The grocery store can be a scary place, especially when you’re trying out clean eating for the first time. When you’re used to picking up soda and cookies, it can be intimidating to walk in and be overwhelmed with organic produce and free-range meat. Do yourself a favor, and don’t let your fear get in the way of your desire to improve your health. All you need to conquer the store are a few invaluable hacks to help you shop like a pro. Check out the eight tips below that’ll help you navigate the supermarket to make the cleanest food choices possible.
1. Schedule a Recon Mission. Okay, this one may sound weird, but hear us out. If you make a decision to clean up your diet, start by looking at your grocery store in a whole new way. Take a trip just to check out the healthy options that are available. Jot down a few notes if you see things you want to pick up, and next time you go, you’ll be more than prepared.
2. Shop from the outside in. All grocery stores have the same layout. Perishables are on the outside perimeter, and dry goods are on the inside aisles. If you’re trying to eat cleanlier, stick to shopping the outside aisles for most of your groceries. There, you’ll find the produce, dairy, and meats you need for a well-rounded diet.
3. Make a list. It goes without saying that a list makes the experience much less stressful. It may seem like a simple solution, but if you tell yourself that you’re getting what’s on your list and nothing more, then you likely won’t stray.
4. Ask questions. Just like at any other retailer, clerks are there to help. If you need to know where something is, ask an employee before you walk around the store for 30 minutes and find a cartful of things you don’t need in the process.
5. Only walk each aisle once. Get a good look, because once you get to the end of an aisle, it’s time to move on. Otherwise you may linger and end up with more in your cart than you planned for.
6. Consider a delivery service. Technically, if you don’t actually go to the grocery store, it’s a lot harder to be tempted by the candy bars and kettle chips. Lucky for us, there are delivery services in just about every major city. For a small fee, you can shop online and have your healthy food to you in as little as an hour.
7. Chill out. Just because the food is frozen, doesn’t mean it’s not clean. Obviously, avoid the pre-made meals and *cough* ice cream, but feel free to stock up on plenty of frozen veggies and fruits for quick sides and smoothie add-ins.
8. Eat before you shop. If your mother told you this once, she told you a million times, and she’s right. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to make bad decisions. Always make sure that you eat before you go to the market or keep a few protein bars in your car for hunger emergencies.
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