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Don’t get fooled by food-industry: The rules for easy, effective, and healthy grocery shopping

Don’t get fooled by food-industry: The rules for easy, effective, and healthy grocery shopping

Ever entered a grocery shop with good intentions to buy only healthy stuff and end up with all kinds of foods you know aren’t supporting your goals? You can fix the problem by creating effective rules for healthy grocery shopping!

Rules can save you a lot of hassle, willpower, and agony. Think of rules like a recipe; if you have an excellent recipe for a cheesecake and you use it, you will have excellent cheesecake. Every time.  If you want to design the body of your dreams you should embrace recipes; Design behavior patterns, habits, rituals, and rules.

Remember: with rules, Simple is better. Make your rules too complicated, and the rules lose some of their strength.

Following are simple rules never again to be stuck between isles, not knowing what to have, or buying foods you don’t need or want.

Rules for grocery shopping

1)    Use the same list over and over.

Create one list template you can use over and over again. You are buying the same things from week to week anyway. The list shows what you need to buy, what you are out of and eliminates most of the thinking involved.

For most effect, create the list according to the layout of your shop.

Create your shopping list in advance. Check what you have in stock and what you need for your meals.

After a couple of weeks this will be automatic and save time and energy, possibly for the rest of your life; not a bad investment.

2)    Shop 1-2 times a week.

Decide the meals of the week in advance and craft your list based on that. You could also buy everything and afterward decide what you will have for the week, but that has higher risk buying too much or too little ingredients. Experiment what works for you.

Stock up on beans and frozen vegetables as an insurance and quick meals to be prepared.

3)    Never shop when hungry, angry, lonely, or tired

The original quote is about making decisions. Same applies to shopping, which is a rapid fire session of making decisions.

You can make shopping more fun and entertaining by having music you enjoy playing while shopping. Use music that lifts your mood to keep you happy and distracted from craving foods. I use music that makes me want to dance while selecting my meats.

4)    Minimize the processed

Focus on buying mostly veggies, animal products, spices and oils, high-quality coffee and tea, some fruit.

Learn to make slow carb meals, and you don’t have to think so much, and you will be losing fat and getting stronger just by eating. Every meal should contain 1) meat products, 2) beans, and 3) veggies. Straightforward and efficient.

Drinking calories should be reserved only for cheat days. That means no juices, milk, or sodas. You don’t need any of them to build a strong and healthy body. Milk is not necessary and drinking more milk can actually increase the risk of bone fractures. Ever wondered how other animals have strong bones without drinking any milk after being a new-born? Something to consider. Sodas have all kinds of adverse effects in the body and juice is just sugar water. If you want to drink juices on your cheat day then make it fresh just before drinking. If you want to drink juices, you should consider creating them yourself. Create some orange juice. Note how many oranges it takes to make one cup of juice. Spoiler: 2-4. Would you eat three oranges in one sitting and then have something else on top of that? Didn’t think so.

Don’t buy any “treats” or unhealthy foods, even if you are planning to have a cheat day at the end of the week. Make shopping for cheat day a separate trip. You will build the habit to buy only healthy foods, and by not buying any unhealthy foods they won’t be stalking you in your cupboards throughout the week.

Follow these four rules, and you will be stronger, lose weight, build muscle, and be a happy camper.


Download Shopping List Template you can print out and use week out and week in. The order is based on my shop but you can edit to the order your shop has the things.


Stay well

Arttu Heinilä

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1 Comment

  1. […] go into a grocery shop hungry: Most of us have probably made this mistake; Grocery shopping hungry is a terrible idea. You won’t buy foods your body needs and wants long-term. More […]

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