There is a common task that we all share; grocery shopping. Not only is it a task that is time consuming for some, it is what makes or breaks our diet! It is important to know how to navigate a grocery store, and we are here to share all of our tips and tricks for grocery shopping to help keep you on track!
Shop the Perimeter
Notice how the perimeter of the store will contain all of your produce, meat, and dairy products, while processed/sugary foods fill the center aisles? Since the middle aisles contain the majority of processed foods, they are marketed and advertised for us shoppers to buy them. Limiting processed foods limits the excess amount of sodium, sugar, and saturated fats in our diets, and can decrease the risk of some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and Type II Diabetes.
Items that are labeled “sugar-free” or “non-fat” are important to pay attention to, as they tend to add ingredients such as sugar alcohols to replace natural sugar. Not all products within the aisles are bad for you though, you can find healthy food products such as rolled oats, brown rice, dried herbs and spices, healthy oils, and frozen vegetables!
Read the Food Label
If you do need to purchase items down the center aisles, make sure you read the food labels. It is important to avoid ingredients in ingredient lists such as: high fructose corn syrup, refined/white flour, added sugars, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. It also never hurts to compare similar products to see which one is the healthier item!
Make Sure You Have a Plan
Going to the grocery store without a plan is like leaving the house with no shoes on, something you can get by on but may regret later! Making a list for all that you need from the store and only purchasing items from your list not only makes sure you get everything, but is great for your budget and your diet! Put everything you NEED on your list, not everything you want.
A great way to have a plan before the store is following a meal plan! As part of your 30/10 program, you have access to Weekly Meal Plans which not only plans out your week of lunches and dinners, but also provides you with a grocery list and all the recipes you need. Pro tip: separate your list by section to make shopping easier!
As you work your way around the produce section, see what fruits and vegetables are in season. This is a great opportunity to try different produce that will not only be fresh, but also inexpensive compared to when it is not in season. Read more about seasonal shopping in our Seasonal Eating blog.
Shop Smarter, Not Harder
If you plan to meal prep after grocery shopping, save some time by buying pre-cut veggies. From frozen chopped broccoli to freshly prepared mirepoix, this will save you time and limit produce waste. You can also purchase roasted chicken (make sure to check that it does not have sugar, as some may add sugar to brines), hard boiled eggs, canned tuna/salmon, and canned vegetables (with no added sugar or salt) such as green beans, tomatoes, and sauerkraut!
Caution: Shopping While Hungry
Avoid temptations while shopping for groceries by having a healthy snack before going! How often have you gone to the grocery store and purchased extra items because they sounded good at the moment? And how often are those choices healthy? Or have you ever made a successful trip to the store with no unnecessary purchases, but end up in a fast food drive thru before pulling out of the parking lot? This is why the checkout section has a ton of snack-sized goodies such as chips and candy, because after looking at all the food we purchased, it is time to dig into something easy right? It is also why there is usually at least one fast food restaurant within a mile of each grocery store. Prevent yourself from making this mistake and snack on a handful of veggies or a 30/10 snack item before your next trip to the store.
Divide and Conquer
If you purchase items in bulk or have items that are more than one serving, separate them into individual servings when you get home from the grocery store. This saves time down the road, keeps portion sizes under control, and can be cheaper than individual items themselves!
Beat the majority of these challenges by ordering your groceries for pick up or delivery. Click-to-Order Ingredients are included in your 30/10 Program. With over 500 recipes or Weekly Meal Plans to select from, add all of your groceries to your cart of your local grocery store, check out, and stay on track. This is a great way to stick to your list, not be tempted by other items or foods, and your wallet will thank you for staying on budget!
30/10 Weight Loss for Life is a comprehensive weight loss program that can help you achieve your goals and weight loss success! Get started with 30/10 Weight Loss for Life by visiting any 30/10 location or call us at (855)-937-3010!