The Fitness Zone
It’s far easier to stick to a nutritious, healthy meal plan when you already have all the ingredients at home. Mapping out a weekly meal plan and writing down what to buy before grocery shopping can eliminate impulse buys and poor food choices. The first important step for clients on a mission to achieve a healthier lifestyle is to learn how to food shop. Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome, nutritious foods provides clients with healthy options will give them more variety to mix and match meals and snacks throughout the week.
5 tips for healthy food shopping to share with your clients
Meal plan + grocery list
Make it a priority to get clients to write out their weekly meal plan before writing down their shopping list. Doing this will save time and money. This will also allow clients to stick to their meal plan. Having a meal plan and a grocery list with ingredients needed for the week's meals & snacks will give your client’s a clear guide that will stop impulse purchases or browsing aisles aimlessly.
Know your shopping aisles
In most grocery stores, the cheapest aisle is often the healthiest. This is where you’ll find canned goods such as beans and fruits along with dried nuts and seasonings which can all be great nutritious options to add with meals. Many experts also recommend spending most of your shopping time on the perimeter of the store.
This is usually where the freshest foods are displayed such as fruits & vegetables, frozen items, and meat and dairy products. And, if you’re a sweet tooth, it’s a good idea to steer clear of the pastry or candy aisle. In this case, it’s out of sight out of mind and can help you resist buying sugar-laden treats.
Try a local farmer’s market for fresh produce
The local farmer’s market is usually where you’ll find the best quality, seasonal produce. Clients who can make a habit of visiting a farmer’s market for their season vegetables or fruits will benefit from the best organic, wholesome foods - oftentimes exotic fruits or vegetables that you can’t otherwise find in the local supermarket.
Buy in bulk
Stocking up on items like raw nuts and seeds is a good idea for clients since they provide a quick & healthy snack for when they’re time short. Things like organic flour, cacao and dried fruits can all be bought in bulk. These are perfect ingredients to make snacks such as raw protein balls.
Have a routine
Allow clients to schedule a day to do their meal prep and grocery shop and keep it consistent each week. By making it a routine to only grocery shop once a week, clients can eliminate impulse buying, saving money and time.
Why clients need a healthy food shopping routine
If you're working as a Nutrition Coach or Health Coach, you may have heard from clients that they often feel confused or overwhelmed when making healthy food purchases. We’re living in an age of information overload, with labels becoming more confusing and many food products being misleading.
For example, while yoghurt may seem a healthy food choice (and the right ones are!) a lot of yoghurt products on the shelves today may appear to be healthy but on closer inspection, one can see that they come loaded with sugars. Clients aren’t educated on these tricks used to sell products like this, so it’s your job to help them develop a good eye when selecting ingredients that won’t be a detriment to their carefully curated meal plan.
Eating healthy is different for everyone, but if you’re working with a client who wants to lose weight or make better diet choices, you should equip them with healthy food shopping tips to help optimize their grocery shop experience. For many of us, understanding the product label is as easy as working out a technical math equation!
Clients hoping to lose weight can easily become dismayed or give up on their healthy food choices because it seems too hard to follow and maintain. Making decisions in regards to what goes in our shopping carts can be exhaustive, leading to impulse decisions or a relapse into old bad habits. Help your clients maintain their wellness plan by helping them to navigate the shopping aisles and the range of food products available.
Kick-off your career as a Nutrition Coach today
Ready to kick off your journey as a professional nutrition coach? Sign up to our Nutrition Coach course. The Nutrition Coach course is online and has been designed to empower fitness professionals to be better equipped to provide current nutrition information to clients within their scope of practice.
Using the latest evidence-based principles, students will learn nutrition for optimal health at every age, for weight management, and for performance and muscle growth.