A common complaint I hear from clients I train is FOOD sabotages their health and fitness goals. Most often I hear about the inability to control food choices and cravings which leads to unhealthy late night snacking, over eating, and overindulgence in processed and sugar laden foods.
The truth is, we are all human, and by our very nature we are drawn to fatty sweet foods as a form of our most basic instinct of survival! However, we no longer live in the harsh environments we used to and unfortunately, food, fat and sweets are in abundant supply! Clients often ask me – how I personally resist temptation – my answer is the GROCERY STORE! If I do not buy processed fatty foods, I do not eat them. Therefore my control center always starts with what I purchase at the store!
Here are some simple tips to help you navigate through the grocery store, to help you fill your fridge and cupboards with good healthy food and ultimately assist you in eating better!
3 Tips For Healthy Grocery Shopping:
Tip #1 – PLAN: Never go to the grocery store without a PLAN. Each week prior to heading to the store, I make a chart of the upcoming 7 days in the week. This grid/chart also has 5 meals per day allocated and 1 bedtime snack. Then I fill in the chart – determining what I will eat for every meal and snack in the upcoming week. While completing this chart I take into account my weekly schedule of business lunches, afternoon and evening commitments and I plan accordingly. I allocate certain meals as eating out, and consider where I will be geographically and what I should eat when dining out; and I also contemplate and plan portable meals/snacks as I am often in the go. From this completed chart of all meals and snacks for the week, I am able to draft a GROCERY LIST. I never go to the store without a list of items I need, otherwise I tend to fall victim to the marketing traps of major food corporations (and make unhealthy not so good or unnecessary food purchases). When tempting foods are NOT in your house, refrigerator, cabinets, you will not be able to fall victim to late night snacking, and poor food choices. If you don’t have it – you can’t eat it!
Tip #2 – SCAN (your fridge and cupboards): Next, after my meals and snacks are planned, and my list drafted, I open the fridge and cabinets and do a cursory review of the items therein. This gives me the chance to toss any expired, spoiled or food that needs to be disposed of. I can also double-check which condiments need to be re stocked. This exercise prevents my fridge from being full of any foods that may be dangerous to my health, and prevents unnecessary trips to the store when I figure out I need mustard mid-week!
Tip #3 – EAT: Finally, I prepare a nice meal and eat before going to the store. This ensures I maintain a clear head and remain rationale while shopping and not make any poor food choices/purchases. If you purchase your groceries according to your plan and fill your house with good for you foods – you are more likely to stick with your health and wellness goals!
Remember – to make lifestyle changes manageable and long-lasting make ONE small healthy change per week! Over the course of a year that is 52 changes! They all start with the food you purchase and navigating the grocery store!