It’s something you have to do. You have to eat to stay alive. You have to buy food in order to eat (unless of course you live off the land – not likely). But you and I both know it can be so much more complicated than just grocery shopping.
You go into your local grocery store…
Now what? Where to begin? What should you be looking for, paying attention to? Are there isles you should be avoiding? How do you ensure you get exactly what you need and nothing else? Which protein bar do you choose when there are literally 30, all staring you in the face with their bright colors and claims of 20+g of protein?
Well, this is why I bring you my guide to grocery shopping.
Successful grocery shopping begins way before you even set foot inside the grocery store.
You need a list. You can keep this in your phone on an app like Grocery List or do what I do, old fashioned pen and paper.
What’s on the list?
Hello meal planning.
Beverages are a place sugar and empty calories THRIVE. These are easily avoided if you control your beverages from home. Coffee and half & half with a little stevia is NOT as bad as you may think. I promise you won’t miss your Carmel macchiato, or the money you spend on it.
You can determine your meals based on Pinterest. This is the BEST way I have found for finding quick healthy and SIMPLE recipes. If you’re anything like me, you have 45 minutes from start to finish to make your dinner and you don’t need fancy. Check out my Pinterest recipe recommendations here – Paleo-ish Meals & Snacks.
Even if you have your plan, if you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach you are bound to pick up something you didn’t plan to. It will most likely be a carb and sugar heavy, empty calorie snack that was NOT on the menu.
Judge me if you want…My advice is to grab a trusted protein bar (you’ll see my favs below) and eat it immediately. Save the wrapper and give it to the checker when you check out. You might get a weird a look. Cool. You, my friend, will stand and bare it because that judge-y look is way better than coming home with cookies and a pint of ice cream you don’t actually want in your home.
Grab the protein bar, or eat before you go!
You’ve got your list. Your brain is already primed for what you need.
Hopefully what you have on your list keeps you MOSTLY on the outside of the store. Nowadays most stores also have an organics section so I’ll throw that in the mix as well. The organics sections is typically on the outside of the store. Which is where you’re headed.
Why the outside?
This is where the REAL FOOD is. The meat, fresh bread, bulk supplies and produce live here. As you enter the isles you see more ingredients, more chemicals and more crap that do NOT lead to your success. If you happen to need boxed or packaged items, you should know how to choose the best ones.
That brings us to number four.
Lawd Baby Jesus in a manger if you do one thing with your life on this God Given Earth, learn how to read a food label.
You NEED to know what to look for on a label when grocery shopping. Labels can be overwhelming and give a lot of information. You need to know what is important and what you can ignore.
What you need to pay attention to on the label:
Carbs and protein and fats.
NONE OF THESE ARE BAD!
It is likely you will eat items in the company of other foods. So the carbs, protein and fats of ONE item doesn’t say much if you’re going to be eating it paired with the carbs, protein and fats of another food(s).
Know where the macro nutrients are and if you will be eating this solo, then shoot for equal carbs and protein, fat is for a whole other post.
The next two are much more important.
More sugar than protein? Set it down and walk awayyyyy Tina!
Natural sugars are fine. Added sugars. Nope. See more info below.
This is most important in my opinion. What exactly are you putting in your body? Even if the macro nutrients are good and it has less sugar than protein, is that sugar source in the top three ingredients? If it is, PUT IT DOWN AND WALK AWAY!
Do you know the majority of the ingredients or are they all chemicals?
Are there words ending in “ose”? Are those words in the first half of the ingredients? These are added sugars. No thank you!
Your cart should NOT look like cardboard and plastic…and should not be filled with items you see on commercials.
You should see a majority of real food. Meaning it has a mother, came from an animal, you pick it or pluck it or dig it out of the ground, plant it or harvest it. It comes from this earth. It is REAL food. 80% real food, 20% packaged.
Packaged does not mean peanut m&ms, 100 calorie cookie packs or Annie’s gummies. Perhaps your edamame pasta is packaged, or your Vital Proteins supplement is packaged or your choice of protein bars is packaged. I happen to like Think Thin Bars, RX Bars and Health Warrior Bars. Use code “fitdesignbyannie30” to get 30% off all orders.
Alright, You have read the labels of your packaged items. They may be packaged but you know the ingredients, they have less sugar than protein and the sugar is not added. Right?
YOU. ARE. SET.
Follow these five steps and enjoy your grocery shopping experience.
**some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I receive a small commission from sales made through these links.
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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