How to Grocery Shop the Healthy Way

Nutrition is a valuable piece in the fitness puzzle. Combining nutrition with strength training and interval conditioning training will put you in position for a lean, toned, healthy and strong body.
Many people work hard at the gym but neglect the nutrition portion of their health plan. In order to develop healthy habits and keep your nutrition program in check, you must plan out your meals and snacks. The first step to planning is making smart trips to the grocery store.

Many people go to the grocery store in a whim, without any list or idea of what they are making for the week. This often leads to poor choices and quick fix meals that are frozen or processed.

Before you make your weekly trip to the store (yes, you should get it all done in one trip), sit down and make a list. Decide what types of snacks you are going to eat during the week, and then decide what meals you will prepare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I suggest preparing dinners that you can then use leftovers for lunches the following day. This helps to cut down on large portions and also saves you some time and money as long as the meals themselves are healthy.

Now to the tough part; going to the grocery store and training yourself to purchase what is on your list, and how to make it healthy. Here are a few tips that will ensure a healthy nutrition plan and help you to save your wallet and your waistline.

1. Shop the outside of the store. Take a look around your local grocery store. All of the healthy foods are along the outside. These are the foods that you should be focusing on. The staples of your healthy nutrition plan should be; fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, low fat dairy, nuts, and whole grains.

Avoid the inner workings of the store including chips, sodas, processed and frozen foods, and most cereals.
2. Shop for fresh food: Vegetables, fruits, and lean meats are better when they are fresh. Frozen versions of these foods often lack the vitamins and nutritional value of their fresh counterparts.
3. Look for sales on your healthy items: Many stores offer specials such as “2 for $ 5.00” on fruit items such as berries or discounts per pound on chicken or lean beef. Take advantage of these options and stock up on these items instead of skipping out and buying some unhealthy foods that will end up costing you more in the end.
4. Create your list the way the store is set up: Start at the produce end and work your way through the back aisles with meats and dairy. Then go through your organic sections for nuts and whole grain breads. Having a plan will help you avoid the unwanted aisles in the store.

Grocery shopping is an integral part of your nutrition plan. Training yourself to go once per week, stocking up on sales on healthy items, shopping the outside of the store and making a list to avoid buying unhealthy items will all help to keep you on track. Combining your solid nutrition plan with a strong training program will ensure a lean, healthy and strong body and a lifestyle that you can live with.

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