Resolved to eat healthier and lose weight this year? Making a few food swaps can go a long way to cutting both your grocery bills and your waistline.
To lose a pound, diet experts say you’ll need to eliminate roughly 3,500 calories, either through exercise or eating less.
So-called superfoods are one easy diet trick: These nutrient-dense foods offer satisfaction with smaller portions, and are inexpensive to boot.
We asked nutritionists, food bloggers and other experts for their other best low-calorie picks than won’t cost a fortune.
Here are 7 more weight-loss foods to add to your shopping list:
“Beans are a wonderful whole food for people looking to lose weight,” says holistic health coach Ann Musico of Three Dimensional Vitality.
“High in fiber, fat free and a source of protein they’re a great addition to salads, soups, and as a side dish.”
A 14-ounce can might easily cost less than $1; dried beans are even cheaper per serving.
And, depending on the type of beans, a cup may have 230 to 245 calories, according to CalorieKing.com.
“One of the best, and least expensive, things someone can put in their cart to help themselves to be healthier and lose weight is a bunch of celery,” says Pamela Braun of MyMansBelly.com.
A 4-inch long strip of celery has a single calorie, according to CalorieKing.com. That’s pretty cheap, considering a bunch of celery can go for as little as a buck.
Dieters also benefit from the stalks’ high water content and fiber, as well as nutrients that can aid digestion and lower cholesterol, she says.
It’s not so much the lemons themselves, but what they replace: Butter, oil, and other more calorie-laden ingredients.
Lemons add flavor without calories, says Melissa Lanz, founder and chief executive of TheFresh20.com.
It can also be a tasty additive to water. Juice from a wedge of lemon has one calorie, versus 36 in a pat of butter, according to CalorieKing.com.
A full cup has just 84 calories, according to CalorieKing.com.
During peak summer season, a pint can cost as little as $1; during the winter, pick frozen berries, which can be as cheap as $2 per bag.
They’re a low-sugar fruit, which is helpful for dieters, and also reduce bloat, says nutritionist Lisa Cohn of Park Avenue Nutrition in New York City.
“Tuna is the unsung hero of the pantry,” says nutritionist Tina Ruggiero, author of The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook.
“Tuna has the added benefits of being low-calorie and high-protein, so it adds value to meals.”
One cup of canned albacore tuna in water, drained, has 220 calories, according to CalorieKing.com.
And the cost per can? Roughly a dollar.
“A nearly perfect food, great protein source and a good value,” says Musico. A dozen can run as cheap as $1.50.
A single hard-boiled egg is 13 calories; one cooked by other means has 17, according to CalorieKing.com.
“Sliced citrus provides excellent aromatherapy to keep mood steady, natural sugar and moderate fiber for great digestion and to maintain energy,” says Cohn.
A small orange has 45 calories, according to CalorieKing.com. This time of year, when oranges are at their peak, it’s easy to find supermarket deals of five for $1.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.