When it comes to your recomp, focusing on your nutrition is extremely important. In fact, it can make or break your results. You want to reduce your body fat levels while increasing lean muscle tissue, right? That means you’re going to need to be spot on with the food you consume. And if you’re like me, the grocery store can be a scary place – especially when you’re hungry. Therefore, to help you with your recomp results, in this article I want to lay out some ground rules on how to properly grocery shop so you can speed up your recomp.
1. Don’t Go Grocery Shop When Hungry
Have you ever noticed that when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to grab for something unhealthy? When you grocery shop on an empty stomach, EVERYTHING looks delicious and it will take some self-control to not pick up that bag of chips, pretzels, cookies, pastries, donuts or candy you see on the endcaps. Hungry yet? I am. And that’s what can happen when you grocery shop!
The day of the week you decide to dedicate to grocery shop, ensure you had a meal before you leave the house to help prevent temptation once you get to the store. Once you’re there, make sure you stick to #2.
2. Make a List Ahead of Time
It should go without saying but when you grocery shop, you’re going to want to go there with a plan. Make a list of the food you want to purchase and stick to the list. The problem many people face is they go to the grocery store with an idea of what they need in their head, but then once they get there, they’re either distracted and forget or they see other items they weren’t planning on purchasing and toss them in their cart or basket.
Go to the grocery store with a plan. Proper planning prevents poor purchases.
3. Focus on the Exterior Walls of the Grocery Store
When you grocery shop, think about how the store is set up. Generally speaking, the outer walls should be fruit, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, and protein sources. The inside of the store (within the aisles) is all of the pre-packaged products. Your main focus should be put on those exterior walls as that’s where the bulk of your nutrition should be coming from.
Choose healthy sources of carbohydrates and protein and make sure what you choose is fresh. Fresh is always best and when compared to the packaged variety you’d find in the aisles, it won’t contain all of the preservatives and additives found in the canned or boxed products. Load up on your fresh produce, lean protein sources, and healthy forms of dairy such as Greek yogurt.
4. Skip the Aisles as Much as Possible
The inner aisles of the grocery store are often tempting and delicious but should be avoided. Think along the lines of unhealthy carbohydrates such as sugary cereal, candy, and various snack items. Those shouldn’t be on your list when you grocery shop anyway, so there should be no reason to even walk down those aisles and tempt yourself.
The only thing you should look for within the aisles would be nuts, natural nut butters, and on either end of the store should be a frozen food section. In the frozen food section, you can find some healthy options to purchase that can be prepared as needed and without the worry of the items going bad like the fresh variety would.
5. Buy Fresh or Frozen
It should go without saying but when you grocery shop, your main focus on items should be in the fresh or frozen sections. They will be your healthiest options and in their most natural and organic state. Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t venture to the frozen food section.
As mentioned in #4, frozen foods can be a great option and still be healthy. For example, if there are vegetables or fruit that you can’t buy fresh due to them being out of season, you can head to the frozen food section and purchase them. Just make sure they aren’t in any type of sauce or have any other ingredients added to them which could change the profile and macros.
Fresh and frozen foods should always be on your list when your grocery shop as they will provide you with the best form of micronutrients while also being a clean macronutrient source.
Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published numerous books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at www.weikfitness.com or on social media @weikfitness.