wrote legumes are amazing, they are cheap and nutrient dense. I would definitely recommend this for dinner.

Last edited by Mr. Legumes; 01-22-2019 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:58 PM   #4  
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Beans are amazingly good for you and dried beans are very cheap. You soak them overnight usually before you cook them. You can make sprouts with lentils that are very good. .......... Since you are already eating cereal grains the two different kinds of proteins should be a good compliment for you.

Nuts can be expensive ..........

So do you have access to a food bank or some other way to help get food?
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:10 PM   #5  
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thanks for help! but i got a job offer today yay! now just gotta wait 2 weeks to get paid ugh
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:15 PM   #6  
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Congratulations on getting a job (I myself am currently job-hunting)!

To follow-up on the legumes thing, rice + beans together provide complete protein, and both are cheap. Brown rice should be healthier than white rice because it includes the bran layer (which has fiber and some B vitamins and antioxidants) and the germ (which has fats, minerals, some B vitamins, and some protein). White rice contains carbohydrates, some vitamins and minerals, and protein. My husband is Honduran and does all of our beans cooking, but he does not soak the beans. He does rinse them. Sometimes dried beans have little stones in them, but good brands should have few to none. He boils the beans in an open medium saucepan, usually with a little onion or garlic, with enough water to fill the pot to the top. He fills the pot about 2/3 full of beans before adding the water. He also adds a small amount of olive oil (maybe a teaspoon). He boils until enough water has boiled off that the beans are barely covered, then tops off with more hot water (that he heated up in a teakettle while the beans started cooking) all the way to the top again and adds a teaspoon of salt. When that water boils down to just covering the beans again, they are done. They definitely taste better when he adds onion, and when he doesn't burn them through inattention. :-)

I really like basmati rice (even though it's not brown rice), and that's what I usually cook. I follow the directions on the label: in a 6-quart pot I put 2 cups of rice and rinse it thoroughly in the sink. Add 3 cups of water. I usually add a tablespoon of butter because I love the taste. Bring it to a boil, then simmer, covered, on low for 12 minutes. Fluff with a fork. To me, the beans taste better when paired with rice.

Frozen vegetables are generally cheaper than fresh ones, they keep longer so you can stock up when they are on sale, and because they are quickly frozen soon after picking, they can actually have more nutrients than "fresh" vegetables that have been sitting at the store for several days waiting to be purchased.

Among fresh vegetables, I always keep carrots and yellow (also called brown) onions on hand, and usually celery, too. The carrots and onions are pretty cheap and add flavor. I often make soups with chicken legs when they are on sale for under $1 a pound (I buy the family packs and freeze them in individual portions), onions, garlic, lots of carrots, celery, and whatever other fresh or frozen vegetables I happen to have on hand, plus salt and pepper to taste. I do not add any fat to the soup, as the chicken has enough. I cook about 6-8 cups at a time for me and my husband, and we finish it off in 3 days. If it's just you could decrease the quantity made, or freeze individual portions and reheat in the microwave. You can adjust the quantity of meat to fit your budget.

I used to make large quantities of spaghetti sauce with ground beef, canned tomatoes and tomato paste, onions, garlic, sometimes fresh bell peppers, and dried herbs (oregano, parsley, basil, marjoram, and thyme), salt, and pepper, but ground beef has gotten expensive, so I do that much less often now. When I lost weight the first time, I would weigh out cooked spaghetti and my homemade sauce into little single-serving plastic microwaveable containers once a week and freeze them.

I think the biggest trick to avoiding shelf-stable processed foods when you are on a budget is to have a freezer and a stove and to use them. Fresh foods don't keep for long and are expensive to replace if you don't manage to eat them before they spoil. So when you do buy them, make a soup or other leftovers-friendly dish out of anything that is at risk of (but not yet actively in the process of) spoiling before you can eat it, portion the cooked dish into smaller containers, and freeze it.

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