Whether you are eating to achieve a healthy weight, or following a nutrition-conscious lifestyle for long-term maintenance and fitness, one of the most challenging tasks you face regularly is going grocery shopping. The choices are overwhelming and the multitude of decisions dizzying, so entering a grocery store without a plan can result in wrong food choices and destruction of a healthy lifestyle.

So to avoid the various pitfalls that can occur during grocery shopping, here are 3 simple and easy-to-remember tips:

Tip #1: Shop the perimeter of the store

The outer aisles of the grocery store is where you will find the foods that are fresh (that’s why they are on the outer edges – years back that was the easiest place to set up and run the coolers and chillers). Think about the store where you ordinarily buy groceries. Along the outside walls is where you find fresh meats and fish, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, eggs, and other real, unprocessed, unpackaged foods. These are the foods that are typically higher in fiber, lower in sugar and salt, and more nutrient-dense.

Walk up and down the inner aisles only as necessary. For the most part, those inner aisles are home to processed, sugary and fattening foods, full of preservatives and other “extras” you do not require as a human being. We like to think of them as the “over” foods – over packed, overpriced, over processed and over advertised.

Tip #2: Buy lots of fresh produce

Pretty much every grocery store puts the fresh fruits and vegetables in clear view by their main entrance. That’s good news for us. It helps to get us started shopping by choosing seasonal as well as nutritious items. Pick out 1 or 2 fruits and 2 or 3 veggies during every trip to the store. But keep it interesting by trying new choices every once in a while. Produce is typically low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, which are essential when following a nutritious eating regimen.

Tip #3: Always use a shopping list

Make a shopping list based on nutritious meals that you have pre-planned – and stick to the list when you are doing the grocery shopping. This will help you stay focused on healthy choices, and keep you from being swayed by attractive packaging with fabulous claims or clever cartoons on the labels. And sticking to a pre-planned list will help you avoid purchasing items that will cause buyer’s regret once you are home, and ultimately go to waste… or to waist!

To remember these 5 tips, commit this to memory: “perimeter, produce, list and labels – when I am not hungry” and you will never again be lead astray from a nutritious, healthy lifestyle while grocery shopping.

For assistance with establishing healthy eating, shopping and cooking patterns for your family, contact No Diet Weight Solution® at http://www.nodietweightsolution.com to learn more about the help we offer. We aid families in working together to become healthier and happier, by addressing the causes of overeating – not the symptoms of excess weight.

For more tips and articles by Dee Wolk, visit http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Dee_Wolk.

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