Setting up printable grocery lists for losing weight and health

When you're losing weight and making healthy choices, printable grocery lists make it easier to see exactly what you're putting in your house...and eventually your mouth. You'll notice if it's a healthy food list, or whether there's too many occasional items on it. You can see if there's food groups missing, or too much of one.

Printable grocery lists, the order of food.

My shopping list starts off with the fruit and vegetables. Those at the top are the staples that I always like to have in the house. Then it goes down to the ones that have come directly from my weekly meal plans.

At the bottom are a few empty spaces. These are for requests. We often think of cravings as applying to the higher fat, salt and processed foods (or the chocolates, lollies), but they can apply to any food. You just need some. So save space to add these in. I love mango season, and I'm starting to crave them as the season approaches.

Next.. the staples from the dairy cabinets.

Cheese is mandatory, as is low fat yoghurt and low fat milk. I even write the brands on my printable grocery lists. Because they do taste different, the kids no it and so do I. You'll only stick to buying things that actually taste nice...and so you is nutrition, but it's also pleasure.

Meats. Always at least one fish meal, one chicken, one beef. I permanently have beef mince (lean) on my list because every week there's a lasagne (yes you can a lower fat version that tastes great), or spaghetti bolognaise on the list. Both of these are great because you make up enough for two meals...and get a night of cooking!

Eggs are another thing that never leaves the list. Fantastic nutritionally (just don't eat 10) and one of the quickest meals on record.

Then comes the food from the shelves

Bread, of course. Usually two varieties, wholegrain and something else. I gradually got my kids onto wholegrain breads, and we still occasionally have processed white. The advantage to losing weight by making healthy food choices, is that a loaf of white bread here and there isn't going to kill you...or your waistline.

Pastas and rice is next. Types will depend on the menus I've got planned for the week. Plus one or two extra packets...when all else fails, pasta makes a good breakfast, lunch or dinner.

And the mandatory oats. Porridge is one of those great foods. It's sustaining, full of nutrients, filling, quick to prepare and fantastic topped with fruit! And the oats are pretty good in home made biscuits too.

Now the extras.

Under this I have a heading that says...for emergency use only. This part of my printable grocery list is always empty! Just blank lines.

That way I have to really think about whether they should be on there. The kids put there requests here a lot! But they often find them crossed out when we get to the supermarket.

Part of losing weight for life and keeping it off, is paying attention. Leaving this blank means I'm conscious of everything that I put here. If I put things here, that would make them part of my every week shopping, and most of the foods that go here, chocolate biscuits, muesli bars, fruit twists, donuts...really aren't everyday foods. The kids don't need them and neither does my partner and I.

There are always one or two things here. Emergency foods for school lunchboxes, but they aren't the same things every week, and I'm always conscious to buy as little of these as possible.

Now, it's done...look it over.

Each week I type into my printable grocery lists the foods that aren't staples that come off the meal plans, and print it out. Then I look over it.

Are there enough fruit and vegetables? You can't eat what you don't have on hand, and if you run out of fruit and vegetables, milk, bread and (goodness gracious me, I hope not) oats...then you'll reach for whatever's there...which may not be as good a choice.

Ask yourself? Have I covered everything? Is there anything else we should be getting? And are there extras on there that maybe we can live without.

Then eat a piece of fruit and head to the shops. You've got your healthy food list, you've ready, and you've already taken some of the stress out of shopping, because you written and assessed your list.

Losing weight and maintaining it is about making healthy food choices, as often as possible, and it's easier to do that when you're not in the midst of a great deal of brightly colored, wonderful looking, highly calorie dense foods...all calling, try me, eat me, I'm good for you. Take the pressure off, start using printable grocery lists to lighten you load.

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