Grocery Shopping Tips for a Tight Tummy
"Abs are made in the kitchen"
That they are—*mostly*. And good nutrition stems from making smart choices in the grocery store. So, if you're striving for a tighter tummy and need a few tips & tricks to give ya guidance to make healthier choices for you grocery hauls, here's 7 of mine that I follow religiously to keep my kitchen stocked with the good stuff.
Tip #1. Make a list before you venture out. Stick to it & don't stray.
Preparation is key. Always.
If your goal is weight loss, or increasing lean muscle, or simply to make healthier choices, you need to plan ahead in order to prevent poor choices.
Physically make a list of what you need to get...in your phone, or, if you're nerdy & old school like me...jot it down with pen & paper. Bringing a list with you and checking things off as you go will keep you focused on buying only what you need. A list helps prevent you from impulse-buying & that post-purchase remorse that comes with it.
Tip #2. Never, ever shop when you're hungry.
Shopping on an empty stomach is a big no-no.
"Thou shall not shop on an empty stomach"...that should be a commandment we all abide by—especially if you're trying to maintain a consistently healthy diet *which we all should*.
When shopping on an empty tum-tum, all the wrong, crappy foods look sexy AF. The sugary snack cakes, the Nabisco naughty nibbles, or *this one is a shout out to my sister*—the comforting corn dogs. *If you know, you know* HAHA...& if not, ignore that line & carry on, ha!
Avoid the urge to splurge on those by fueling yourself up with healthy foods before ya head out to your go-to grocery store. When hunger isn't in the way, the evil eats won't be an issue & you can focus on filling your cart with the good stuff.
Tip #3. Avoid the snack-stacked aisles.
Eating as much whole, real foods as possible should be the goal if you're aiming to eat healthy. Those foods, (your fruits, veggies, proteins, milks, etc.) are found along the edges of almost every grocery store. SO, stay along the outside of the store. But if you do need to go into the aisles for a few things, read the signs above before walking down them aimlessly to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of any undesired temptations.
Those center aisles are where the junk foods lurk.
Tip #4. Read the labels.
Calories are key. Yes. BUT, when reading a label, you should be looking at more than just the calorie count. What's the sodium content? Is there added sugar & if so how much? Is it a source of protein, carbohydrate, or fat? etc.
And then, equally important...the ingredients.
AVOID nasty chemicals, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, & sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, & anything that you have no idea how to pronounce. That's a good rule to follow when you're unsure of an ingredient—if you can't pronounce it, put it back. It's more than likely no good.
Tip #5. Shop seasonally.
Knowing which fruits & veggies are in season is grocery shopping goals. In-season produce is at its ripest, which means its super tasty and there's an abundance of it—which results in cheaper cost. One of the greatest things about these foods is that they can be kept in the freezer & stay good for months. So, if it's summer and berries are on sale, get your hands on them and if you don't eat them all by the time they're on their last few day before they go bad, bag up your berries & store them in the freezer. You can use the frozen berries for smoothies, add them to your oatmeal or yogurt, desserts, etc.
And just like that...you'll be using & consuming the best of the best all year long.
Tip #6. Don't fear the freezer.
Too many people think frozen fruits and veggies aren't as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. That's simply not true. You can buy a big bag of frozen broccoli and prep it for the week, and it's just as healthy as fresh broccoli crowns, and 9/10 times it's way cheaper, too!
Tip #7. Relish in the rainbow.
Greens are great. We want to get lots & lots of greens in our diet. But, we like color too!
Red: Tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, apples, etc.
Orange: Oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.
Yellow: yellow squash, lemons, peppers, etc.
Green: spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
Purple: eggplant, grapes, plums
I hope you find these tips useful & that this post can serve as a guide for you for your next grocery haul to help keep that tummy tight!