To lose weight, it’s important to eat healthy… but what does that even mean?

We always get questions about nutrition, diet, and what to buy at the grocery store.

It only makes sense to have a list of foods that are well for you to eat, and then YOU get to pick which ones you like the taste on.

Trust me; it’s much better than eating something you hate because someone told you that you have to. That never lasts long.

Not only will it save you time, but it will help you navigate the supermarket like a pro, be as time efficient as possible, reduce temptations, and ensure you get foods that are healthy for you.

Always shop with a list, whether it’s ours or your own that you create based off this one.

If it’s not on the list, you don’t buy it. You’ll save loads time, money, and frustration if you just stick to the list.

 

Let’s Get Started

The items on this list can be found at your local grocery store, local farmers markets, Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, Giant, etc.

This list is to give you ideas, so all you have to do is print off this list and hit the grocery store for your favorite foods.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to buy everything on the list!

I suggest you start with a few of your favorites from each group.

For example:

  • three veggies: spinach, carrots, broccoli
  • three fruits: blueberries, oranges, grapes
  • three proteins: extra-lean ground beef, salmon, lentils
  • three fats: coconut, avocado, almonds
  • two grains: oatmeal, wild rice

If there’s something we’ve missed that fits the criteria, please feel free to try it. For instance, you might find other fresh fish than the ones we’ve mentioned, or another fruit or veggie.

 

Knowing The Supermarket Layout

For the  most part, supermarkets floor plans are designed the same way:

The healthy, fresh, and unprocessed food is around outskirts, and the prepackaged, processed junk (we want to eat less off) is stuffed in the aisles.

We want to shop on the outskirts!

Stick to the perimeter, where you’ll find lean protein plus fruits & veggies and be very cautious of the bright displays on the edges of the aisles and by the cash registers.

 

Fruits & Vegetables

Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Eat The Rainbow?’

When they’re not talking about Skittles (Taste The Rainbow), they’re talking about eating more color. The more variety colorful foods you can eat (unprocessed foods) the better.

Fruits and veggies that are out of season can be expensive and overpriced so look for what’s in season and local. It’ll be fresher, cheaper, and tastier.

Purple & blue

  • Eggplant
  • Red cabbage
  • Purple kale
  • Beets
  • Blueberries, blackberries, lingonberries
  • Purple carrots
  • Purple potatoes
  • Black cherries
  • Black/purple plums

Orange & yellow

  • Oranges
  • Winter squash and pumpkin
  • Orange peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange cauliflower
  • Yams
  • Apricots, peaches
  • Mangos

Dark green

  • Spinach
  • Beet greens (the tops of beets)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Any other dark leafy green (e.g., turnip
  • greens, collard greens)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, basil)
  • Green beans, green peas
  • Avocado
  • Zucchini, cucumber (if you eat the peel)

Red & pink

  • Red peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Red grapefruit
  • Red-skinned apples
  • Red grapes
  • Red radishes
  • Red lettuce, radicchio
  • Rhubarb stems

Other

  • Onions, leeks, shallots, Garlic, Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Celery, Lean protein

 

Protein

Protein has always been promoted by ‘muscle heads’ as the key to getting fit.

While the amount of protein consumed by some bodybuilders is extreme, research has shown time and time again that more protein is better when it comes to fat loss.

Countless studies have found that people who eat more protein typically lose more weight (fat) vs. those with lower protein intake. And many of these studies correlate the fat loss specific to the abdomen region.

Other studies (for both men and women) found that eating twice the ‘recommended intake’ of protein led to greater fat loss and greater increases in lean mass (e.g. muscle).

Lean/extra-lean cuts of beef

  • Lamb
  • Lean pork (e.g., pork tenderloin)
  • Wild game (e.g., venison, elk)

Poultry

  • Chicken
  • Turkey breast
  • Duck
  • Eggs & egg whites

Fish

  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Smaller fish like herring and mackerel

Seafood

  • Shrimp (fresh or plain frozen)
  • Mussels, clams, scallops
  • Crab, lobster

Plant-based proteins

  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Hummus
  • Tofu, natto
  • Vegetarian protein powders (e.g., hemp protein, brown rice protein, vegan blend)

 

Healthy Fats

We already know excess body fat is bad.

It can cause all sorts of negative health issues like increased risk of stroke, heart disease, cancers, stress, and decreased mobility, reproductive health, circulation, and more.

Being in a healthy weight range and eating the right amount of dietary fats is essential for optimal health.

In fact, fats do lots of good things for your body like supports a healthy metabolism, nutrition absorption, improves tissue quality throughout your body, proper hormone production, preserve memory, eye health and more.

To  learn more read ‘Are fat’s good or bad: solving the fat dilemma

Cold-pressed oils

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Avocado seed oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Extra-virgin coconut oil
  • Grass-fed/organic butter
  • Fresh avocado

Nuts & seeds

  • Raw, unflavored, unsalted nuts
  • (e.g. almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans,
  • Brazil nuts, hazelnuts)
  • Raw, unflavored, unsalted seeds
  • (e.g. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Fresh coconut
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Natural nut butter

Remember, although fat sounds like a bad word in a healthy lifestyle, but your body needs fats to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins, like Vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat also serves as an insulator and keeps your body warm.

 

Whole grains

  • Oats (steel-cut or oat groats)
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Red rice
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Wheat berries (whole wheat kernels)
  • Spelt
  • Kamut

 

Quick Checklist For Reading A Food Label

Reading food labels can but tricks but here are a few things you want to look for and look to avoid.

Look for:

  • Whole foods
  • No more than a few ingredients
  • Food that is close to what it used to be
  • Organic if possible
  • Local if possible
  • Minimal or no packaging

AVOID:

  • High sugar
  • Other sweeteners
  • Hydrogenated and fractionated oils such as
  • corn or palm oil
  • Additives, preservatives, and coloring
  • Any other ingredients you don’t recognize
  • More than a few  ingredients
  • Common Food Packaging Trick Words & Phrases
    • “Syrup” – corn syrup, brown rice syrup,
    • agave syrup, etc.
    • Words ending in “one” – sucrose, glucose,
    • fructose, etc.
    • Words starting with “malto” – maltodextrin,
    • maltitol, etc.
    • “Made with / contains real fruit.”
    • “Fortified with”

For more help about reading nutrition labels and exactly what to look for check out READING FOOD LABELS – MAKING THE COMPLEX, SIMPLE

 

What’s Next

Don’t be fooled by the smart marketing on food packages or the sneaky layout of the supermarket.

Remember, the most critical factor of fat loss is eating the right foods and not thinking about it as a diet that you despise.

When you go to the grocery store with a list of items to get that you enjoy and that make you feel right, it’s a lot better than getting ‘diet foods.’

When you choose foods right foods like the ones on this list, your healthy lifestyle is going to be enjoyable.

Step 1: Print out this list of foods or write down your favorites

Step 2: Bring this list with you and only get foods on the list

Step 3: Be happy, healthy, and fit

 

I hope this article helped clear up some of the healthy eating confusion.

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Thanks for reading

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