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Grocery Shopping

Grocery Shopping

Hannah Colosio, Training Manager

Grocery shopping can be stressful for even the most health conscious among us. With so many options and every ad telling you conflicting accounts of what’s “good” and “bad,” it can be hard to know what to do! Read on to see some tips to grocery shop with confidence and ease, coming home with everything you need and nothing you don’t.

First, some tips for before you even leave your house.

  1. Plan ahead! Think about what meals you plan to make this week. Do you have guests coming over, or is it just a normal week? How many people do you need to feed? How many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners? Do you need (healthy) snacks?

  2. Write it out! Don’t rely on your memory. Write out exactly what you need for each meal. Write out your needed quantities and categorize it by where you would find it: meat, dairy, produce, etc. Some people prefer to do this by hand on a piece of paper, which is absolutely fine! Others prefer the notes app on their cell phone or an app. I use an app called “AnyList”. What I like most about it is that you can “share” the list with others in your household. Which means if my husband is at the store and I just now realized we’re out of bread, I can add it to the list and he will see the addition in real time. I’m sure there are many others like it, that’s just the one I use!

  3. Don’t go grocery shopping while hungry. This one might make you laugh, but really! You’d be surprised how good your empty stomach is at convincing you that you absolutely need something you absolutely don’t need. I always suggest keeping something healthy in the car (a protein bar for example) to avoid these situations.

Alright, you’ve made it to the store. You’ve got your list, you’re fed, you’re prepared. What’s next!

  1. Stay to the edges of the store. In most stores, this is where you’ll find most of the fresher foods - produce, dairy, and fresh meats. The center of the store has more of your packaged and canned food, which might have a place in your kitchen but shouldn’t be a main staple. Go all the way around the edges before heading to the middle of the store for your cans, pastas, etc.

  2. Know how to read labels. This is one of the more important parts of knowing what to buy. Often there are many different versions of similar foods, and it can be tough to decide what is best.

    1. Serving size - This is the most important part! You can’t accurately compare two foods if one is showing you a serving size of 60 grams and one 120. Always make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, so to speak. Also be mindful of whether the advertised calorie count is for the serving size or the whole container - this trick is used with candy and sweets often!

    2. Under the total amount of calories, you’ll see the total amount of fat. Make sure that the “trans fats” category is zero. This shelf stable form of fat is very bad for you, and can be found often in sweets and fried foods. Unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are the “good” kinds of fats, which should be eaten as a good part of your healthy diets. Saturated fats should be generally kept to a minimum.

    3. Cholesterol and sodium should be kept low, or very low if that is what your doctor recommends. Watch out for high sodium in packaged foods!

    4. Carbohydrates are broken down on the label into Fiber, Sugar, and added sugar. Lots of fiber is a good thing (most of us do not get enough fiber in our diets!) and sugar is okay too, depending on the food. For example, a fruit or fruit product will have high sugar, and that’s okay in moderation. What you want to watch out for is the “added sugar”. That’s usually plain sucrose added to food for sweetness - it’s not naturally found sugar like in fruit.

    5. Your last number is your protein content. Keep an eye on this one - most adults do not get enough protein. And when a food advertises itself as “high protein” always make sure to do the research yourself and check the label.

You’ve got this! Head on out to do the grocery shopping with confidence - after you’ve made your lists of course! And let us know below or on our social media pages if this information helped you!

This information was originally shared with our members in a Facebook Live event on August 13. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) to see our event schedule! @FitnessTogetherPointLoma

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