I got a special request this past week to put out some information on how to healthfully and mindfully grocery shop. If you're just starting your health and fitness journey, it can be a lot to take in - not to mention there's an abundance of misinformation out there. It can feel like a daunting task to say the least.
I'm always here to help reduce the overwhelm (and the confusion) so that making healthy, balanced food choices not only align with your fitness goals, but also satisfy your personal dietary preferences (this is a key factor in long term weight maintenance!)
Here are 3 types of foods you should include in your grocery haul:
1. Easy proteins you actually enjoy
One key takeaway to a healthy grocery haul is not simply purchasing nutritious foods that align with your fitness goals, but it's equally important to choose foods you genuinely enjoy eating. Because let's face it, if you're not looking forward to the meals you're preparing (because they're "healthy" and likely boring and bland), you're probably not going to eat them. And if you're anything like how I used to be, you'll find yourself knee deep in the pantry trying to fill up on oreos instead. Chicken breast is not the only source of protein you can consume and you definitely don't have to eat it if you don't like it - even if you're trying to make healthier food choices. In reality, we rarely have chicken breast because honestly, I just don't like it. It's bland, it's always dry - so I stopped buying it (and stopped wasting money on it thinking I "should" be eating this if I want to be "healthy.")
There are plenty of other easy, high protein options that are equally convenient - most of which I've highlighted in this article right here. Some other easy protein examples could include Greek yogurt cups, edamame, light string cheese, beef or turkey jerky, cottage cheese, and eggs/hard boiled eggs.
2. Convenient foods that make your life easier
We tend to make irrational or last minute food decisions (that typically aren't the healthiest) out of time limitations, quick access and what feels the most easy. Having quick-grab, convenenient type foods in your home will not only save you time in the kitchen but can still serve you and your fitness goals. Remember that processed or convenience-type foods does not equate "unhealthy". Foods like minute rice, pre-chopped vegetables and potatoes, salad kits, pre-grilled/pre-cooked meats are great convenience foods that will make your life easier when it comes to healthier, more balanced eating.
In my 7 years of coaching women, one big diet misconception is that you should (or shouldn't) be eating specific types of foods if you want to lose weight. If you're curious about what the acutaly secret to healthy, sustainable weight loss, I highly recommend downloading my free macro guide. However when we place certain foods as being off limits, or labeling them as something we shouldn't be having, and therefore we restrict them completely out of our diet, this mindset and relationship we have with that food often backfires. Healthy, sustainable weight loss and maintenance comes from learning how to incorporate your favorite foods and snacks into more balanced eating, not completely restricting them from your diet.
One big tip I challenge you to incorporate with your snacks is asking yourself "what can I add?" to this snack to make this a more balanced snack? Craving doritos or tortilla chips? Pair it with a Greek yogurt, throw in some veggies and hummus with it or maybe add a string cheese for some protein. Often times, we find ourselves demolishing an entire bag of chips because that entire bag of chips is what we need to consume to feel full. So if we can add more satiating food options to our snacks, it'll not only help you eat less of that snack, but you still get the fulfillment and enjoyment from your favorite snack, without having to completely rid of it.
If you need hands-on support, guidance and accountability so you can learn how to find balance with food and build healthier habits along the way, sign up for nutrition coaching with me in the Forever Fit Formula.