As long as there are New Year’s resolutions, bikinis and absurd weight standards, there will be diets. According to a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, dieting may not be as complicated as it seems.

If you are one of those people who has been on every diet under the sun you may want to pay attention to this study because it may not only improve your health, but if followed, can help out your budget as well.

Study Findings

This study has gained some media attention because of its discovery that no matter what type of diet you go on, it’s the amount of calories that you take in that will lead to an increase in fat.  The study looked at three protein groups; low, normal and high across 25 healthy, weight-stable male and female volunteers aged 18 to 35 years.

Although it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you eat more, you will gain more fat in your body, but the fact that none of the diets altered the amount of fat gained says something about those individuals that feel they need to change what they eat. Now, I should note that all the stories about this study didn’t mention that the low-protein consumers did gain less weight.

But according to Dr. Bray, the professor of medicine at Louisiana State University and lead Author of this study, protein did not influence the fat storage — a current myth. “The body was confronted with excess calories, but it didn’t care where they came from,” says Bray. Below is a video summarizing the study findings:

How This Impacts Your Budget

Many people deciding to revamp their diet, often waste their money on hot trends, books and juices — when the secret lies in how much you eat. Despite the indifference that your body has towards calories, the type of food does matter for health reasons. So, next time you are at the grocery store, instead of buying those hunger fighting protein bars, just buy less.

Cheap Foods That Are Good For You

When you are headed to the store, consider putting these foods in your regular rotation:

  • Beans $0.89 per can
  • Tofu  $1.89 – $2.39 per pound
  • Eggs $2.99 for 12
  • Brown Rice $1.75 per lb.
  • Canned Tuna $0.85 per 6-oz can.
  • Fresh Bagged Spinach $1.99 for 9 oz.

The list doesn’t end there. The main takeaway is that you do not need to buy expensive meats and organic products to improve your diet. If you are balancing it appropriately and eating less in general, you will find that your weight loss will take off. Use wheat and beans or rice to supplement your meals.

Buy Frozen, Sometimes:

A big part of any diet should be vegetables, but many people preferred fresh instead of frozen. Surprisingly, fresh veggies are not necessarily better for you. Since frozen fruits and vegetables are often frozen at peak ripeness they may be better for you than items that overly ripe or unripe.

Frozen veggies are a great option because they don’t spoil and are much more cost-effective. If you must have fresh fruits and veggies, the best ways to save is by buying in season and/or going to farmers markets.

Skip Brands, Buy Store-name:

A lot of people like to go towards brand-name items and overlook the store brand. Even if you prefer the brand, do me a favor and go compare the labels, you’ll probably find that there is very little difference between brand-name and the store-brand items.

With the Consumer Price Index predicting an increase in food prices, it’s important to look at what you are buying and how much of it. Are you planning on changing up your shopping schedule this year?

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