Friday, January 16, 2009

Surviving a Recession Without Gaining Weight.

As I watched the morning news I heard that the general public has a tendency to put extra weight on during a recessionary period. The report sighted buying cheaper foods with higher calories to feel full longer, being the leading cause for weight gain. So let's look at the few possible reasons for gaining extra weight during a recession and ideas to combat the bulge.

Stress and worry are two major emotions we deal with sometimes daily during a recession or almost any time in our lives. Many people go to comfort foods which in most cases are high in fat and calories and low in nutrients, a good example is chocolate. If you feel nothing else will help but eating that favorite comfort food just set a limit to ensure you eat a smaller portion. Another option is to up your calorie burn by increasing your exercise time or workout intensity. Exercise also has the benefit of releasing endorphins, the natural way to increase feelings of well being in our bodies to help ease the effects of stress. Yes chocolate also has endorphins but then you have the guilt of extra calories to deal with later.

Today I hear people are not purchasing fresh produce to save money at the grocery store. Nutrition is still important during a recession. So is it possible to still eat healthy on a limited budget with less money to spend on food? Even in good economic times most people don't consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Since it is winter in my area most of the local farmer markets have closed for the season. Yes, fresh produce is at its highest price when out of season. So what can we do? There are other alternative to help us reach our daily recommended goals while on a budget. Let's just move further in the grocery store past the fresh produce section to find money saving options. Going down the canned goods section options abound. Check labels and choose fruits packed in natural juices and low sodium vegetables. Several great things about canned goods are they are; reasonably priced, have a long shelf life, minimal storage requirements, and are quick and easy to prepare. Another area of the grocery store to help you make healthy money saving options is the frozen food section. A wide section of assorted vegetables are always available with less fluctuation in price compared to fresh. One of the great advantages to frozen produce is the ability to cook only the amount you will consume which saves you money with less waste. The only disadvantage I can find if freezer space is limited in your situation. Do you have ideas on how to eat your fruit and veggies while staying within your budget and not packing on the pounds? Please share your ideas and comments.

1 comment:

kookster said...

I can't help but think some of the people who gain weight during these times do so more because of being depressed and moping around then because of buying less healthy foods. If anything these people should start growing some of their own food to save money and eating even healthier!