Hey, hey, hey!
As I was shopping for my food for the week this past weekend I watched some of my fellow shoppers as I made my way around the store.
For many of them, it was no coincidence that how they looked health-wise was a direct result of what was in their basket.
The lean, fit-looking people, had loads of all natural foods in their basket (I think they were following me), and the overweight, out of shape people had plenty of boxed foods in their basket.
So, while I can’t go to the grocery store with you, I can give you my best tips for shopping lean and burning fat.
- Plan Ahead – Write out the meals you plan on having over the next few days or week and that will help you estimate how much you need until you go shopping again. If you don’t plan out your meals ahead of time you may not get enough food or pick up something that ends up going bad because you forgot about it. Also, take a peek inside your fridge before leaving and making sure you will have enough room for all the great food you plan on bringing back home.
- Shop at a Comfortable Time for You – I do not like a crowded grocery store because I like to get in, get my stuff and get out. That is what makes it a pleasant experience for me. When it’s a little more crowded I get flustered and sometimes forget something and have to go back, wasting more time. Find a time that suits you best and I’ll bet you’ll find shopping for healthy foods a lot easier like I do.
- NEVER Shop Hungry – This one is a big mistake that you could be paying for later on. Shopping hungry will make everything look scrumptious, especially the sugary, high fat variety foods. Eat before going to the store and you won’t end up mowing through a bag of cookies when you get home. Raise your hand if you’ve been there before!
These last three are probably the most important…
- Stick to the Perimeter of the Store – I’m amazed at how many people I’ve told this tip to over the years and they’ve never heard it before. The perimeter of the grocery store holds all the healthy foods like fresh meats, fruits and vegetables. The kinds of foods you should be filling your basket with. The reason these foods are along the walls of the store is because they need to be kept cool with electricity (meats) and/or fresh with water (veggies). The middle of the store, or isles, shelf mostly processed, boxed foods that don’t go bad for a long time (if ever) and cause fat storage.
- Buy Naked – That doesn’t mean purchase your foods without clothes on. If you do you’ll probably be escorted out by security and end up on the news and YouTube for all of eternity. Try explaining that one to your kids. Buy naked means to purchase your foods in their most natural form. Buy raw meats, not pre-seasoned or pre-cooked chicken, for example. Buy fresh veggies and fruits that aren’t packaged, but you actually pick up and place into one of those nice produce bags. The more work you have to put into trimming, chopping, seasoning, and cooking your foods the better to help you get lean.
- Be a Food Ingredient Detective – In the past whenever I would mention a new food I found to a client I would often draw a blank on what the brand name of the food was because I always automatically turn over to the back to look at the ingredients list and just by pass the front of the package. I only want to know exactly what is in what I’m thinking about adding to my meals.
Now, this tip really only applies to those foods you are thinking about buying that come in a package like oatmeal, corn tortillas, and bread for example. The best kinds of healthy foods that come in a package are, of course, all natural, have a short ingredients list, and don’t have to go through much of a process to become what they are. So, canned chicken or tuna, natural peanut butter, and canned veggies like green beans or pre-portioned apple sauce cups are a few examples that fit those criteria.
The next time you come across these types of foods look at the ingredients list and make sure they are free of added sugar, don’t have any hard to pronounce names, and have five ingredients or less. When in doubt bring it in to me and we’ll talk about it!