If you’re looking to lose weight quickly, there are a number of things you’ll need to do in order to reach optimal weight loss results without harming your health.
But the good news is, you don’t need to exercise two hours a day or starve yourself just to lose weight quickly.
Have you ever heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen?
While this statement is tossed around as a slight joke in the health industry, it’s also very true to some degree.
You do need to stay active in order to lose weight and keep it off, not to mention it’s necessary for optimal heart and brain health, but what you eat is the largest factor when it comes to losing weight quickly and improving your health too.
The Key to Losing Weight: It All Starts With Your Grocery List!
Most people already know that diet is important for optimal weight loss, however.
What individuals seem to struggle with the most is keeping foods that derail their efforts to lose weight out of the house.
For some people that temptation is cookies, for other people it’s chips, and for other people it’s the inability to resist takeout pizza or a nightly glass of wine after dinner.
Whatever the case is for you, in order to achieve optimal weight loss, your grocery list is the most important part of your control over your diet aside from eating in most nights and avoiding fast food.
If the food isn’t in your house, you can’t eat it, right?
Think of it this way—you’re also saving money and stress by eliminating the foods that tempt you and only deliver empty calories to your diet when you keep unhealthy choices out of the house.
Losing weight isn’t about restricting yourself from delicious foods, it’s just about adding natural, whole and tasty foods to your diet that can also help you lose weight at the same time.
So check out the tips below as you make your next grocery list keeping in mind that these tips won’t only help you lose weight, but they will also improve your overall health and appetite levels too!
1. Start With Produce and Go Wild
Produce is absolutely essential for health and weight loss, and there’s no need to limit your options from the produce section.
Always start in this section first and aim to fill your grocery cart up with as many greens, veggies, fruits, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi that are all found in the produce section.
Avoid pricey pre-cut items unless you’re short on time and go for the whole food that you can chop up and prepare at home. Toss some packages of greens in your cart, freeze them, and open those up to use for easy green smoothies at home.
Keep a head of romaine and some kale in your fridge for quick salads all week long, and opt for fruits that store well like apples, oranges, pears, and tomatoes to enjoy at home throughout the week.
Fruits, vegetables, greens, and fermented foods are all incredible foods for achieving not only optimal weight loss but optimal health too.
Think of the produce section as your personal candy store and go wild at the store in the produce section each and every week!
2. Stock Up Some Lean Protein
The important thing to remember when selecting and purchasing lean proteins at the store is to make your dollars count; choose options that are organic and free of added hormones and antibiotics whenever possible if you’re buying animal sources of protein such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
Fish should be purchased wild-caught since it’s not offered in organic form.
When it comes to plant-based proteins, you’re pretty safe in terms of safety levels, but it’s still great to buy the best quality options you can such as choosing whole sources of lean protein versus faux meats and other processed options.
Choose from quinoa, lentils, beans, peas, and seeds such as hemp, chia, and pumpkin seeds.
You can also find high-quality plant-based protein powders or shakes, and remember that greens, whole grains, and many vegetables contain a little protein too.
3. Shop the Aisles for Simple, Healthy Items
You’ll often hear that you should avoid the aisles when shopping for the healthiest options and only shop the outside parameters of the store, however, that’s actually not true at all.
Many items can be found within the aisles that you need for optimal weight loss and that are incredibly healthy foods. Think oatmeal and other whole grains, herbs and spices, simple condiments like apple cider vinegar or mustard, and nutrient-dense, healthy fats such as raw almonds and almond butter, flax and other varieties of seeds, and coconut products like coconut oil and coconut butter.
You can also find plain cocoa powder, canned pumpkin, plain applesauce, and other simple, whole foods within the aisles of your grocery store that can help you prepare limitless healthy foods for you and your family.
The key to purchasing foods from the aisle that won’t derail your weight loss efforts is to avoid foods that come with added sugars, any that include hydrogenated oils, and to avoid those with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
4. Choose Your Treat Wisely
There’s no need to deprive yourself of desserts or treats when you’re looking to lose weight, but you should be smart about choosing your treats at the grocery store. Stay away from options that don’t offer any nutrition, and be smart about portion sizes when you purchase treats at the store.
A great healthy option that’s portion size friendly and provides some nutritional benefits is single serving bars of dark chocolate.
You can also use whole foods like raw almonds, cocoa powder, Greek yogurt, berries, and add some stevia to make your own healthy treats like parfaits or smoothie bowls at home.
Get creative when you purchase healthy treats at the store and remember to make your healthy treats count by opting for those that provide antioxidants, fiber, and some healthy fats.
Limit servings to one per week and make that your reward for shopping healthy for yourself at the store!
5. Opt for Easy-to-Prepare Frozen Veggies and Fruits
Frozen fruits and veggies are often thought to be less nutritious than whole fruits and veggies, but this is the opposite of the truth, believe it or not.
Frozen fruits and veggies are normally frozen right after harvest and never sit on shelves for days at a time so they may even be more nutritious than fresh options are.
Frozen fruits and veggies are also incredibly cheap, easy to prepare, and are perfect for those with busy schedules or who don’t like to spend a lot of time on meal prep.
You’ll never see my freezer without several bags of frozen berries, frozen veggies, and even frozen leafy greens for quick soups and stews.
The bonus is you never have to worry about them going bad and they can be used for just about any type of healthy meal you can think of besides a fresh salad.
Mini Grocery List to Help You Get Started:
Now that know what tips you need in order to build a grocery list to support optimal weight loss efforts, here’s a mini starter list you can build upon that’s made of whole foods that are nutrient-dense and weight loss friendly!
- Yellow Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Purple Potatoes
- Pumpkin (canned or whole)
- Organic, cage-free eggs
- Wild fish (frozen or fresh)
- Egg whites
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- Low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese
- Organic poultry, lean cuts (white meat)
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Whey protein powder
- Plant-based protein powder
Other Choices (optional):
- Unsweetened almond, coconut, or soy milk
- Condiments (coconut aminos, mustard, apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar)
- Herbs and spices
- No salt added canned tomatoes or plain tomato sauce
- Canned pumpkin
- Coconut flour (very low-fat, great for baking and adding fiber)
- Cacao or cocoa powder
- Liquid stevia or pure stevia extract
- Coconut (coconut meat, coconut butter, shreds, etc.)
- Raw almonds and walnuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter
- Sesame seeds or sesame seed butter (tahini)
- Plain peanut butter or almond butter
- Raw cacao nibs or 85% or higher cacao content forms of dark chocolate
Overall, remember to keep it simple.
Whole, healthy foods are going to be the best for you and are always going to keep you fuller longer and improve energy levels more so than any processed foods will.
If you’re in the need for healthy recipes, there are limitless resources available today, or you can check out some of our favorite healthy recipes.
It’s also a great idea to opt for learning about new healthy foods that you’ve never had before to keep you motivated and inspired.
For more healthy tips to lose weight, you can also improve your results by adding these metabolism-boosting meal ideas to your plate!
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