Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store:
The aisles often contain the processed foods, while the perimeter/outside of the store carries the fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and non-processed foods!
Do not shop hungry:
Have you ever noticed when you shop hungry you put things in the cart that you normally wouldn’t? This is an example of our hunger talking. Eat a healthy snack before your shopping trip to reduce temptations to buy unhealthy food.
Create a shopping list:
Write down the items you are going to buy before going shopping, and stick to that list! Plan out what you are going to want to eat that week, and buy only that food. Not only will it save you money, but it will ensure you fill the cart with healthier options to build meals instead of snack-type foods and unhealthy options.
Read food labels and ingredient lists:
The shorter the ingredient list, the better it often is! Also, make sure you are looking at how many servings the package has. Below you will find a “how to read a food label” tip.
Buy mostly fruit and vegetables:
Fresh is best, but frozen is okay too! Frozen produce contains the same amount of nutrients, is often cheaper, and lasts longer! Fruits and vegetables provide micronutrients and help to fill you up!
• Make sure fruits have no syrup added
• Frozen vegetables without sauces
Buy canned goods that are in their own water/juice: Look for reduced sodium/no salt added products when it comes to beans and canned vegetables. Canned fruit should be No Sugar Added and not be in a syrup/juice other than its own natural juice
look for fat free/skim or low fat options! This goes for cheeses, milk, yogurt, sour cream, etc.
• Low fat Greek Yogurt is a great alternative to sour cream
• Low fat Greek yogurt or low fat plain yogurt instead of high-sugar yogurts
• Light or 2% cheese is a better option than full fat cheese
Choose boneless/skinless meat:
The more fat you can visualize on the meat, the higher the calorie and fat content it is. Look for meats that are lean. Lean cuts include: • Eggs and Poultry: boneless, skinless chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites, lean/extra lean ground turkey/chicken breast • Beef: Sirloin tip, Top Round steak, Bottom round steak, Top Sirloin, Filet Mignon/beef tenderloin, lean/extra lean ground beef (90/10, 93/7 or 96/4), flank steak • Pork: Pork Tenderloin • Lamb: look for the word “loin”
Don’t get distracted by deals and sales you see,
Unless it is a food on your list! Sales are often on highly-processed foods
Breads and grains:
Choose whole wheat breads, cereal, rice and pasta if possible.
Stay away from the soda/beverage aisle:
This is where calories can add up very quickly without realizing it. Stick to things like water, and use lemon or fresh fruit to enhance flavor. Ground Coffee/coffee beans are okay to buy, but limit the amount of creamers/flavors you add to it.
Seasonings and flavors:
Use fresh herbs, seasonings, and spices to flavor your foods. Seasonings should be low in calorie, so read the label to ensure no sugar has been added.
• Salsa, mustard and tomato sauce are often good options for sauces
Do not keep unhealthy/junk food in the house:
If it is there, you will eat it! The harder it is to access, the less you will consume of it.
Foods to keep on hand:
• Eggs/egg substitute
• Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, berries, bananas for quick and easy snacks
• Vegetables: Salad greens, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, tomato
• Lean meat choice (keep a serving or two in the freezer for when you run out of protein sources and cannot make it to the store)
• Whole grain pasta or brown rice