Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Tips for the Grocery Store

Ever notice there’s no windows or clocks in the grocery stores?  That’s because they want your undivided attention.  The commercialized grocery chain is exactly that: a commercial.  “Deals” are around every corner designed to give the everyday shopper the greatest shopping experience ever.

Supermarkets are the best places to get most of the foods that we need to live, but
sometimes stepping into the store can create a lot of anxiety with all those fancy signs and, sometimes, dim lighting.

Also around every corner are the common pitfalls that face every dieter or person
looking to shed a few pounds. Deceptive labeling techniques have made it hard
for shoppers to really know the difference between healthy and unhealthy. Most
shoppers go into a store with no set agenda but what they think they want for
food for the next week. This can create a cart full of products that you do not
need and that are more than likely not good for you. If it is in your cart, then it is in your house. If it is in your house, then it WILL be in your mouth.

Here are six ways to make your shopping experience better,   and help you trim your waistline by watching what is going into your cart:

Have a menu planned for the week

Having planned meals that you can cook and freeze ahead of time takes the pressure off of you by knowing exactly what you are going to have for meals throughout the
week. Buy extra ingredients for your favorite healthy meals and cook in bulk.
This way you can save those healthy meals for the next day’s leftovers. Making
a menu also enables you to shop for the ingredients that you need and leave those high-calorie snacks on the shelf where they belong.

Start smart: Create a list from your menu

Knowing what you are going to have for meals ahead of time makes the shopping
experience easier. Having your list, you are armed with the information you
need to go through the store without falling into the pitfalls of high-calorie,
nutrient-lacking foods. Not only will this help you shop with ease knowing that
you are putting only the necessities in your cart, but also it helps to cut down on your budget by buying ingredients in bulk, and not putting extra snacks or treats in your cart that sometimes come with an out-of-the-world price tag.

Shop around the perimeter and avoid the inner aisles of stores

Think about those inner aisles: alcohol, processed foods, cookies, chips, etc. On the
perimeter you’ll find produce, bakery, seafood, meat, dairy, and the frozen section are usually areas that you find along the perimeter of the store.  Shopping around the perimeter of the store provides you with the opportunity to shop for fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat that are leaner and will provide you with the best selection of foods available. You get to choose from the leaner cuts of meat to skim or lower fat milk that have fresh expiration dates on them. This can help you plan meals better by choosing fresh chicken, meat, or fish, giving you more whole food options and sometimes better deals from the person behind the counter.

Learn to read labels

Learning to read the labels can be a far better use of your time then walking around
aimlessly looking for healthy products. Pay close attention to the serving
size, amount of fats (in particular, saturated fats), and if there are trans
fats on the label. Also look for sodium content, fiber, sugars, and calories
per serving. The most important aspect of label reading is making sure that you
look at the ingredients. If you are looking for a whole wheat product, for
example, the first ingredient should be stone ground or whole wheat flour. If
the first ingredient happens to be unbleached, enriched whole wheat flour, then
the product has been stripped of the natural fiber that comes from whole wheat.
If whole wheat is found somewhere besides the first ingredient, then there is a
lesser amount of that in the product.

Deceptive labeling is making headlines as manufacturers are allowed to put certain
phrases on products if they meet certain guidelines set by the FDA. Learning to
read the labels will help you to fight back and be armed with the knowledge to
pick healthy and nutritious foods.


Buy store brand and not name brand

Name brand products do only one thing to you: they kill your wallet. Buying no-name
brand products not only provide you with the same fresh, quality ingredients,
but they are also just as nutritious as the name brand products at half the
price. Shop smarter by buying store name brands, and you will find that not
only are you lighter around the waist, but also a little heavier in the wallet.


Shop at local Farmers’ Markets

The produce that you find in the stores is packed full of nutrients and sometimes
something else: pesticides. Pesticides are typically used to keep bugs and rodents away from the plants in order for us to enjoy them when they get to the supermarket. On most weekends throughout the year, you can find Farmers’ markets someplace in your town. This is where local farmers come and sell their goods. The markets are usually packed with produce that has not been treated with heavy pesticides so you can enjoy the nutrient-packed food right away.

Also, farmers that grow this great produce are willing to answer any questions
you might have about pesticides, preparation, and other things you might find
useful. It might be more money, but rest assured you are buying products that
are good for you without pesticides, and you are helping your local economy

These steps will help make your shopping experience more enjoyable by eliminating the high pressure of walking around all the processed food found in the supermarket.  By using these tips you’ll shrink your waistline and the amount you spend grocery shopping.

See more healthy blog posts on my Team Beachbody website where I am a contributing author. 

For recipes and grocery list ideas for clean eating click here.


June 16, 2011 - Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Nutrition, Organic, P90X Recipes, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] or you can visit me at Team Beachbody, Facebook or Instagram (@FitnessElements4Life).  I share tips, tricks and new recipes for stuffed peppers or this delicious “pot roast” made with turkey […]

    Pingback by It’s Summer! Are You Bikini Ready? « Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir | May 28, 2014 | Reply

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