How to Build a Grocery List for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, the most common advice that you will hear is that 1) you should go on a diet and 2) exercise one or more hours a day. Never is there any mention of a grocery list for weight loss.

But, you must not underestimate the importance of the lowly grocery list. It is not only important to know the healthy foods that should go on your grocery list. You should know how to shop for them. This way, you will find yourself eating a healthy diet that supports optimal weight loss results.

Building Your Grocery List for Weight Loss Master List


When making your grocery list, the very step is to make a healthy grocery master list. This is a list of all the foods that you and your family eat often and replace them with healthier options.

To make it easier for you to come up with your healthy grocery master list, categorize the foods into the basic food groups. Check out our tips below…

grocery list for weight loss

1) Prioritize Vegetables, Fruits and Other Produce

The most important foods in your healthy grocery master list should be produce, especially fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are packed with the essential nutrients and fiber you need to lose weight. The best fruits and veggies are organically grown, fermented while still fresh, or blast frozen to retain their freshness.

Here are good examples of produce that you should include in your healthy grocery master list…


  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini

Leafy, Green Vegetables

  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Romaine
  • Spinach

Root Vegetables

  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole or Canned Pumpkin


  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cucumber
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Tomatoes

grocery list for weight loss

2) Jot Down Your Lean Proteins 

Lean proteins are important to weight loss. Proteins contain the building blocks of lean muscle mass, which not only help you retain muscles but also aid in the repair of muscle tissues following intensive workouts. Lean proteins also help sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

There are two main sources of protein, namely animal meat and fish. While organic, free-range animal meat, dairy and eggs are expensive, they provide you with the best sources of protein without the taint of hormones, antibiotics and other drugs that are being fed to cows, chickens, and pigs in factory farms.

For the best fish, it should be wild-caught and not processed in food manufacturing plants. There are also organic plant-based proteins, which are healthier options than processed false meats.

If you are exercising hard, you should add in your master list plant-based protein shakes or powders. These powders also contain vitamins and other essential nutrients to keep your energy levels up and maintain overall good health.

Here are some great lean proteins that you can add to your healthy grocery master list…

Meat, Dairy and Eggs

  • Cottage Cheese (Low or Non-Fat)
  • Free-range Beef or Pork
  • Lean Proteins
  • Organic eggs and egg whites
  • Organic, lean cut poultry
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Wild Fish (Fresh or Blast Frozen)

Plant-Based Proteins

  • Beans
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Peas

Shakes and Powders

  • Plant-based protein powders or shakes
  • Whey protein powders

3) Don’t Deprive Yourself of Healthy Carbs and Fats

When you exercise, your body needs energy. This energy is obtained from healthy carbohydrates and fats, which are the fuel of the body. If you deprive yourself of fats in your diet, you will end up burning off muscle tissue mass instead. Fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids in fish, are also essential to heart health. Some fruits and seeds are also rich in healthy fats.

Add these healthy carbs and fats to your healthy grocery master list…

Healthy Carbs

  • Legumes like kidney beans, lentils or peas
  • Nuts, like peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts or hazelnuts
  • Whole grains, like pure oats, brown rice, or quinoa

Healthy Fats

  • Almonds and Walnuts (Raw)
  • Avocado
  • Cacao nibs (Raw)
  • Coconut
  • Dark chocolate with an 85% or more content of raw cacao
  • Hummus
  • Olives
  • Plain peanut or almond butter
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter

4) Add Your Seasonings and Other Healthy Options

You don’t have to deprive yourself of tasty dishes. There are healthy seasonings and other options that will heighten the flavor of your favorite dishes.

Here are some healthy options that you should consider…

Seasonings and Other Options

  • Almond, coconut or soy milk (Unsweetened)
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Cocoa powder or cacao
  • Coconut flour
  • Herbs and spices (basil, cayenne, cardamom, black pepper, and soy sauce are just a few great alternatives for salt)
  • Unsalted canned tomatoes or plain tomatoes
  • Pure extract or liquid stevia

Making Your Weekly Grocery List for Weight Loss

Now that you have your healthy grocery master list, it will be easy for you to make your weekly grocery list.

It is obvious from your master list that you don’t need to buy all of the items that you have jotted down. For most of us, our weekly grocery list depends upon the dishes that we are planning to cook in the week ahead. All you need to do to come up with your weekly grocery list is to replace all of the food items in the menus with the healthier alternatives in your master list.

For example, if you are used to eating bacon and eggs in the morning, you can change your breakfast fare to oatmeal with bananas, seeds and/or almond butter for topping.

Check out your meat dishes if you can replace the ingredients with healthier options from your master list. Instead of using meat, your favorite stew can have tofu chunks. If you love to eat steak, go for a veggie alternative such as a Garden Veggie Burger.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of a sweet treat for dessert. Instead of cakes and other pastries, you can prepare a healthy smoothie or eat dark chocolate.

Buying Your Groceries

If you are buying healthy groceries for the first time, it is recommended that you scope out your local grocery or supermarket first. Check out the healthy items that they have on the shelves. Inquire at the produce and meat sections if they are offering organic varieties. If your local supermarket does not offer organic foods, ask acquaintances if they can recommend to you any health food stores within your locale.

When it comes to fruits and veggies, you can buy the organic frozen varieties if you are not certain if the fresh produce in your grocery have not come from farms that use pesticides and other chemicals. All organic frozen fruits and veggies have been blast frozen to retain their freshness and they also have labels guaranteeing that they are organically grown and prepared.

Make it a point to inspect the items that are in the aisles or in special displays. Some supermarkets put healthy items in the aisles.

Don’t just grab items off the shelves and drop them in your basket or cart. Always check out the ingredients list. Don’t buy items that have lots of salt, sugar or additives/preservatives.

Let your healthy grocery list for weight loss guide you into buying the best foods for optimal weight loss results!

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