Making healthy food choices is a key component of achieving optimal health and reaching your fitness goals. However, grocery shopping for healthy food can often feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where to start or what to buy.
If you want to make grocery shopping more manageable—and even enjoyable, we recommend a little planning and organization.
Having a plan based around your fitness goals will make shopping and eating healthy much easier.
You’ll also find it much easier to achieve your goals and maintain your progress because you’ll already have all the right food in the house.
Healthy Grocery Shopping Guide
Let’s dive into some simple strategies you can use to make grocery shopping less daunting.
These are strategies that the KJO coaches and our clients use when grocery shopping.
Plan Your Healthy Grocery List
A shopping list is one of the best ways to make your grocery shopping more efficient and effective.
Before you go to the store, take some time to plan out your meals for the week. Meal planning can help you make a list of the ingredients you need and prevent impulse buys.
It will also help you reduce food waste because you know exactly what you’ll be eating, so there won’t be a random bag of spinach at the back of your fridge begging to be eaten.
You can also use this opportunity to research healthy recipes and find new foods to try.
The Grocery Trip
Once you’re at the grocery store, we recommend shopping in bulk wherever possible. Buying in bulk tends to be cheaper when you consider the cost per unit, and it reduces how often you have to go to the grocery store.
You can also take advantage of online grocery order to save yourself more time and reduce the likelihood of impulse-buying snacks and treats.
We also recommend starting at the perimeter. In most grocery stores, the perimeter is where you’ll find fresh produce, meat, and dairy products.
These whole foods likely make up the majority of the grocery list you made after planning your meals.
It can also save you time if you only have to shop the perimeter of the grocery store rather than going up and down every aisle.
But you don’t have to avoid the aisles altogether.
There are plenty of nutritious foods within the aisles, too. Just be mindful of what you’re grabbing and keep an eye on the nutrition labels.
By using these tips, you can make grocery shopping and list-making more organized and efficient, ultimately saving you time and money in the long run.
Healthy Eating Grocery List
If you’re struggling with ideas for what you should buy when grocery shopping, we’ve got you covered!
We recommend that you choose five or more types of protein when grocery shopping. Protein could include:
- Lean ground beef
- Lean ground turkey
- Chicken breast or thighs
- Turkey breast
- Wild game meat
- Egg whites
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein powder
- Green lentils
- Deli meat
You should aim to have protein with each meal, so having a variety of protein sources will allow you to hit your protein targets without getting bored of your meals.
We recommend that you choose five or more carbohydrate sources as well. Some ideas are:
- Potatoes (sweet, red, white)
- Whole grain bread
- Rice (white or brown)
- Tortillas (flour or corn)
- Whole grain pasta
- Pita bread
- Tortilla chips
- Dried fruits
Carbs are an essential source of energy, so don’t skip out on these during your meal planning and grocery shopping.
We recommend that you choose four or more healthy fats. Some of our favorites are:
- Nuts and peanuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Shredded coconut
- Nut butters
- Olive oil
- Grass-fed butter
Healthy fats give you energy and help you absorb certain nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
We’re sure you don’t need to be reminded to eat your vegetables, so we’ll just recommend that you choose six or more kinds when you’re grocery shopping. Some ideas for you:
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Green beans
A variety of vegetables will give you a variety of nutrients and help your body function optimally. Vegetables are also a great source of fiber.
We recommend choosing three or more types of fruits as well. Some fruits you might want to pick up:
Fruits are also a great source of fiber and nutrients, plus they make for quick and easy snacks!
When it comes to condiments, choose as many or as few as you’d like. Some options you might want to consider include:
- Yellow mustard
- Salsa/pico de gallo
- Hot sauces
- Soy sauces
- Marinara sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Steak sauce
- Taco sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Rice vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Cocoa powder
- Garlic powder
- Everything but the bagel seasoning
- Stevia or Monkfruit
See! Shopping within the aisles is encouraged. Condiments are a great way to add flavor to your meals.
Guide to Macro Tracking
When you’re working on improving your health, it’s helpful to track your macros, too!
We’ve created a FREE macro tracking quickstart guide to help you with this process.
With our guide, you’ll learn what macros are, why you should track them, and how this flexible dieting approach can help you achieve your fitness goals without cutting out your favorite foods.
Get your free guide here.
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