Did you know that the grocery store is the source for most of your unwanted pounds?
Well, that and the fast food restaurants, but we'll leave that for another day.
If you're like most people then your shopping trips aren't exactly organized. In fact, your grocery cart is likely to be more fat than fit.
The good news is that with a few small modifications to your routine you'll be able to turn your grocery shopping trip into an easy opportunity to slim down.
I've broken down the process of healthy grocery store navigation with an easy-to-remember acronym - FITNESS.
Come, take a walk with me through your grocery store and we'll improve your shape and the shape of your family members.
F: First Veggies
Your mom always told you that you had to eat your veggies before dessert-so this will be an easy one to remember. When you start shopping, first go to the produce section. The bulk of your shopping should take place here. Fresh vegetables, lettuce for salads, and fruits are the best things to eat when you want to look and feel great.
Don't skimp on produce-aim to fill most of your cart here.
I: Is it Wheat?
When it comes to bread you only need to ask yourself one question. Is it wheat? White bread products have been processed and filled with simple carbohydrates – these will easily stick to your body as fat. Wheat breads, on the other hand, contain more fiber and are much healthier. Make it a policy to never purchase white bread, wheat bread is the right choice even for the little members of your family.
Always choose hearty wheat bread products-the more whole grain, the better.
T: Trim the Fat
In the meat section, you are faced with a major decision. Do you go with your taste buds or do you go with your health-conscious side? I urge you to stick with the latter. These days lean meats are more available than ever, and the benefits of going lean are numerous. When you choose lean meats you avoid extra saturated fat (your heart will thank you for this) and you also avoid the extra calories that come packed into each fat gram.
Want to be lean? Then eat lean meats.
N: Never enter the Junk Food Aisle
I have a simple policy that has saved me from thousands of unnecessary calories. I don't walk down the junk food aisle. You and I both know that it is nearly impossible to walk past rows of chips, candies, and cookies without putting something into the cart. The bright packages stamped with mouthwatering images will give your willpower a run for its money. My two cents? Avoid that row altogether and save yourself from the whole ordeal.
Nothing good ever came from walking down the junk food aisle-just say no.
E: Edge around the store
Here's a really easy trick for healthy shopping. Edge around the store, as in shop the perimeter and avoid the inner aisles. Think about it-the healthiest products are kept around the perimeter of the store: produce, meat, dairy. The inner aisles are where you run into trouble: processed food, baked goods, and sweets. Don't get me wrong, there are healthy products kept in the inner aisles too, but a majority of the items are waist-expanders.
Shop in a circle-stick to the perimeter of the store, do less shopping in the aisles.
S: Skinny Cow
The dairy section is filled with many healthy items; it is also filled with extremely high-fat items. Your job is to pick out all those calcium-rich foods that you love in the low fat and non-fat versions. I realize that many people have a prejudice against low milk or yogurt, simply because they've always eaten the full-fat version. Making the switch to low fat is such a simple way to cut unnecessary fat and calories from your diet, while still getting all the benefits of dairy.
Fat-free dairy products are the way to go-you'll only lose unwanted pounds.
S: Stick with Water
Warning: mini-lecture to follow. I'll make it short and sweet. Drink more water-period. Sodas, sugary juices, and calorie-laden alcoholic beverages are responsible for a large number of unnecessary calories in your diet. Don't fill your cart with these sneaky calories. Keep them out of your kitchen and out of your life.
Looking for a tasty beverage? Look no farther than crystal clear water.
There you have it-your FITNESS shopping plan that will take your cart from fat to fit. I suggest that you write down the FITNESS steps on a note card and take it to the store with you.