One of our biggest struggles is knowing how to choose the right foods when visiting the grocery store.
And while there are so many choices and tons of confusion out there, your grocers have actually made it easy for you to shop … if you know what sections to visit and which to avoid.
In fact, I can get in and out of the grocery store with a full cart of fat-burning groceries in just 15 minutes nowadays, simply because I know I’ll never even visit 90% of the store aisles.
So, before we get into my exact grocery list, here’s my easiest grocery shopping tip ever:
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the middle aisles.
That’s it! And here’s why it works:
With few exceptions, the middle aisles of the grocery store are full of process-packaged foods while the perimeter contains almost all of the whole, natural foods you’ll need to stock up your fat-burning kitchen.
Check out my usual routine when visiting my local grocery store, and I’m sure your store is set up in a similar way.
When I walk in, I make sure to stroll right on past the bakery!
Did you know that nearly every grocery store intentionally puts the bakery right at the entrance? If they can get your salivary glands working right away, it’s very likely you’ll spend more as you travel through the store.
Nothing in a grocery store’s layout is by accident.
So, quickly pass by the bakery and head straight to the produce section This is where wholesome goodness starts, with fresh fruits and veggies. In my most recent trip, here are the items I grabbed from the produce section:
- Green Beans
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Red Potatoes
- Romaine Lettuce
Of course, there’s a multitude of other wholesome choices lying around the produce section. Virtually any vegetable and/or fruit would be a great fat-burning, nutrient-rich choice.
I then walk five steps from the produce section to the fresh meats and poultry.
Many stores these days have an all-natural section of the meat department, where you’ll find organic meats that are sourced from animals not treated with hormones and antibiotics.
From this section, I grabbed:
- All-natural chicken or turkey sausage
- Grass-fed ground beef
- Grass-fed chuck roast (for pot roast)
- Organic chicken breast
- Grass-fed New York strip steaks
Next up is the milk and eggs section, again right on that back wall (still haven’t ventured into the aisles at all). From here I picked up:
- Organic large eggs
- Organic butter
- Organic whole milk
Along the very last aisle in the store are some more dairy items where I grabbed:
- Organic greek yogurt
- All-natural cheddar cheese
If you have trouble digesting dairy products, try AbsorbMax Digestive Enzymes. Your issues will most likely be sorted in a hurry.
Also in that last aisle is water, so I grabbed a case or two and that essentially took me back to the front of the store to checkout.
That’s a full cart of fat-burning groceries, all while never visiting the center aisles where I’m sure I would have been tempted to toss in a bunch of processed garbage like cookies, crackers, chips, ice cream, cereal, stove-top pasta ‘mixes’ … and the list goes on.
If I do ever make a strategic trip into the middle of the store, it’s almost always to get these items:
- Tomato Puree
And that’s about it.
Follow that simple advice, and you’ll be in and out in no time while avoiding all those processed items that wind up ruining your diet once you get them home.
Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT, is a five-time best-selling author and fitness personality who has appeared on the major television networks and is a frequent guest on Sirius satellite radio. He’s been featured in the pages of more than 20 popular national newsstand magazines, including Men’s Fitness, Woman’s Day, Maximum Fitness, Oxygen, Clean Eating, MuscleMag International, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.