Weight-loss food shopping guide

How do you avoid temptation in the supermarket?

All it takes is a few minutes of advance planning. Here’s how to get in and out of the supermarket faster and with the right stuff in your shopping bags – and you may even lose a little weight in the process.

Plan ahead.

Before you leave to do the supermarket shopping, take some time to plan diet-friendly menus for the upcoming week that aid your weight loss. Create seven healthy lunch and dinner menus (fewer than that if you eat some meals out). Keep in mind the week’s events as you shop: Working late on Thursday? Make it a take-out night.

If the dishes you plan don’t include vegetables, estimate how many salads or cooked vegetables you want to accompany the meals. Also, plan on a few healthy snacks and get enough cereal or breakfast foods to complement your weight loss and diet plan.

Create a real shopping list

This isn’t the food list you hurriedly make as you rummage through your fridge and see that you need more milk or you’re out of eggs. Nope, this foolproof healthy shopping list comes right out of the seven-day menu plan strategy.

Make your shopping list market-friendly

To make food shopping easier and faster, organize your list according to the sections of the supermarket. Shop at specialty markets? Then organize by market. Here are some basic categories:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Refrigerator cases (dairy, juice, eggs, etc.).
  • Meat, poultry and fish cases
  • Canned foods, condiments and oils
  • Grains and cereals
  • Breads
  • Frozen foods

Grab a snack beforehand

You’ve heard this countless times before, and it’s still true: Shop hungry and you’re more likely to succumb to high-calorie foods and affect your weight loss. If you don’t have time for a whole meal, munch on a quick, healthy snack such as a handful of nuts or a small bag of baked chips before you grab your cart and go shopping.

Hit the supermarket once a week

If possible, go food shopping on the same day each week and spare yourself some aggravation by avoiding the busy times: weekday evenings or weekends (by Sunday, the fresh produce is usually not so hot anyway). If you work during the day, go after 9 p.m.; if you have a more flexible schedule, go during the day.

Make a produce pit-stop

Shopping once a week may be too little for fresh food produce, so dart into the market midweek to replenish your supply of fruits and vegetables. In the summer months, save time by stopping off at a roadside stand.

Shop virtually

If you hate spending time in the supermarket, find one that will do your shopping for you. You can shop on the Web, or by simply calling or faxing your order in to a local market; pick it up or have them deliver.

Burn down the aisles

You can be surrounded by food but still burn calories if you spend a little extra time at the supermarket. Here’s how:

  • Park in the very farthest spot from the door and briskly walk to and from the car
  • Before you pick up a shopping cart, walk up every single aisle in the supermarket as quickly as possible; you may even spot some bargains
  • Grab a cart and do your food shop

Now you’re moving more slowly, which means fewer calories burned per minute. So put some extra effort into reaching and stretching for goods on the shelves. Remember that every little bit of activity counts to help you lose weight.

Sticking to your weight-loss plan can be a lot easier with these strategies in mind, no supermarket aisle is truly off-limits. You can learn to balance better food choices with whatever you desire, and never feel deprived as you lose weight.


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