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4 Grocery Shop Hacks to Eat Healthy

Follow these grocery store shopping and meal planning hacks to ensure that you eat healthy and avoid feelings of food guilt!

I think we can all relate to wanting to eat junk food. Whether it's mac-and-cheese, your favorite flavor of ice cream, or that bag of potato chips. But when you don't have enough balance in your diet those delicious treats can quickly become heavy sources of food guilt. And we all know the cycle of food guilt is to eat something bad --> feel bad about ourselves --> eat more junk food to cope with the negative emotions --> and then proceed to feel even worse and now also helpless. These negative feelings have got to go! Break the cycle by adjusting your shopping habits with these four simple grocery shopping tricks.

1) SHOP THE PERIMETER. That means that most of your groceries should come from the outer areas of the grocery store: the fresh fruits and vegetables in the produce department, the deli, fresh bread, seafood, dairy, fresh juices, and the meat departments. There are some exceptions to this rule: namely frozen fruits and vegetables from the freezer aisle, and we all need some staple carbs in the pantry like plain rice, quinoa, and pasta. The keyword here is plain - hamburger helper and uncle bens cheesy rice don't count. 😜 Take a look in your fridge and freezer. Are most of the foods from the inner aisles? Next time focus on the perimeter! Processed foods should be balanced with fresh ones for a healthy diet, and almost all the foods from the inner aisles are processed.

2) HAVE ONE OR TWO SMALL CHEAT SNACKS ON HAND. Cheat snacks are what they sound like: small portions of sugary or fatty foods for you to enjoy as a treat. For example I love to keep a bag of fun size Reece’s candies in the pantry and I eat one or two when the urge for sugar hits. You can also get small single servings of Mac and cheese if you are more of a savory snacker. The most important thing is that the foods you pick come in small or fun sized packaging so that you can’t eat more than a single serving at once. Sorry, this means no pint size ice cream 🍦 because they are too big. Get the mini sized ones instead - the ones that look so small that you might think they are for kids, but actually they are the right calorie range for a snack. Part of the problem with junk food is that it is hard to stop eating them once we have started, and you can easily eat more than one serving in a sitting (oh my gosh did I just eat half a bag of Cheetos?!). The point of the cheat snack is to satisfy your cravings without overeating. Because of this cheat snacks can be used to help combat junk food binges and urges, but still stay in a healthy calorie range. Target eating no more than 200 calories a day in cheat snacks - and this includes drinks like sodas or sugary "fruit" juices.

3) FOLLOW THE RULE OF THREE. I follow the 'rule of three' when it comes to all meals. It means that your plate should include carbs, protein, and either fruits or vegetables (depending on the meal) in equal portions. So a balanced breakfast might include oatmeal, a handful of nuts, and one or two handfuls of berries. And a balanced lunch might include a turkey sandwich with humus and carrots. And I hate to break the bad news, but a turkey sandwich with chips and a cookie is protein-carbs-fat-carbs-carbs-sugar! It's easy to overdo the carbs and sugars, but a balanced meal means finding ways to add more fresh fruits and veggies. I actually hate eating raw vegetables, so I like to jazz them up by eating them with a dip like humus or some ranch. And sometimes I sprinkle a little bit of sugar on my oranges for a special treat. I think if you need to add some honey or a little fat in order to eat something healthy that that is better than nothing! Try to keep the rule of three in mind when you are meal planning so that your plate is well balanced.

4) FROZEN FRUITS & VEGGIES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND. Fresh fruits and veggies are great, but they can go bad quickly, so keep some go-to items in stock in the freezer for a quick health boost! I use frozen veggies for almost all of my dinners because they are fast, easy, and healthy. Also it can save you time chopping to buy pre-cut frozen carrots or onions. It doesn't get much better than that! Frozen fruits are great for a quick smoothie. Just pop them in a blender with some greek yogurt and protein powder and voila! A healthy fruit snack or meal replacement.

If you are struggling with food in your life I would love for you to reach out to me so that we can talk about more ways to get in control of your eating habits and those negative feelings about food. You can Schedule a Free Consultation. I would love to talk with you.

I hope that you enjoyed my article - if so please give me a heart below! ❤

Amanda Aten

Happiness & Wellbeing Life Coach

813-435-9442 (text or call)

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