Food For Thought

A woman sticking to her healthy grocery list

Your Guide to Creating and Sticking to a Healthy Grocery List

Ben Ballance , 09/07/2016

Whether you’re just starting out or have been working at it for a while, sticking to a healthy eating routine is hard. And one of the biggest challenges is ensuring you have the right foods in your house so you can actually stick to eating healthy. Going to the grocery store can be a challenge—there are so many choices, both unhealthy and not, that it's easy to get flustered and buy the wrong thing.

This is why it's so important to make your trips to the grocery store as efficient and successful as possible. Being unprepared, panicking, and bringing home shopping bag after shopping bag of unhealthy foods is pretty much setting yourself up for failure, right? Here are a few tips and tricks to make your trips to the grocery store go the way you need them to go.

Make your list ahead of time!

Grocery stores are specifically designed to wear you down and make ill-advised purchases. Ever wondered why the unhealthy snacks are all in the last aisles of the store? People who design grocery stores are hoping you'll be so tired and worn down by the time you reach that part of the store, you'll be willing to put anything into your shopping cart.

Fortunately, there’s a simply trick to combat this: make your grocery list ahead of time. By doing this you're far less likely to succumb to the whims of buying things you weren't really intending on buying.  

Write your list with meals in mind

Some people say you should make a list of the healthy staples such as vegetables, rice, and fresh fruit. However, having this food is all well and good if you have a plan for what to do with it. Buying healthy food is great, but if it is just going to sit in the fridge until it expires, it's not going to do you much good at all.

That's why it's a good idea to work backwards when creating your grocery list. Instead of thinking in terms of "what healthy foods should I be eating?", think instead, "what healthy meals should I be making?" Once you've settled on a delicious menu of healthy meals for the week, you'll have a clear understanding of the groceries you have and don't have and what needs to go on the shopping list for your next visit to the store.

Only stick with what’s on the list

Here’s where a bit of willpower comes in: your healthy shopping list is only effective if you actually stick to it. Ultimately, it’s up to you to overcome the tricks grocery store layouts try to get you to fall for. Though it’s easy to make exceptions here and there, you’re more likely to gain success by follow through 100%.

If you’re having trouble, try to experiment with different tips and tricks to help each grocery store visit be a success. For example, if you find you have more willpower in the morning, try scheduling your grocery store trips then. However you do it, the key is to get in and out with only the healthy and delicious foods you need.


If you’re interested in getting expert advice from a nutrition coach about creating a healthy grocery list, be sure to schedule an appointment today.

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