Habit #8: Grocery Shopping


I hope that by now you feel comfortable with the 5 basic habits of nutrition.

  1. Eat slow and only until 80% full

  2. Eat lean protein with each meal

  3. Eat at least 5 servings of colorful fruits and/or vegetables

  4. Eat smart carbs

  5. Eat healthy fats

If you’re having any trouble with these, please reach out.  For now, let's move forward with planning effective meals. This starts before you even get to the grocery store!  


  • MAKE A LIST!  Put everything on the list and only buy what’s on the list.  Use the store's circular as a shopping and savings guide.

  • Shop the perimeter of the store (mostly).

    • Spend most of your time in the PRODUCE department!

      • Fill your cart with every color of the rainbow!

    • Breads, Cereals, and Pasta

      • Choose the LEAST processed foods that is made with whole grains and the MOST fiber.

      • Be cautious of added sugars.

    • Meat, Fish, and Poultry

      • AHA recommends TWO servings of fish per week.

    • Dairy

      • Watch portion sizes!

      • Consider plain yogurt to avoid added sugars.

    • Enter and exit the middle aisles at the same end.

  • Locate Superfoods and Non-traditional foods.  These are nutrient-dense and energy-controlled.  This guide can be used as grocery guide too. Using these superfoods as a guide, will help you ensure a well-balanced diet and avoid nutritional deficiencies.  See attached guide.  

  • "Read It Before You Eat It”
    Everything else that isn't found along the perimeter of the store will have a label.  Comparing labels can be a daunting task but before you get overwhelmed, use these 3 questions to help guide your decisions:

    1. Does it have a label?

    2. Does it have health claims?

    3. Are there more than 5 ingredients?

    • Familiarize yourself with the label

      • Know what to maximize (fiber, potassium), minimize (sugars, sodium), and avoid (trans fats).

    • Be skeptical of foods with added health claims or buzz-words

      • i.e. “added vitamins and minerals”

      • i.e. “contains real fruit”

      • i.e. “natural”

      • i.e. “fat-free”, “low-carb”, “low carb”, “high-protein”

    • Avoid foods with:

      • long lists of ingredients

      • trans fats (AKA: “partially hydrogenated”)

      • unhealthy additional sugars (sucrose, glucose, maltodextrin, & CORN SYRUP)

    • Avoid processed foods with > 8 g sugar per serving

        3. STICK TO THE LIST!  

        4. Unpack and PREP your groceries right then!  

Cut up and store for easier access.  This will help cut down on waste and help you make better impromptu choices.


PROTEINS 1. Lean red meat (grass-fed preferred)

2. Salmon (wild caught preferred)

3. Eggs (omega-3 and cage free preferred)

4. Plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or coconut milk yogurt

5. Protein supplements (whey, milk or plant protein sources)


6. Spinach

7. Tomatoes

8. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)

9. Mixed berries

10. Oranges


11. Mixed beans

12. Quinoa

13. Whole oats


14. Raw, unsalted mixed nuts

15. Avocados

16. Extra virgin olive oil

17. Fish oil (or algae oil)

18. Flax seeds (ground)


19. Green tea

20. Liquid exercise drinks (or branched-chain amino acids)

21. greens+® (vegetable concentrate)


1. Do not select foods that you are allergic to or intolerant of.

2. For a plant-based superfoods reference guide, please see the Plant-Based Diet Guide as part of Precision Nutrition V3 (www.precisionnutrition.com)

© 2012 Precision Nutrition precisionnutrition.com