Looking for a diet to kickstart your weight loss efforts and won’t break the bank? The keto diet is a surprisingly easy place to start.
A low-carb, high-fat diet, “the keto diet works to make it so that there is little carbohydrate available and the body starts burning fat to make ketone bodies for fuel and brain energy,” explains Marisa Silver, registered dietitian at Culina Health. And yes, you can eat keto for under $100 a week. “You don’t have to break the bank with your new keto lifestyle.”
Most importantly, you can follow this plan while eating good quality, nutritious foods. Sometimes, the costs may seem higher at the outset, as you contemplate buying a tub of almonds and nuts, remember this: “You’re purchasing the fuel for your body and investing in your health,” says Rebeca Beldzik, keto expert and NASM certified personal trainer with RSP Nutrition.
Keto on a budget
Before you head to the grocery store, here’s a weekly keto plan that you can follow for a week for under $100. “When trying to manage a budget always buy foods in bulk and that is fresh, anything packaged or cut will increase the cost,” says Tony Castillo, MS, RDN Performance Dietitian.
Pasture-raised eggs: For about $5 to $7 per dozen, Silver says whole eggs are budget-friendly and packed with nutrients and go a long way as a protein and fat source.Low carb, plant-based proteins: “Soy-based proteins that cost around $4 including tofu and tempeh are keto and wallet-friendly since they are much cheaper than meat products,” says Silver. Avocados: You can get more bang for your buck if you buy them in a bag of four for about $5 Seeds: “For $11/bag of flax, chia, or hemp seeds, seeds are packed with nutrients and fiber you need when eliminating high-fiber grains and fruits from your diet. Buy them in bulk so that they’re cheaper,” advises Silver. Nuts and nut butters: Silver suggests purchasing nuts in bulk like walnuts, almonds, and cashews for $11; or buy a $5 jar of nut butter.
Related: 17 Keto Snacks to Munch On Between Meals
Canned or jarred wild fish: “Buy cans or jars of salmon or tuna packed in olive oil. For about $6, this is cheaper than buying fresh fish and the olive oil helps the fish taste moist and adds a dose of healthy fats,” says Silver. Pre-cut, non-starchy veggies: Purchasing already cut vegetables cuts down on time and it costs around $4 to $6 per container. “That includes, shredded brussels sprouts, cabbage mixes and pre-washed salad greens that can be used for making stir-fry’s and salads,” says Silver. Fermented foods: “Grab a $6 jar of kimchi or sauerkraut or $2 per yogurt or cottage cheese for a healthy dose of probiotics,” says Castillo. He also suggests unprocessed cheese that includes cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella.Spices: These range from $2 to $5. Silver says it’s best to invest in spices including to add flavor and health benefits to meals such as cumin, garam masala, garlic powder, smoked paprika, turmeric and cayenne.Freezer staples: Castillo says frozen fish and frozen vegetables add to a keto diet. “Frozen raspberries at $3 per package, are a low sugar fruit that can fit on a keto diet,” adds Silver. Dark chocolate: Silver says that if you have to have chocolate, aim for very dark chocolate—90% or higher. This tends to cost about $5 per bar. She says dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, and also contains fiber and protein.
Related: Keto Diet Food List- 150+ Approved Foods for the Keto Diet
Keto weekly meal plan
Now it’s time to take your groceries and whip up some weekly meals. Here’s a sample menu to get you started with keto recipes.
Soft-boiled eggs with avocado seasoned with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and drizzled with olive oil. If you need your caffeine while on keto, bulletproof or butter coffee can be option.
A can of tuna packed in olive oil over a mixed veggie salad with 2 tbsp of walnuts and tahini dressing. Silver says to combine lemon juice, water, tahini, salt and pepper.
Related: Say Goodbye to the Sad Desk Salad with These Flavor Packed Keto Recipes
Silvers suggests trying some plain greek yogurt topped with nut butter and cinnamon.
Stir-fry some tofu with 2 cups of non-starchy veggies such as mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower rice, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil for a delicious meal.
Silver suggests eating a few squares of dark chocolate. Check out this list of some other options for keto desserts.
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Whatever recipe you decide to try under budget, experts say it’s best to get help planning out adequate nutritious meals. “It’s important to work with a dietitian when going keto or on any other type of restrictive diet to ensure that you’re fueling your body with adequate nutrients. Carbohydrates contain important sources of vitamins and minerals that you may need to supplement if removing them from your diet,” says Silvers.
Up next, here are 10 Recipes to Try If You’re Following a Keto Diet
Marisa Silver, registered dietitian at Culina HealthRebeca Beldzik, keto expert and NASM certified personal trainer with RSP Nutrition