Taking a trip to the grocery store can be your opportunity to stock up on healthy food for the week. It can also be stressful and annoying to the point where you dread going every week.
Here are a few ways to help make your trip to the grocery store a success:
1. Make a meal plan.
How many times have you arrived at the grocery store only to wander the aisles wondering what to buy? Trips like this often end up with you buying a cart-full of food only to get home and realize that you don’t really have anything to eat. The best way to ensure that you’re making good food choices at the grocery store (and throughout the coming week) is by creating a meal plan.
2. Make a list (and stick to it).
Once you have your meal plan, create a shopping list. When you show up at the grocery store, stick to the items on your list. By planning your meals ahead of time and telling yourself to only buy what’s on your list, you’re less likely to end up with unhealthy food choices in your shopping cart.
3. Stay around the perimeter of the store.
As you shop, stay around the perimeter of the store. While this is not new advice, it does have a significant impact on your diet. The grocery store perimeter is full of real, perishable food items like vegetables, fruit, dairy products, eggs, and meat. Once you start wandering through the aisles, you’ll face plenty of refined, processed, and tempting options. Remember that foods with a shorter shelf life make for better choices than packaged foods.
4. Beware of “healthy” replacement foods.
As you shop, you’ll notice “healthier” versions of common foods like cookies, chips, crackers, cereals, and pasta. A cookie made without refined sugar might seem like a better option than a sugar-free counterpart, but it’s still a cookie. And on some days, it’s okay to eat a cookie. But if you’re going to treat yourself, then it might be better to eat a small portion of the real deal.
5. Don’t shop when you’re hungry or in a hurry.
The worst time to go grocery shopping is when you’re hungry. Surrounding yourself with healthy options when you’re hungry is fine. But it’s going to take some extra willpower if you wander down the snack aisles when you’re hungry. The second worst time to grocery shop is when you’re in a hurry. Rather than thinking about your food choices, you’re more likely to go with whatever’s most convenient. Even if that means you’re not choosing the best option for your diet and personal goals.
At Cannon Fitness and Performance in Houston, we offer a variety of programs, including nutrition coaching. Your nutrition coach will provide you with a personalized meal plan, including a grocery list. To learn more about how to get started with any of our programs, contact us today.