1) Is the “frugal diet” more reflective of a balanced diet or do you recommend a high protein/low carb diet? Or do you recommend a higher carb, low fat diet? Do different people need different diets?
2) How does “The Frugal Diet” go over with kids/families? Do they even notice the healthier/cheaper foods?
3) What foods are worth the splurge paying for while on a frugal diet, and what are the cheapest power foods you recommend?
Frugal Fitness Answers:
1)"The Frugal Diet" is more of a reflection of a so-called "balanced diet" but I do have aspects of slightly higher protein and lower carbohydrate strategies that apply to most individuals in the book. I encourage at least a moderate amount of lean protein and minimal simple sugars (even limited fruit intake, especially at certain times of day) because it is less likely to be stored as fat, more likely to contribute to muscle growth/repair (the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism is 24/7), and there is less of a negative effect on insulin and blood sugar levels this way. Protein also fills you up much quicker than most carbohydrates so you may eat less calories. I have seen a lot of research supporting moderate fat intakes being healthy as long as they are the right type of fats (Omega-3 rich sources like salmon, flaxseed, Canola Oil). Even so, I still usually recommend low overall fat intake for most people unless they are endurance athletes that need extra fat for energy or individuals looking to put on a lot of muscle mass. That all being said, some individuals with kidney problems may not be able to handle more than a low protein diet and others with heart disease or certain medications may require a low fat diet as well.
2)This is a great question. It is a little more difficult to implement The Frugal Diet when you have whole families but it could end up paying even greater dividends by improving the health of your loved ones. Your kids may complain when they go to school with healthy meals and snacks but they will be better for it and will thank you some day. They may also not be thrilled with getting generic versions of their cereals and other foods but they will taste the same and they'll get over it. Unless the kids are 16 and have cars, they don't really have a choice on what you serve for meals so they will have to learn to eat the healthier meals you provide. Significant others might also be unwilling to give up their junk food or brand names at first but it will save you both money and you will be in your weight loss journey together. Sometimes it helps you succeed when you have group support and those that are going through the same process you are.
3) I would say that some of the best foods to pay extra for are Wild Alaskan salmon, blueberries, pomegranates, and acai berries. Kashi "U" is probably my favorite cereal but it is very expensive for a small box so I don't get it very often. Salmon sushi rolls wrapped in seaweed with low-sodium soy sauce is also a good choice. The cheapest power foods in my opinion include 100% rolled oats, veggies, skim milk, and peanuts/natural peanut butter.