6 Tips for Navigating the Grocery Store

6 Tips for Navigating the Grocery Store

Ever walked into the grocery store, stomach rumbling, no plan, grabbing anything and everything that catches your eye before getting home and realising the only healthy item you bought was a bag of carrots?

 Yeah, you’re not alone. Navigating the grocery store can be like entering a war zone sometimes but maximising your energy, performance, nutrition and exercise during the week always starts at aisle one. 

Your choices and ability to successfully complete a healthy grocery shop every single week is the first step in setting yourself up for success. Here are 6, nutritionist approved tips to help you shop healthy this week.

  • If you’re hungry, forget about it. 

  • This is a sure fire way to tempt you into a bag of Doritos. If you’re hungry, eat a small snack before you go to the store to keep you fueled and the cravings at bay.

  • Stick to the perimeter!

  • If you remember one tip, let it be this one. The perimeter of the store is where all of the fresh produce, lean meats, seafood and sometimes dairy is kept. Most of the refined convenience foods are stored in the aisles so this is a no brainer. 

  • If it’s processed or has an ingredients list as long as your arm, keep moving. 

  • Always check the nutrition label, not the branding on the products you’re buying. Marketers are sneaky devils but the nutrition label won’t lie. If you can barely read over 50% of the ingredients, steer clear. The less sodium, sugar, saturated fat, additives and preservatives the better.  

  • Frozen isn’t bad. 

  • Most people aren’t aware of this but the nutritional value of frozen vegetables is actually quite high. These fruits and vegetables are picked, packed, and frozen at the prime of their harvesting season and maintain their nutritional quality. They’re also convenient, it’s a win win.

  • Write a list and stick to it. Seriously. 

  • Write it on a piece of paper or write it in the Notes App of your phone but just write it. Go through breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks and write out the meals you’d like to have along with the ingredients you’ll need for them. This is avoiding temptation 101. 

  • The Health Star Rating system is there for a reason.

  • Warning: This system rates items within the same category. For example: comparing two different yoghurt options. It does not compare yoghurt with a box of cereal. 

    If you’re confused looking at the nutrition label of an item, see if you can find its Health Star Rating. If you can’t find one, it doesn’t mean the food item is bad but if it does, aim for 4 or more stars. 

    These 6 tips should take the confusion out of your shopping trolley and empower you to make healthy choices next time you’re at the grocery store!