Diet plan on budget

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 18, 2008 4:38 AM GMT
    G'day Folks!

    I'm 5' 11 128lbs with a swimmer's build.

    My passion as far as athletics is concerned is swimming but I also want a good body say about 170 pounds by mid Jan 2009. Is this a realistic goal?

    I gym 3-4 times week and swim 1-2 a week. Ideally my other Goal was also to get to swim competition level.

    my question is what's a good diet to follow while on a budget?

    also i cant eat seafood (ironic being a swimmer)

    cheers
    Nitin
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    Jul 18, 2008 4:58 AM GMT
    There is a weight gaining diet on here, check it out for pointers:
    http://www.realjock.com/nutrition/1082/
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    Jul 18, 2008 5:04 AM GMT
    swimisme saidG'day Folks!

    I'm 5' 11 128lbs with a swimmer's build.

    My passion as far as athletics is concerned is swimming but I also want a good body say about 170 pounds by mid Jan 2009. Is this a realistic goal?

    I gym 3-4 times week and swim 1-2 a week. Ideally my other Goal was also to get to swim competition level.

    my question is what's a good diet to follow while on a budget?

    also i cant eat seafood (ironic being a swimmer)

    cheers
    Nitin


    I could go on forever on this. I eat healthy and can keep under $120 a month. Where to begin...

    Don't buy anything processed, or that comes out of a can or goes in the microwave. You are only paying the extra $ for someone else to cook it and add salt, fat, additives and preservatives. As they say, shop the perimeter (produce, dairy, meat and bakery sections).

    Learn to cook Mexican food which is cheap and the leftover ingredients can be saved for other dishes (yes, it can be done very healthy). Or just cook whatever dishes are regional and have cheap raw ingredients.

    Cooking may seem like a pain in the ass, but when I am alone I try to keep the cooking+eating under :30. After a while you'll get some quick, cheap, healthy meals in your arsenal.
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    Jul 23, 2008 7:27 PM GMT
    XRuggerATX said

    I could go on forever on this. I eat healthy and can keep under $120 a month. Where to begin...


    UNDER $120 / month?!
    Could you give a few examples of meals you tend to cook?

    I make a lot of pasta dishes. When I make something like spaghetti, I find myself spending more on the veggies for the sauce than I do just buying a pre-made sauce. Mind you, not nearly as tasty as using the veggies, but I'm broke as a joke.

    A nice cheap meal is an onion, green pepper (1 or 2), about 3 tomatoes, a few mushrooms, and an eggplant for a sauce, then pasta to go with it. Not much in the way of protein, but you can get by with about 3 meals of it for under $10.
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    Jul 23, 2008 7:32 PM GMT
    I'm also in a... uh... "difficult cash flow situation" lately.

    Doesn't matter that you can't eat fish, cause the price of fish has skyrocketed beyond reach anyway.

    One secret I recently discovered: ground turkey! It seems to be one of the consistently lowest prices of protein out there, and you can do a LOT with it.

    Safeway, the Western US grocery chain, regularly has 2-for-1 specials that put it around $2.30/lb.
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    Jul 29, 2008 5:25 AM GMT
    Define "budget" : )

    Here is a neat trick that worked for me in college & had limited resources: when milk/meats get a day or two out before the expiration date (but still perfectly fine/consumable) stores put it onsale for as much as 1/2 off or even more---if you have time to fool with it, you could shop pretty often to sniff this out & it will be better quality, more easily/quickly absorbed by your bod, and cheaper than most suppliment store "fake" proteins.

    Since you will also need QUALITY (not crap/sugars) carbs, if there is a day-old bakery in your area, you can pick up high end (e.g., German breads are awesome) bread really cheap. If you see a fab bargain---high-end $5 loaves for .50, stock up & stash in the freezer---bread freezes/thaws/reheats well.

    You'd be better off doing this for vittle intake than using store-bought suppliments anyway & it will be cheaper.

    Hope this helps.

    Best

    Brett
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    Jul 29, 2008 5:31 AM GMT
    BIG bags of frozen chicken breasts...it's my secret.icon_razz.gif
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jul 29, 2008 6:29 AM GMT
    I've been thinking I should go through and make a table of servings of protein and their rough costs.

    I consider 30g protein a serving, since that's the amount it seems your body can absorb in one meal / few-hour-period, so it's the amount I try to eat every few hours.

    I'm pretty sure the cheapest sources of protein I eat are straight-up protein powder from proteinfactory.com (at $10 a pound it's about $0.75 per serving) and eggs (even at $4 a dozen for the ultra-awesome eggs from the farmer's market, it's $1.33 a serving, since 30g protein is 4 eggs, or thereabouts.)

    I know you said you can't eat seafood, but for the sake of completeness, a pound of farmed salmon is $8 from the grocery store here, so that's $2 a serving (a quarter pound of boneless lean meat is about 30g protein.)

    So then all meat kind of comes in around there. The good organic ground beef is $7 or so a pound here, so it's a bit cheaper.

    Interestingly, while I eat a lot of yogurt, it's pretty pricey, at $12/gallon, which is four servings (I strain it so it's not an unreasonable volume of yogurt, but a gallon of yogurt has 120g protein) it's the most expensive protein source I eat.

    I'm starting to make my own out of nonfat milk, which brings it back down to a reasonable level since a gallon of good local nonfat milk is around $5 here, so that's $1.20 a serving.

    In trying to put on muscle I try to eat six servings of protein daily. So if on average a serving of protein is maybe $1.20 (I don't eat a ton of the more expensive ones like meat, and I usually make about 3 of the daily servings be the protein powder because it's easy and I'm lazy) then that's $7.20 a day just for protein. Admittedly some of those foods also have fats in them and whatnot, but I generally divide my diet up as those -- the protein sources -- and then everything else is just culinary accompaniment and other necessities like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So it's mostly fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains (usually breads) for me. And that stuff is really pretty cheap.

    So baseline weekly budget just for protein sources is $50 or so. As far as I'm concerned this is just a basic requirement if you really want to put on muscle, especially 40lbs of muscle in 6 months. That's ambitious and you need to eat a lot of protein every day. You weigh a lot less than I do so you could probably get away with only 4 servings of protein a day and still be putting on mass, but nonetheless, consider where your protein is coming from, what you pay per 30g serving for it, and how many servings you are eating per day, and this is just an unavoidable part of your budget.

    Everything else you can do on the cheap. Eat cheap fruits and veggies like onions, bananas, leafy greens, etc. and skip expensive exotic fruits and other seasonal treats, pricier non-local veggies, stuff like that. Take a good daily vitamin supplement if you're worried about not getting all the right stuff. Drink lots of water, don't bother getting any calories from liquids.

    That's my advice, I'm having pretty good luck with it.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jul 29, 2008 6:33 AM GMT
    Oh yeah, and I'm sure you can go cheaper than my examples -- you don't need to eat only the most organic crazy meats. If you can find good ground turkey on sale for $2.30 a pound that is a crazy good deal, that's less than $0.60 a serving, which would bring a weekly protein budget to just $25 assuming six full servings a day, which is basically the max you can eat in your waking hours.
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    Aug 06, 2008 3:17 PM GMT
    Wow, that's really good work Atx. I'd love to have a spreadsheet with all that stuff.
  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 22, 2008 2:13 AM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscleIn Chicago we have a store chain called Aldi's. I think they are in other states as well. Surprisingly there are none in LA and maybe even the entire state of California. And even more surprising was that I found an Aldi's grocery store in Spain when visiting there a few years back!!


    Thats a really great store, but in fact Aldi is a German grocery chain, so not surprising you found one in Europe.

    For those of us poor saps out here in California who don't have an Aldi store nearby, I find that if you are looking for the best deals on produce and meats (at least in my town), it is often best to skip the major chain grocers all together and head to the Mexican markets which often have produce from the exact same souces as the big chains but at far cheaper prices. And like at any ethnic market, be they Asian or Latin American or whatever, if you like to cook ethnic foods you can find a lot of ingredients that would be hard to find elswhere. Eating on a budget doesn't have to be boring!
  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 22, 2008 9:16 AM GMT
    Yes it is ironic that in a state that produces more variety and quantity of produce than any other single state, we seem to have the highest food costs right here in CA. I can litterally hop in the car and drive for 3-5 minutes before I am surrounded by thousands of acres of lettuce, spinach, onions, broccoli, cauliflour, artichokes, berries of every imaginable variety, apricots, pistacios, almonds, walnuts, and so much more that I have not even begun to scratch the surface of what grows here in a 5-10 mile radius of my house (or the rest of the state for that matter) and yet my grocery bill for me by myself is well over $100 a week if I go to Safeway, Albertson's, or Nob Hill (Railey's). Its kind of a slap in the face when you think about it since agriculture is our biggest industry by far in my area. I mean these farms produce more than we can possibly ever use, so much of it goes to be exported to other parts of the nation and the world. I didn't realize that I could cut my grocery bill to 25% or even as low as 20% by moving to Chicago. WOW!

    Hey, muchmore, you need a roomie?? icon_razz.gif
  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 28, 2008 3:14 AM GMT
    Bunkbeds?? Who is going to be sleeping on the other bunk??icon_twisted.gif
  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 28, 2008 3:17 AM GMT
    Uhemmm..... Ok back to the subject at hand. I am curious what success, if any, swimisme has found in his quest for greater nutrition on a tight budget. Any thoughts, swim??
  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 28, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    Fear not, Muschmore, I have no plans to move to Chicago. I spent enough time there in my youth to know that I prefer the west coast for all it has to offer out of the city life. Chicago is a great town but Illinois pales in comparison for what it has to offer in the great outdoors department. icon_wink.gif


    Still no word from our OP??
  • Mars

    Posts: 158

    Aug 29, 2008 7:43 AM GMT
    OP= Origional Poster
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 01, 2008 6:44 AM GMT
    sorry guys i haven't had the internet for quite a while, wow that was quite some insightful stuff! i'll keep a note of the foods and details.

    In Canada, i find a lot of the Chinese mega markets have amazingly ultra low prices on veggies,fruits and meats for instance i got 2 pints of blueberries for $3 instead of the regular $6/pint charged at regular chains or a pound of bananas for 30 cents or a boxes of mangoes for $1.99 etc i swear these guys know deals!

    i've been reading up on a number of books and i'm starting to have a good idea where to get my sources of good quality food from and the variety of food groups i should include. I've just placed an order for basic supplements like whey,vitamins to add to my diet.

    i'll be posting more as I start my diet and count the calories, carbs and proteins along.

    there's a lot to consider include quality of protein and their amino acid profiles.

    Lot of research indeed! thanks guys keep it coming!

    Nitin icon_smile.gif