Shopping for groceries while trying to maintain a healthy diet can seem overwhelming. Some choices are good, some are better and others are the best option for fueling your body. You just have to decide what is best for you and your schedule.
Here are a few easy ways to make the most of your next grocery-shopping excursion.
Plan meals ahead of time.
Being prepared for your week is essential to a successful shopping trip. Planning your meals ahead of time helps to ensure that you will not be scrambling last minute to find something to eat. Don’t forget to plan snacks!
Make a grocery list and stick to it.
Planning your meals ahead of time will start to formulate your shopping list. The key is to stick to your list once you get to the grocery store—straying from your list can be dangerous, so beware!
Don't go hungry.
This one seems like common sense, but there is scientific data to prove shopping hungry is bad for your diet. Studies show that people who were hungry when they went shopping had a 32 percent increase in the number of high-calorie products in their shopping carts.
Shop the perimeter.
Typically your fresh, whole foods (ones that can go bad) are found in the perimeter of the store, but don’t be caught by the tempting cookie displays strategically placed in the aisles.
Read nutrition labels.
Don't be fooled by the advertisements of “low fat” or “sugar-free." Many items have artificial sweeteners added to them. Aim for 80 to 100 percent of the ingredients to be from foods you would grow, cook or eat on their own (i.e., in their most natural state).
Give the freezer section a chance.
The freezer section can be your new fast food stop. These foods last longer and are usually cheaper than those in the produce aisle. But they still have nutritional value and are easy to prepare in a pinch. Throw in some frozen broccoli or green beans with that left over chicken breast and you have a quick, healthy option for lunch or dinner.