Grocery Shopping For the New You

Grocery shopping is a problem for many of my personal training clients. They often go several times a week which is advantageousfor fresh items . Very few though cook on a daily basis. Going out to eat is quite common because they feel that time is precious or they are simply too tired after coming home from a busy day.

The Pitfall

Avoid diet traps at Shape Up Fitness & Wellness Consulting

Which way will you go?

There is a pitfall though when you go shopping several days a week. You are a walking by the food that you crave, that you are trying to stay away from. if you are in any way like me, then you have the problem that as long as you don’t see it, you are doing great but that when you go shopping and walk by your addictions, you sometimes cannot help but buy it and as a consequence eat it. It is even worse if I walk into the store unprepared and/or hungry.

How to avoid the traps of store display

Some stores like Harris Teeter allow online shopping. There is no easier way to avoid the displays and candy / icecream traps then shopping online. You don’t even have to enter the store to pick up your food. You have to pay a small amount per shopping but if you get all your grocery shopping done once a week you might spend $10-20 for online shopping/month but have saved way more than that in junk food.

If you are someone who despises online shopping then going in with a plan is the way to go. A detailed shopping list of everything that you truly need is the best. Honestly most of us don’t do that.

Even if you have not made a detailed shopping list you can still walk in with a plan. If you have been following this blog for a while then you know you want to make sure you have enough protein, veggies, some fruit, fats, and maybe some starchy carbs.

  1. Look for your veggies & fruit (produce section or frozen area)
  2. Next, fill up your protein for the week, best choose two for some variation from the meat/poultry/fish section. Look for things that are about to expire or on sale to save some money. Other great sources of protein are eggs, cottage cheese, greek-, European style yoghurt, cottage cheese (dairy section)
  3. Fats you can get in the produce section (avocado), oils (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc)
  4. Your starchy carbs you can find in the produce/frozen section. You can get some quinoa or brown rice but would stay away from pasta, etc.
  5. If you need some supplementation you can get those at the pharmacy area of your grocery store like whey protein, fish oil, quest bars.
  6. Staples: Toilet paper, etc

For most of your food items you should not have to venture into the middle of the store. Always ask yourself, does the article you are purchasing fall into the categories, protein, veggies, fruit, healthy fats, low glycemic load+index carbs. Shopping for your categories and marking them off mentally might help you stay away from the crap.

Read Labels

Pay attention when reading labels. Foods with long ingredient lists are usually not a good idea.

Learn how to read labels at Shape Up Fitness & Wellness Consulting

Do you read your labels or fall for the manufacturer’s claims

Avoid trans fats or products that add in additional sugars like sucrose, glucose, sugar, maltodextrin, corn syrup, etc.) By the way organic sugar is still just that….sugar. 

Companies make all sorts of claims like: gluten free, health, wholesome, added vitamins and minerals, contains real fruit, natural, fat free, low-carb, high-protein.

Please, just because something is gluten free does not make it healthy. Read the label carefully. Avoiding chemical additives is always an additional benefit.


  • Shop online if you can
  • Have a detailed shopping list or shop by marking off important categories
  • Never shop hungry
  • Shop on the outside of the grocery store as much as you can
  • Shop once a week to avoid being exposed to your cravings


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