Navigating the aisles of a supermarket can be overwhelming for any grocery shopper but it can be even more confusing for those new to healthy eating. Therefore, I will help you discover the secrets to navigating the daunting food aisles like a professional to avoid the common pitfalls that can impede your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Here are some valuable tips to help you become a smart and healthy shopper.
1. Make a List (and check it twice!)
We are all too familiar with how easy it is to become side tracked while grocery shopping. Whether it’s a food sampler tempting you to try their tasty creations or an enticing array of forbidden junk food options that you can’t resist. This leads us to only one option, a grocery list. The importance of creating a grocery list reduces more stressors than you actually think. A list alone gives you more opportunity to maintain a healthier diet. Forget the cravings and brainstorm the key elements to healthy meals. I challenge you to focus on your proteins, carbs, healthy fats and one snack– because we all are human. You will find that while committing to this, you will produce a nutritious balance in your life and also eliminate the biggest myth of them all; “eating healthy is expensive.”
Studies show that committing to a grocery list will minimize the pitfalls of your wondering eyes and shed light on how shopping wiser is the driving force for great health. I can personally attest that utilizing a shopping list has helped me maintain a reasonable budget by significantly decreasing my monthly expenses by 50% . Therefore, during this holiday season become a smart shopper – Make a list and check it twice!
2. Never Shop While Hungry
Shopping on an empty stomach often leads to unhealthy food choices or impulse buys which makes it even harder for you to follow your prepared grocery list. Therefore, to avoid this eat a healthy snack before shopping and also try doing your shopping for the week on the weekends when you’re less likely to be rushed or tired. I personally prefer to do all of my grocery shopping on Sundays, in which I plan, prepare and pack all of my daily meals for the entire week. By doing this, you’re more likely to stay on your healthy meal plan and its one less thing you have to stress about during the week.
3. Shop Perimeter of Store
The typical supermarket layout has the healthier and unprocessed food items located on the perimeter aisles such as meats, vegetables, fruit and dairy and the unhealthy processed foods in the center aisles. So as rule of thumb ensure that majority of your food choices come from the perimeter aisles and only travel down the center aisles if an item on your prepared grocery list is there.
4. Always buy whole food and whole grain items
By eating unprocessed whole foods and whole grains you will provide your body with the healthiest form of vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients that your body needs. Whole food items usually have no extra sugar, salt and very few additives, which are excellent for maintaining a slim waistline. Avoid processed foods for they are laden with sugar and fats, low in whole grains, real fruits or vegetables and they lack vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.
5. Limit the number of ingredients; Read your food labels
I understand that you may have to shop the center aisles for some of your healthy food items. If that is the case try to only choose items with five ingredients or less. The fewer the ingredients, the less processed the food item will be. Also, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients I would not buy it. Those lengthy twenty-six letter ingredients are usually unhealthy lab created substances you don’t want to consume or pollute your body with. Simply put…Stay healthy, Eat whole!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.