A key step for losing weight, keeping the weight off, and staying healthy is learning how to buy the right foods at the store.
Avoid buying foods in bulk and shopping in warehouse-type stores if you can. Getting a good deal can lead to overeating. If you do buy large amounts of a food, divide it into smaller portion sizes and store what you will not use right away.
When you buy protein, choose:
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Buy plenty of fruits and vegetables. They will fill you up and provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs. Fresh ones are best. Remember though that most fruits have calories in them, so unlimited eating is not a good idea. If you buy them frozen or canned, make sure they do not have extra sugar or sauces added. Some buying tips:
BREADS AND GRAINS
Choose healthy breads, cereals, and pasta, such as:
Always buy real foods. Look for 100% fruit juice and whole food items. Choose foods with no extra sugar or salt and as few additives as possible.
Avoid processed foods. They are much more likely to:
Before you buy food for the week, think about your schedule:
Then, plan your meals before you shop. This can keep you from buying whatever foods look good to you, whether or not they are healthy.
Make a shopping list. Remember to take it with you, and promise yourself you will not buy things that are not on it.
Never go food shopping when you are hungry. You will make better choices if you shop after you have had a healthy meal or snack.
Learn how to read the Nutrition Facts labels on food packages. Know what the serving size is and the amount of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates per serving.
Learn how to tell the difference between foods that are truly organic. Two words on food labels that can be misleading are "natural" and "pure."
Some other tips for reading labels and buying healthy foods are:
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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