A question I am asked often is "How much does low-carb cost?".
Many perceive changing from a high-carb diet to a low-carb diet will cost a small fortune. Read on to see why I don't believe it does and my top tips to help you save money while you transition to low carb.
How much does low-carb and keto cost?
Low-Carb Cost vs High-Carb Cost
To truly understand how much does low-carb costs, it can be broken down further into short-term costs and long-term costs.
Short-term costs are your immediate expenditure such as your grocery bill whereas long-term costs are medical bills, supplements, and other lifestyle burdens that you cannot put a price on.
There are so many factors beyond money. Health, pleasure, well-being, contentment, calmness, weight, and longevity to name just a few.
Short term costs
How To Calculate An Accurate Budget
Before we question how much does low-carb cost, how do you accurately calculate your weekly food budget, to begin with?
The biggest mistake people make is not to include their snacks, coffees, drinks, meals, vending machines, shared morning teas, that box of biscuits that are sold in the staff room/cafeteria, and of course, eating out.
When one reader shuddered at how much I spent at my weekly grocery visit, we went through her budget together and realized she only calculated what she spent at the grocery store ($100/week).
What she forgot to include was her accumulated weekly spend of $150 on work lunches, drinks, bars, snacks, doughnuts on the way home from work, and the chocolate she bought at the petrol station 3 x week.
The true cost is every single cent you spend on food and drink each and every week.
Grocery budget choices
For me, it's about choice.
Do I choose short-term comfort over long-term investments?
I can spend $5 buying a coffee, or I can spend $5 on a dozen eggs. I can spend $40 on highly processed protein powder, or I can buy 8 dozen eggs (the best complete source of protein there is).
I no longer buy cakes, muffins, crisps and biscuits, I spend that money on ingredients to make nutritious low-carb baking instead. I see my food budget as an investment.
There are numerous costs that are a direct result of a high-carb diet.
The ever-increasing monetary cost of medications, health supplements, hospital, and doctors visits. These can run into the thousands.
Avoid these future costs now by eating low-carb unprocessed real food and you may reduce your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, dementia, many cancers and all the complications associated with chronic high blood sugars and an inflammatory diet.When you are considering how much does low carb cost, consider how much it will cost NOT to eat low carb.
Do you want to be able to tie your own shoelaces at 80 or have someone do it for you?
We need to eat real food now because chronic health conditions don't happen overnight. What we eat today, will directly influence our future.
Cheap low-carb meals
There is a misconception that cooking homemade low-carb meals from scratch is more expensive than their old high-carb processed diet.
First, I would say they are not making an equal comparison.
Processed food is not real food. Much of it is cheap fake food. Most of it is made with cheap processed grains to bulk up a meal.
Second, many believe when you go low carb you have to eat free-range, grass-fed organic food, but these are simply out of the reach of most.
Go for the best you can afford as often as you can.
Those people who need the most help will still benefit from swapping their burgers, fries and sodas to regular meat and regular vegetables.
I have 100 top tips to help you save money at the grocery store. Please leave me your top tip too.
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Grocery bill charts
Breakfast can be cheap grains which will encourage ravenous hunger by 10 am and virtually no nutrition OR it can be a
- sustaining meal
- a substantial amount of protein
- leafy greens
- plenty of healthy fats to keep you full until lunchtime
Lunch can be a chicken, salad sandwich with an apple, OR it can be transformed into
- a filling chicken salad
- add plenty of olive oil poured over the top
- three times the salad, nutrients and fibre
Remember these are the costs of making these lunches at home, if you were to buy the sandwich at a cafe, it would easily be twice the cost.
Dinner could be a regular pasta bolognese which leaves you feeling bloated afterwards, OR it could be
- Made with wonderful vibrant zoodles
- No cheap grains and cooked starch from the pasta
- Extra nutrients and vitamins
- 1/10 of the carbs
Image credit: Going Against The Grain - The website supports Dr Gary Fettke, a senior orthopaedic Surgeon who was silenced for recommending his patients reduce sugar and processed carbohydrates and reintroduce healthy saturated fats back into the diet. His approach is based on Lower Carbohydrate and Healthy natural Fat (LCHF) principles, which is scientifically proven to be a better and sustainable way of living.