Even for the most organized person, grocery shopping can be a difficult task. Tempting, unhealthy foods appear to lurk in every aisle, threatening to derail your health-related goals.
A grocery list is a useful tool that can assist you in navigating the store and adhering to your healthy eating plan.
A well-thought-out grocery list can not only help you remember what you need, but it can also keep you on track, reducing impulse purchases and saving you money.
It will also help you succeed even when you are short on time by allowing you to keep nutritious food on hand to eat throughout the week.
Furthermore, studies have shown that making a grocery list could indeed lead to healthier food choices and perhaps even weight loss.
Table of Contents
- The Best Diet For Your Fitness Goals
- Meals That Are High In Protein And Low In Fat
- Lose Weight Fast With These Proven Exercises
How to Make a Healthy Grocery List
The following recommendations will assist you on how to make a healthy grocery list so that you can fill your cart with wise choices.
Having the ingredients on hand to prepare tasty meals throughout the week is an absolutely superb way to maintain a healthy diet.
When you have an empty fridge, freezer, or pantry, you may find yourself relying on fast food or takeout, especially if you have a busy schedule. That is why it is critical to stock your pantry with nutritious choices.
According to studies, people who plan their meals ahead of time have a healthier overall diet and a lower body weight than those who do not.
Furthermore, those who plan their meals ahead of time cook more meals at home, which has been linked to better diet quality and lower levels of body fat.
Making it a habit to plan your meals for the week can help you avoid making poor choices and develop a grocery shopping list more proficiently.
A recipe board detailing the meals you want to eat for the week, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, is a great place to start when planning your meals.
After you’ve determined what ingredients you’ll need to prepare your meals, add them to your grocery list, making sure to include the amount of each food.
Keep a Running Grocery List
Instead of scrambling to remember which favorite pantry staple you recently ran out of, keep a running list of what you need to buy on your next grocery trip.
Dry erase boards or magnetic to-do lists that hang on your fridge are great for keeping track of your kitchen inventory.
There are also numerous apps available to assist you in keeping track of your grocery shopping and meal planning.
Keeping track of the foods you eat as well as the new and healthy foods you want to try will make putting together your weekly shopping list much easier.
When making a healthy grocery list, it’s important to be honest about the foods you’ll actually eat.
Although you might just want to try a variety of new and different foods when you first start eating more healthfully, limit yourself to just a few new healthy foods each week.
When you go grocery shopping without a list, it’s easy to get distracted by items that catch your eye.
This may lead you to buy more food than you can realistically consume in a week, or it may lead you to select items that you should eat but don’t necessarily enjoy. This can result in food waste and less money in your wallet.
Selecting just a few new foods to incorporate into your meals each week is an excellent way to broaden your palate, add nutrients, and discover which healthy foods you truly enjoy.
For example, if you want to eat more green, leafy vegetables like kale, arugula, and spinach but aren’t sure which ones to try, try one new leafy green each week until you find a few favorites.
This allows you to try new foods without having to waste food or money.
Before you know it, you’ll be able to make a new grocery list every week, full of nutritious foods that you enjoy eating.
Include mood-boosting foods in your diet
Discover how food affects your mood. Plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber are abundant in nuts and seeds.
They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for the production of mood-enhancing serotonin.
Arrange Your List
Organizing your grocery list by category is an excellent way to save time and reduce stress during your shopping trips.
You can organize your list by food category or by the layout of your favorite grocery store.
Organizing your list into sections allows you to shop more efficiently and reduces the likelihood of impulse purchases.
This type of list keeps you on track and focused on the items you’ve planned, rather than being distracted by the seemingly endless supply of unhealthy foods on the grocery store shelves.
To begin, divide your list into sections based on the type of food. Among the categories are:
- Healthy fats
- Dairy or non-dairy products
Avoid making room on your list for snacks or desserts if you are trying to cut back on snacking or don’t want to keep sweets in the house.
Try to limit your list to only healthy categories so that your focus is solely on wholesome, nutrient-dense foods.
If you are familiar with the layout of your grocery store, try organizing your list by the sections where your foods are located. For example, if you usually start your shopping trip in the produce section, prioritize your fruits and vegetables.
This allows you to streamline your shopping trip and avoid having to return to a specific section.
This reduces your chances of being tempted by unhealthy items while browsing the grocery store for foods on your list.
Focus on Healthy Items
When making your grocery list, try to prioritize healthy and nourishing foods.
This can be difficult, especially for those who have only recently begun a healthier eating plan.
Grocery shopping lists can help you avoid buying unhealthy foods that will cause you to gain weight and destabilise your goals.
Before you go shopping, make sure your list is arranged into sections and includes everything you’ll need to prepare healthy meals for the next few days.
If you know that certain portions of the grocery store, such as the bakery or the candy aisle are particularly tempting, it may be a good idea to avoid them entirely.
Try Perimeter Shopping
Perimeter shopping allows you to focus on fresh foods while limiting your exposure to packaged and processed foods.
Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy are commonly found around the perimeter of most grocery stores.
Though many healthy options are available in the interior grocery aisles, such as canned and dried beans, grains, spices, and olive oil, this is also where most grocery stores stock highly processed foods such as candy, soda, and chips.
Spending less time in the grocery store’s interior can reduce your exposure to these unhealthy foods, lowering your chances of purchasing them.
Because high-processed food consumption has been linked to obesity and chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, limiting your intake is critical for maintaining your health and losing excess weight.
Making it a point to fill your shopping list with mostly whole, unprocessed foods from the store’s perimeter can help you combine more healthy foods into your diet.
Cling to the Plan
Grocery stores are designed to encourage customers to spend money, whether on healthy or unhealthy foods. To avoid temptation, go to the grocery store with a healthy eating plan and only buy the foods on your list.
In-store advertisements and weekly flyers promoting coupons and discounted items may have a strong influence on the foods you buy.
Unfortunately, some grocery stores’ promotions tend to favor packaged foods over fresh produce. That is one reason why it is critical to begin your shopping trip with a well-thought-out shopping list.
Sticking to your list can help you avoid buying unhealthy foods on the spur of the moment or buying something you won’t use just because it’s on sale.
Notwithstanding, it is always too easy to get distracted by eye-catching displays and deep discounts. If you are drawn in by a sale item or a fancy food display, ask yourself if it fits into your meal plan and remember your healthy grocery list.
To Get You Started, Here Are Some Healthy Examples;
When making your grocery list, it’s best to prioritize fresh, whole foods. Though enjoying a treat every now and then is perfectly normal and healthy, keep sweets and snack foods to a minimum when making your shopping list.
Consuming highly processed foods such as sugary cereals, candy, soda, chips, and baked goods on a regular basis can undermine your weight loss efforts and cause you to gain weight.
Here are some examples of healthy, nutritious foods that should be in your shopping cart.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, beets, cauliflower, asparagus, onions, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, kale, arugula, mixed greens, radishes, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms.
- Fruits: Berries, bananas, apples, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, pears, cherries, pineapple, pomegranate, kiwis, mangoes.
- Proteins: Eggs, shrimp, fish, chicken, fresh turkey breast, tofu, bison, beef.
- Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, oats, butternut squash, quinoa, brown rice, beans, lentils, chia seeds, buckwheat, barley, whole grain bread.
- Healthy fats: Olives, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, coconut, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini, pesto, ground flaxseeds.
- Dairy and non-dairy products: Greek yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, almond milk, coconut milk, goat cheese, kefir, unsweetened milk.
- Condiments: Salsa, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, spices, herbs, stone-ground mustard, horseradish, nutritional yeast, sauerkraut, hot sauce, raw honey, stevia.
- Beverages: Unsweetened seltzer, sparkling water, green tea, coffee, ginger tea, unsweetened iced tea.
All these are a few of the many healthy and delicious foods you can include on your shopping list.
Organize your shopping list based on what makes the most sense to you. Avocado, for example, is technically a fruit, but most people associate it with being a tasty source of healthy fat.
Whatever method you use to create your list, make sure it is well-organized and easy to read so you can enjoy a stress-free shopping experience.