It’s one thing to say you are going to eat healthy; it’s another thing to get to the grocery store and choose only healthy foods when all of the tempting treats are screaming out your name. If you struggle with choosing healthy foods, here are some tips to help you stay strong.
When you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, your struggle begins in the grocery store. Before you ever walk into the store, you should have a strict game plan. Knowing what you need eliminates unhealthy, unplanned purchases. Likewise, you should avoid grocery store visits when you are hungry. Going when you have already eaten diminishes the temptation to get foods to snack on. Choosing meals for the week is a form of accountability when you go to the store. You will have invested in your meals for the week, and thus, will be more obligated to stick to your plan. Think of all the necessary ingredients. If your favorite meal is high in starch, for example, look for alternatives.
Look to the food pyramid for help in planning meals. This might seem like a long process, but once you are at the grocery store, you will love checking items off of your written list. Important note: do not make a mental list. There’s something useful about a good pen and paper. While you’re preparing for your trip, look for coupons and grocery ads. What’s on sale and healthy for the family? Fill your list with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Include whole grains, dairy, fish, lean meat, poultry, nuts, and beans on your list for a nutritionally complete pyramid.
Though it might seem tedious, making all of the decisions before you leave your home will save you time, money, and pounds. During your planning stage, choose a variety of foods. Your go-to foods are great, but make a splash with a new dish and find some healthy alternatives.
When you’re at the grocery store, you will still be faced with plenty of choices. From different brands to different presentations, you’ll have to choose between pre-cut fruit and untouched fruit. Consider the needs of your family when making these decisions. What is more economical? Which choice will benefit you and your family when making lunches for the day?
Upon entering the grocery store, plan out your quest. Where will you begin? How much time will you spend in each department? Again, it might seem time consuming, but if you are serious about a healthy lifestyle, you have to sacrifice somewhere. And, to encourage you, after the first couple of times, it will become routine.
Spend more time in the produce. Find a variety of fruits and vegetables that your family will eat and enjoy. When you journey to the breads, look for the least processed, whole grain foods. Go through each department of the grocery store and go through the pyramid to find the best of both worlds. With a little time, you’ll be an expert at grocery shopping for healthy foods.