But protein is really important for building or maintaining muscle, immunity, as keeping you full (it’s the most filling food), which of course is very helpful when trying to lose weight!
One way to look at it is that it’s not a cost but an investment in your health, just like being on the BodyBack programme in the first place really, and one that will pay off handsomely.
Another is that you’ll be saving money on the things you won’t be buying so often – family bars of Dairy Milk and multipacks of crisps, maybe?!
But still, there are ways to eat more protein without having to remortgage your house.
1. Eat canned fish like tuna, salmon and sardines, it’s much cheaper than fresh and just as nutritious (though tinned tuna has less omega 3 fats, it’s still high protein)
2. Eat eggs. I believe everyone should buy free range rather than battery, but you don’t need to bother with expensive omega enriched or organic ones if you’re on a budget. Eggs are very cheap for how nutritious they are.
3. Sneak in protein elsewhere. Swap rice for quinoa, butter for peanut butter, mashed potatoes for mashed chickpeas, and eat beans and lentils for carbs rather than cous cous and potatoes.
4. Minced meat such as beef, lamb, turkey and pork is generally cheaper than whole cuts. Lean versions allow you to eat more with fewer calories.
5. Cottage cheese and plain Greek yoghurt are high protein and inexpensive, as well as versatile – try adding whey protein and fruit for a yummy breakfast or snack. Avoid ones with added sugar or fruit coulis.
6. Protein powders can be used for everything from shakes to pancakes to puddings (see above) and more. My favourites are Awesome Supplements (use code POLLYH5 for 5% off)
7. Nose to tail. Ox tongue, livers & kidneys, and less expensive cuts of meat are all delicious. Liver in particular is one of the most nutritious foods ever.
8. Frozen meat and fish are nearly always cheaper than their fresh equivalent, and no less nutritious.
Some other tips are to buy supermarket own brands, buy large bulk packs and freeze perishables, and raid the reduced cabinets for healthy things to eat soon or freeze, Ready to eat picnic packs of meat are something I nearly always spot, and put them in my freezer for when I need something quick and am low on fresh food.