Today I want to look at something that I know some of my readers are concerned about. And that’s the cost of following a Paleolithic diet, or any kind of high-protein diet that requires you to eat more meat.
Surely it’s expensive I’ve been asked. How on earth can you afford it? I’ve also mentioned previously my unease with worrying about eating too much when so many in the world have nothing or very little. I recognise the injustice of this. And I agree with you. It’s ridiculous.
Privilege of the First World
I do know I am privileged to live in the First World and I know worrying about over eating is very much a First World problem. But this is where I was born and over eating is a problem I have. Surely the very least we can do in our privileged little worlds is not over eat?
So, does a Paleo diet mean you have to spend a fortune? I remember back in the 60s asking my Mum why she didn’t go on a diet. (I was a very tactful child!) Fortunately my lovely Mum didn’t hit or berate me for being so rude. Instead she said, “Oh we can’t afford it – you have to eat a lot of steak.”
The 60s – digging it like the most
That was the rationale in the 60s. Dieting mean eating more steak, or at least more meat, and cutting back on carbs. Starch-reduced food was all the rage, in the way fat-reduced food is now. A very famous worldwide weight loss club based its diet sheet on high protein/low carb.
So, was my Mum right? Did dieting cost too much then and so may be prohibitive today? In a word, and you’ll not be surprised by my answer, no. It doesn’t have to cost money you don’t have. I know many of us are on tight budgets – I’m on one myself. I do know these are tough times.
No need to eat steak
You don’t have to eat steak to lose weight. And if lower-quality meat that needs cooking or stewing for three weeks before it becomes even vaguely palatable isn’t for you then don’t eat it. Helps if you like liver or kidneys, wonderfully cheap forms of protein and highly nutritious and unbelievably good for you but I can see from that face you’re pulling you’re not buying.
Protein can still be cheap though. Think of eggs, some cheese – feta is recommended on Paleo and it’s cheaper than cheddar and a little goes a long way – and of course our favourite friend chicken. There’s also bacon, ham, tuna, salmon – tinned is as good as fresh and costs a lot less – corned beef, sausages, cottage cheese and chicken livers which some who don’t like lamb or ox liver may enjoy.
Eat well but eat less
In the end the reason a diet will often save you money, not cost you more, is because you will be eating less. I save more money when I’m dieting than when I’m eating normally. No biscuits, cake, crisps, chocolate, sweets, high-carb snacks of any description and very little wine.
But I eat very well. I eat good quality food because it goes further. Yes I eat steak. But not that often. And when I do, I really appreciate every mouthful. I’m a firm believer in buying the very best food you can afford. For me other things can go by the wayside but no matter how broke I am or how tight money is, food is something on which I will not compromise.
Food for thought
That’s just my take on the matter. That’s where my priorities lie. Yours may well be very different and that’s fine. I drive a 12-year-old car, have a tiny telly, hardly ever go out and rarely buy new clothes. Food is my passion. Food is my treat. The better the stuff I buy, the easier it is, for me at least, to stick to my diet.
You have to eat. It’s not discretionary spend. It’s essential. So why not buy the best from the best? The high-end supermarkets all now have their own basics brands. And some even price check against the cut-price shops. Buy the best you can is my advice. Just don’t buy too much of it!
Have a happy dieting week. And try to enjoy it. You will if you eat well. What’s more, you’ll stick to it. Thanks for reading.