If you are someone who likes to eat healthy, works out and is trying to get in/stay in great shape then you are probably at the grocery store at least once a week. We all know that no matter how much one works out the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle is what you eat and it is what most people struggle with the most. I have decided to come up with a list of ‘rules’ to make grocery shopping easier for you and to help you learn about good nutrition habits.
Rule #1: Accept That You Will Be Buying Groceries More Often Than Sedentary People.
A weekly grocery trip will be the absolute minimum. Why will you need to shop so often? First, most of the foods you should be eating (meat, fruits, veggies, etc.) are perishable. Second, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to get everything at the same place.
For example, in addition to the grocery store, you may want to the farmers’ market for local meat and produce. If you want to get the most out of your nutrition, you can’t necessarily expect shopping to be convenient. Or maybe you want to visit the health food store for some specialty products you can’t find at the grocery store (although most grocery stores carry more organic/gluten free products now!)
Rule #2: Accept That You Will Be Spending More On Groceries Than Sedentary People.
You may indeed find ways to work around this one to some extent (see Rule #3), but with food, as with most things, you get what you pay for. In addition to the fact that quality food often costs more than unhealthy food, you can expect to be buying quite a bit of it. Simply put, athletes need more calories, more calories mean more food, and more food means more money.
On the plus side, however, you shouldn’t be buying soda, chips, fruit snacks, or other processed (and expensive garbage), so take comfort in the fact that you can save a lot of money in that area. And remember, you are what you eat, so if you eat crap you’ll look and feel like crap!! You’re worth the expensive food!!
Rule #3: Buy In Bulk Whenever Possible, GET A COSTCO MEMBERSHIP!
There are numerous reasons to buy in bulk. First and foremost, it saves you money. Second, since you’ll be going through a lot of food, it allows you to buy in quantities that will actually sustain you for awhile effectively reducing the frequency of you grocery store visits. I always buy my chicken breasts, egg whites, hummus, almond butter and frozen fruit at Costco because you can buy it for so much cheaper than at the grocery store and have enough to last me a few weeks.
Rule #4: Shop Based On Need, Not Mood.
Plan your shopping out as precisely as possible ahead of time. Shopping based on mood (hungry, full, happy, depressed, whatever) can only lead to one thing: Buying the wrong types of food in the wrong quantities for the wrong reasons. Make a list and stick to it. Everything you eat should have a purpose. It helps if you eat the same thing everyday as it makes shopping a LOT easier 🙂 Keep in mind that it is best that you eat to live, not live to eat! Something to think about…
Rule #5: The “Perimeter” Rule.
Basically, you should be doing about 80% of your grocery shopping around the perimeter of the store (the produce section, the meat counter, the deli, the refrigerated section… ). This is where most of the fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein sources can be found. The aisles are basically full of JUNK FOOD! Stay away, only visit for condiments, spices and rice cakes 😉
Rule #6: Have A System Of “Red Flags.”
As you check the ingredients and nutrition labels of potential grocery purchases, you should have a few set “red flags” in your mind that cause you to immediately toss the product back onto the shelves, regardless of how tasty it claims to be.
Trans fat/hydrogenated oil content should certainly set off a “red flag.” Other “red flags” could include high fructose corn syrup or certain preservatives and/or artificial sweeteners you choose to avoid. If you decide ahead of time that some foods will be completely unacceptable, the temptation to actually buy them will subside somewhat.
Personally, grocery shopping is one of my most favourite things to do! I can’t wait until we get one of these in Ottawa in the near future! By far the most amazing grocery store ever!
If you still feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the grocery store or figuring out what to eat/what to avoid I offer grocery store tours…just message me for details and we can set something up!
Hope you are having a fantastic start to a new month…I have a feeling November is going to be great month! What are you doing to make sure that you reach your goals this month? Perhaps this will give you a few ideas…