Did you know that October is World Vegetarian Month? Well, what if I also told you that you can use the month as a good springboard to save money and lose weight?
I’m not just talking about having lighter pockets because you’ve spent all your money. Here’s how you can kick start a cheaper way of living that’ll also have you looking and feeling healthy by the time November rolls around.
What is World Vegetarian Month?
Beginning with World Vegetarian Day on 1 October, the rest of the month has been declared veggie-friendly.
So, this month is a good opportunity for you to try cutting back on the bacon sarnies and instead, fill your plate with delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts and other alternatives.
You may be under the impression that a vegetarian diet is expensive and automatically healthy. But that’s not the case. I’m going to share how you can eat a tasty veggie diet that’s affordable and will let you see some real health benefits. So get ready to dig in!
How can I save money eating like a vegetarian?
If you’re a regular meat-eater, you’ll already know that the price of animal products tends to bulk out your shopping receipts. And buying cheap meat is bad for the planet and your body. Involving yourself in World Vegetarian Month means you get the chance to ditch the death.
My top tip is to stick to the fresh food isles when you’re in a cheap supermarket and you’ll be surprised at how much the total will be when you’re checking out.
Replacing the meat in your diet with a variety of vegetables, beans and nuts means your food will be even more varied and satisfying. You can complement your tasty dishes with things like brown rice, fresh potatoes, or pasta. It’s a simple way to eat well for less.
What might vegetarian meals look like?
If you cut out meat but just end up buying loads of branded veggie options, you’re probably not going to notice the price difference. So use this as an opportunity to revolutionise your plate. Here’s a sample day of meals that can be filling, tasty and cheap:
- Breakfast – Porridge with jam and peanut butter topped with seasonal fruits and chia seeds.
- Lunch – Salad packed in with as many raw veggies as you can handle, with extra-virgin olive oil and nuts loaded on top.
- Dinner – Vegetarian chilli using tinned tomatoes, spices and herbs, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, quinoa, sweet potatoes and any other vegetables you fancy.
Minimalist Baker is a website that I’m a big fan of. It has amazing free recipes for all sorts of dishes.
How can I lose weight on a vegetarian diet?
Simply eating a veggie diet isn’t always healthy. So don’t plan on spending October eating chips, cheese, and Oreos. But it is easier than you think to cut your calories whilst still enjoying your food.
I’d like to point out that losing weight should never be the ultimate goal. Living a healthier lifestyle is the aim, and if you’re doing things correctly, the weight loss will be a bi-product.
You can lose weight by not eating anything. But that’s not sustainable or healthy. If you’re like me and you love food, here’s how to trim down without the sacrifice! Just follow these three simple rules.
1. Cook from scratch where possible
If you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, it might take learning a couple of dishes. But the trick is to avoid anything that comes from a jar or a packet.
This means no ready meals, stir-in sauces, or even pre-made spice kits (which are usually loaded with sugar and salt).
2. Buy solo food
This isn’t referring to Han Solo Star Wars-branded spaghetti hoops. Check that when you’re buying things, there are as few ingredients on the label as possible (ideally one).
So if you’re buying peanut butter (yum!), get one that is only made from peanuts. Even if you’re buying frozen veggies or tinned beans, just check to make sure you’re not getting a cocktail of chemicals and colourings.
3. Quit the snacks
Snacking is big business, and who doesn’t love a between-meal chomp? But if you want to get a bit trimmer on a veggie diet, just eat three big full meals a day. Don’t skip any, because this is when you’ll likely crave a snack.
Eat a big, healthy vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner made from real foods that will keep you feeling full. You’ll be surprised at how many bad calories you’ll drop simply by eating substantial meals instead of small snacks.
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