Best grocery List. Ok.  Don’t go to the store hungry.  Have a list.  When you get home, prepare foods in easy containers when hunger strikes.   Whether you need to lose weight or struggle to maintain weight, in these busy times, it’s really hard to find time to give ourselves the best chance for success.  

However, there is one thing you CAN do, ONE time, that will save time, help you stay organized and ensure you have stay on track with healthy eating. MAKE A MASTER LIST.

Best grocery listIn my case, I love Excel (but you could just as easily handwrite yours on paper and copy it). I created a basic weekly list with room to add the additional items I need and posted on my frig. Wahla! I don’t have to recreate the wheel every week, I don’t forget the items I need, nor the healthy foods I need. I save time because the list is organized by the food store layout, and I don’t miss savings on coupons. I can stay focused at the store (even if I’m hungry), and on those special rare times, I can give the list to a family member who volunteers to go shopping (or, even take a picture of the list with my phone and send it to them).

Here’s my list. But, do take the time to create your own!

The Best Grocery List for Healthy Eating

The Center for Medical Weight Loss
May 2012

Fresh produce: Stocking up on the freshest seasonal produce you can find should be at the top of your list. Shop organic or at a farmer’s market if you can for the freshest and healthiest selection. In spring, think assorted greens for eating fresh and wilted. In summer, take advantage of seasonal beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes. During fall, seek out squashes, and in winter root vegetables such as parsnips, onions, carrots take center stage. Add seasonal fruit to your list as well, but remember to count calories – fruit can add up, so pay attention to portions.

Lean Protein: Lean protein is another important item on your grocery list because getting enough lean protein helps your body preserve muscle while losing fat. Swap red meat for low fat seafood and poultry and be sure to take advantage of vegetarian options too. Tofu, eggs, and beans are all great low calorie protein sources. Add them to your plan in place of meat several times per week.

Low-Fat Dairy: For some, dairy products like milk and cheese are trigger foods, and in this case should be omitted from the diet. However when eaten in moderation, low fat dairy can be part of a healthy shopping list. Creative swaps (substituting plain non-fat yogurt for sour cream, for example) can help you feel like you are indulging without the calories and full-fat dairy. Despite marketing campaigns to the contrary, adults really don’t need dairy in their diets and can get the calcium their bodies need from other sources. Don’t be afraid to explore all the dairy alternatives available. Many have twice the calcium as cow’s milk and taste just as good (or better!)

Whole Grains: Clever marketing has convinced most Americans that white bread, white rice, and regular pastas are better, but in reality these highly processed grains contain little nutritional value or filling fiber. Reach for the less processed options instead – 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, and whole grain pasta. Be sure to read packages and measure out recommended servings until you get used to what one portion means, grains can contain a surprising amount of calories in a small serving.

Frozen Veggies and Fruit: Be sure to pick up some frozen veggies and fruit for those days you run short on fresh items. Many people who aren’t used to eating a lot of produce report that it often goes to waste before they can eat it. Frozen veggies and fruit have basically the same nutritional value (far more than canned in most cases) and don’t go to waste. When fresh produce isn’t in season, frozen items make a great substitute.

Ethnic Cuisines: There’s a whole world of healthy food choices waiting for you outside your local supermarket. If you have an Asian grocer near you, the selection of fresh veggies for stir-fry, and other low-cal, high nutrition items can’t be beat. Prices are often lower than a traditional grocery store as well. Variety is the spice of life – and it certainly makes following a weight loss plan easier.


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