At the end of a long day, it’s natural to dread the weekly trip to the grocery store. What if instead of dreading the necessary chore, though, you chose to look at a trip to the grocery store as an opportunity to be your healthiest, happiest self? It’s not impossible! Keep reading for FitClub’s 5 tips to make your next grocery store trip your best yet.
- Think outside the list. While most of us could never even consider running to the grocery store without a grocery list, forcing yourself to think outside the list might lead you to a new favorite dinner. When you sit down to make your grocery list, you probably find yourself adding the same few dinner combinations and lunch options each week. Even your favorite dinners can become stale after a few weeks. Boredom with your dinner routine often leads to unplanned meals out or fast food nights. Instead of falling victim to boredom, use your imagination instead of your list on your next grocery trip. Peruse the meat and seafood counter and see if there’s a new, lean protein that can ignite your imagination and give you a new healthy go-to week night dinner.
- Be leery of anything in a package. Pre-packaged and frozen meals are convenient, and often cheaper than building your own meals with fresh ingredients. Before you let yourself fall victim to the bright packaging, though, stop and read the ingredient list. As you scan through the lengthy list of hard to pronounce chemicals on the list, you will probably find that you’ve lost your appetite for that convenient meal. Shopping the perimeter is best, but when you do need to venture in, make sure you know what’s in the food you will be eating for dinner later.
- If you find a vegetable or fruit in your favorite grocery store’s produce section that you don’t recognize, consider it a sign to toss it in the cart. Your taste buds and your body need variety. Dust off your cookbooks, use the internet, or call a friend to find out the best way to eat a fresh, whole coconut, rutabaga, or papaya. You might already be familiar with the flavors added to drinks or foods, but experimenting with the real thing is healthier and far more fun than the chemical additives.
- Think 80/20 even as you shop. Whether you’re curious about the 80/20 diet or already eating with that mindset, the best place to practice the theory is at the grocery store. Eighty percent of your food should come from the perimeter of the grocery store where fresh produce, lean meats, and healthy dairy items are found. If you absolutely must venture into the inner aisles, aim to limit your consumption to only twenty percent. It’s much easier to stay on track with the 80/20 mindset if you know that eighty percent of the food in your house is fresh and healthy.
- Slow down. If the only time you enter the grocery store is when you’re in a rush to be anywhere else, you’re probably not giving yourself the time you need to make the best decisions. Healthy food is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. Your time at the grocery store is your time to think outside the list, slow down, and get creative. Instead of focusing on rushing through this chore, consider it a valuable investment of time into your healthier, fitter lifestyle.
Have your own tips to enjoy grocery shopping? Share them with your FitClub friends in the comments!