You sound so similar to me so this has made me even more optimistic. Thanks so much for your help- a lot of great info and advice in your post.
Thanks JustMo! I will be checking out Lidl and Aldi.
Eat. That is your best defense. Sounds incredible, but on this way of eating, we can eat delicious, ample servings of real, rich food and still lose weight. Start out with three good meals a day, even if you never ate three meals a day before. That will do a lot to eliminate your hunger and your cravings for former binge foods.
As far as stretching a dollar, we buy all of our meat, chicken, eggs, cream, cheese, bacon, breakfast sausage, mayo, veggies (what little we do eat), from the big-box discount clubs - Sam’s, BJs, Costco, etc. You don’t have to buy special food for keto. I have recently started making our own full fat dressing because I know I am using the correct oils/mayo/sour cream, and also what spices are going into it. No funky chemical additives or preservatives. Our favorite meat is pork, all kinds, and it is one of the cheapest meats you can buy. When we get home, we package it into individual servings and freeze what we aren’t going to use immediately. Bacon and eggs as a staple for breakfast is inexpensive. If you don’t have time for a meal, make a “bulletproof coffee” - very satisfying and should hold you until lunch without snacking. The hardest part for me was just drinking water and my one cup of coffee a day. I used to drink diet pop by the caseload.
I often marvel at how much cheaper eating keto is than carbage. I was spending a small fortune going shopping 3-4 times a week for all my binge food and drinks.
After about 4-6 weeks, you will likely not want or need to eat as often and will naturally switch to two meals a day and maybe even one or 16:8 eating. We generally eat one meal a day, or if I’m hungry, I will have a hard boiled egg and some pepperoni or bacon mid afternoon. That is enough to comfortably get me to dinner. Dinner is a nice size piece of meat and usually a steamed vegetable in butter or bacon fat and/or a heavy salad (eggs, cheese, olives, cherry tom., dressing, etc.). So much cheaper than how we used to eat!
Try to put your fears aside and start when you feel ready.
Re: money for fancy diets.
You’ll see a lot of people talking about steak on keto but the fact is that you can do fine (maybe even better) with basic ground beef and eggs. The cheap stuff.
Depending on where you are, the basics from Costco, Walmart, Aldi, and other bulk or discount stores will serve you well.
Making the same meals over and over (assuming you like them, of course) is a nice way to both simplify your cooking and save money. For example, I have the same lunch every day, which I prepare in bulk on Sunday.
Also, if you can stand offal like liver (which I personally love), those tend to be the cheapest meats.
If you can afford to buy whole chickens, buy them and learn to cut them up. Keep the back and the like for stock/bone broth. And livers for pate. (Not sure how to get the accents there.)
The one thing I have not done yet, but plan to do, is figure out how to cook certain cuts of beef, like bottom round or top round. These types of beef are on sale a lot, but I’m not sure how to cook them.
I usually buy a box of caffeine pills (generic nodoz) and cut them into 1/4 (50 mg) and go cold turkey off the cola. Take 50 mg about every four hours and widen the gap each day until I’m off of them. This takes the dreaded headache out of the equation and gets rid of the cola addiction on day one. The diet will actually end up being cheaper in the long run because eating takes on less importance than the constant hunger on the SAD diet. I eat OMAD four to five days a week. No need to buy snack food etc… since you only eat when hungry and that isn’t a lot.
If you find yourself getting confused when you google ‘keto’ (which is very understandable, there is no single definition) get yourself an old-school low carb book like Protein Power or Dr. Atkins New Diet Resolution and follow that.
I have read some crazy things that you ‘have to’ do/have/be to ‘do keto’… Like grass fed everything, no pork or dairy (that was from my own doctor), no artificial sweetener, pastured eggs only… the list goes on and on (and on).
Some of it may be better for you, but you have plenty of time later to worry about that. For right now, just get off the sugar and starch, base your meals around meat, eggs and non-starchy vegetables, add some dairy if you like it, and you’ll be fine.
I am already struggling with my addiction to cola, specifically my love for fizzy, cold cola drinks. I havn’t had any, but the desire is strong. I was wondering what the community thinks of Zevia drinks?
Also, apart from the obvious things like breath changes, how does one know they are in ketosis? Especially without access to anything to measure it.
This may help:
Brilliant thank you. This is a great community
My food bill is a fraction of what it was before I started Keto. It’s because I now cook everything at home from scratch. I am less likely to waste anything because it was time consuming and took effort. Don’t let the effort of having to cook at home discourage you. There’s nothing normal about driving up to a window and someone handing you a bag of fried food won’t mold after 100 years.
Also, this is in one of the “cheap” keto threads, videos:
If you find it really hard to ditch the coke, try to find a bottled kombucha that’s fizzy. I buy a 330 ml bottle and have up to 100 ml if I’m desperate for that fizzy feel. It’s barely sweet but so satisfying. The brand I buy is ‘Remedy organic kombucha’, made in Australia (I live in NZ) but you’ll probably find something similar in the States - or learn to make your own. 100 ml of the apple crisp flavour is 1.5 grams of carb so its great in an ‘emergency! There are many different flavours and it has a screw top lid so you can use part of it and it will stay fizzy. Don’t stock up though - I just keep a couple of the small bottles handy for when life throws a carb ball! Generally speaking though you don’t want to drink your carbs.
Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about net carbs. I realize it is very hard when on a budget, but eating whole food and avoiding packaged food is the goal. I realize veggies still come with carbs, but it’s best to count whole carbs when weight loss is the primary goal. Many people are sensitive to fibers and so it’s not always best practice to subtract them.
You really don’t have to worry that much about your protein macro, except that you always want to hit it. This will preserve your learn mass. If you go over, it should be fine. You are right that the best way to see results is keep it simply to some veggies if you tolerate them, meat and eggs (if tolerated.) Dairy is fine if you can tolerate it but too much can be detrimental.
With that said, go ahead and eat fat if you need it and add high quality salt to your food and even water to avoid keto flu. Once you are fat adapted (4-6 weeks) you do not need the extra fat for weight loads. Your body fat will make up any deficit.
You can transition to low carb if you get to your goal and want to. But some people do not tolerate carbs very well so it’s best to stay lower carb (I’m one of those people.) You will quickly learn what works best for your body. Be patient, take it one day at a time and fuel the best you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just don’t give up!!
And other people have gluconeogenesis in overdrive, and a protein heavy diet will lead to high insulin, precisely what we want to avoid. For these people high-fiber might be best. We just have to be open minded, and ready to experiment if we don’t see the desired results.
Meat is’nt “zero carb” because we convert some of it into carbs. There is no “zero carb” diet. And there is no “one size fits it all” in nutrition.
Amen to that
Speaking for myself, I love the Zevia drinks. Gave up all the others full of chemicals, and now when I want that cold fizzy drink, it’s a Zevia. They are spendy, but since I usually don’t do over a couple a month now, if that, it’s fine. I started more often, but just gradually drank less and less.
I especially like the Black Cherry, Cherry Cola, and Dr Zevia (similar to Dr Pepper).
Just my 2 cents. But then, I’m not a purist. I’m here for success, and whatever it takes to achieve that in a healthier way.
My best to you!
If trying to eat keto on a tight budget, I would spend my money on delicious good quality meat rather than on soft drinks. Just my way of thinking perhaps!
No answers because I’m fairly new to this myself, but just want to let you know you’re not alone. I’m recently divorced and disabled and trying to feed myself and my kids on $200 a month food stamps because my ex skipped the country to get out of paying child support. We would be homeless if my parents hadn’t taken us in and they’re retired and have a low income and high heating bills this time of year. But their income is just high enough we can’t qualify for public assistance as a household. We are trying to improve our diet as a family and it has helped that we’ve replaced all junk food with meat and veggies, but I do find I’m running out of food money long before the month is over (teenagers will do that to you). And the food pantry rarely has anything truly healthy - mostly cereal, bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. Meat is almost never available there. And only 1 carton of eggs and one gallon of milk provided every 2 weeks. We go through a carton of eggs every 3 days and a gallon of milk in 2 days!
Would this post be by @billyshearsfan2 formerly posting under the name london2z John Linnon?