When you want to lose weight, you can find what you need at the grocery store. Lasting weight loss is the result of making permanent lifestyle changes that include exercise, portion control and healthier food choices, but not quick-fix fad diets. Shop with a grocery list in hand to help you choose the right foods for healthy weight loss and ongoing weight maintenance.
Your choice of beverages is an important part of your diet plan. Avoid sugary drinks such as soda, iced tea, sports drinks and fruit juices, which can have up to 12 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories in a 12-ounce serving. Instead, make sure your weight loss grocery list includes plain water, sparkling water and herbal tea bags so you can make your own sugar-free ice tea. Diet soft drinks are better than their sugar-laden counterparts, but plan on weaning yourself off of them because there could be a possible link between artificially sweetened drinks and obesity, advises the Harvard School of Public Health.
Whole Grain Foods
Avoid refined-grain foods, such as white bread, white rice and sweetened cereals, which cause blood sugar spikes and resultant hunger pangs a short while later. Your weight loss grocery list should include whole-grain foods, which are digested slowly and control your appetite longer. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, pearled barley, rolled oats and bulgur, and 100 percent whole-grain breads and cereals. Make sure you're getting a real whole-grain product by reading the ingredients label and seeing that a whole grain is listed first.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables are low in calories yet high in nutrients and fiber, which makes you feel full. Make sure your grocery list includes fresh vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, broccoli and tomatoes; frozen vegetables without added sauces or butter; and low-sodium canned vegetables. Choose fruit frozen or canned without added sugar and fresh fruits such as apples and oranges. Avoid dried fruits because they are high in calories and may even contain added sugar.
Protein is key to appetite control and weight loss. Include lean poultry, meats and fish, such as extra-lean ground beef and skinless chicken, on your weight-loss grocery list. Don't forget to include legumes, such as lentils, black beans, split peas and garbanzos, which are also high in appetite-satisfying protein and fiber.
Seasonings and Condiments
To add satisfying flavor to your foods, make sure your weight-loss grocery list includes low-calorie seasonings and condiments. Salsa, flavored vinegars, and herbs and spices are good choices. Adding red pepper to your food can help control your appetite and increase the number of calories you burn, according to researchers at Purdue University. Capsaicin, the substance that gives red chili peppers their heat, is responsible for these effects, and just a half-teaspoon is sufficient. Include cayenne pepper and other spicy red pepper products on your weight-loss grocery list.
Get calcium in your diet by including low-fat dairy products on your weight-loss grocery list. Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, cheeses, yogurt and sour cream to cut calories while getting the nutrients you need.
- The Mayo Clinic: DASH Diet: Top 5 Tips for Shopping and Cooking
- American Heart Association: Whole Grains and Fiber
- Harvard Heart Letter: Carbohydrates and Health: Not that Simple…or that Complex
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source: Time to Focus on Healthier Drinks
- Science Daily: Reasonable Quantities of Red Pepper May Help Curb Appetite, Study Suggests
- Diabetes Health: The "Fat-Free Fallacy:" Is It Obesity's Great Enabler?
Gianna Rose is a registered nurse certified in hospice and palliative care, as well as a certified wellness coach. She completed Duke Integrative Medicine's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course in 2009. Rose also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design.