Trying to Lose Weight? The 5 Most (and Least) Expensive Diets

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Eating healthy and staying true to a sound diet plan is difficult. You’re consistently battling cravings for sugar or salt, perhaps feeling sluggish as you cut back on calories or caffeine, and likely irritable. And even if you manage to successfully handle all of your physical and mental obstacles, eating well enough to lose weight can be difficult for one other big reason: it’s expensive. After all, there’s a reason they call Whole Foods — a mecca of sorts for healthy, quality food — “whole paycheck.”

When you’re setting out to lose weight but also keep your budget intact, you’re going to need to look for the most cost-effective way to purchase and consume calories. That’s really the key, here: figuring out how much you’re paying for calories. This can, of course, vary wildly. There are numerous factors to take into account, including where you live, how many calories you require, and any dietary preferences.

Also, you need to keep in mind that some diets just aren’t going to work for certain people.

There are tons of different diets out there, ranging from simple preferential habits — like a vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian diet — to branded diets, like Atkins. Depending on how dedicated and serious you are about the need to lose weight, they may or may not work for you. Choosing one that works, and one that works for your budget, isn’t easy.

While there really is no way to definitively say that “diet X is going to be the cheapest,” or “diet Y will be the most effective,” we can take a broader look at some of the more popular and mainstream diets out there to get a better idea. Again — it’s all going to come down to your own personal preferences and situation. What works for you may not work for the next guy.

Broadly speaking, here are the most and least expensive diets out there.