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grocery shopping list for weight loss

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Are you trying to eat healthier to lose weight, but don’t know where to start? If so, having a go-to grocery shopping list for weight loss can help you make healthy choices.

Often my clients want to eat healthy, but truly feel overwhelmed with what healthy means. They aren’t sure if they should eat fruit, if bread is okay, or may have misconceptions about a healthy breakfast.

Today, we’re getting to the basics of the best groceries to include in your weekly shopping list if you’re trying to manage your weight. We’ll also provide some easy meal and snack ideas from this list, and share my top tips for building a healthy grocery list for weight loss. 

Grocery List Weight Loss – Foods to Include 

To make grocery shopping for weight loss easier, we will start with the essentials from each food group. Let’s pretend you’re walking through the aisles of the grocery store:

Fruits:

Before getting into my favorites, I want to start off by saying ALL fruit is good for you and beneficial for weight loss. Many myths are going around about fruit these days because of its sugar content, and I just wanted to clear the air on that one.

In fact, research studies show a strong link between eating fruit and weighing less, with no such association with weight gain. 

With that said, choose at least 3 of these options to start with:

  • Berries – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Grapes (I especially love these because they are so portable).
  • Bananas (great for a pre-workout snack).
  • Avocados 
  • Oranges

Vegetables:

Vegetables are one of the essential staples of a healthy diet, but most of us are still not eating enough of them. Adding them as regular items on your grocery list can help you get into the habit of eating them more regularly. Choose at least 3 options to start with:

  • Leafy greens – kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli
  • Salad greens – spinach, arugula, mixed greens (the darker greens are more nutritious than romaine or iceberg varieties)
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery

Proteins:

Choose at least 3-4 proteins to include with your weekly meals. When shopping for proteins, look for leaner proteins when possible, as they contain less fat and calories for an equivalent portion.

Here are some of the top options:

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Ground turkey
  • Fish – tuna, salmon, cod, shrimp
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Chicken or turkey sausage

Canned foods:

You don’t have to buy everything fresh all the time, as I know this is not always possible. There are plenty of canned items that are nutritious and weight-loss-friendly, you just have to know what to look for.

Here are some of my canned favorites:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Tomato sauces
  • Veggies – olives, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, peas
  • Soups
  • Tuna, salmon, and chicken
  • Pumpkin puree

For all canned options, look for low-sodium or no-added-sodium varieties.

Snacks:

While I’m a big proponent of eating whole foods, I recommend an 80//20 more sustainable eating approach. This means packaged snacks can be included in moderation on your grocery shopping list for weight loss. The other 80% of the time, I recommend eating mostly whole foods. 

Here are some of my favorite bagged snacks we keep in the Mitri house:

Here are some other snack-type items I recommend:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Hummus
  • Pre-cut raw veggies
  • Fruit
  • Turkey jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Premade protein shakes

Grains:

Some carbs and grains will be more filling and nutritious than others. And according to a recent study, the type of carbs you eat is more important than the quantity.

Here are some easy and healthy grains to add to your list:

  • Quinoa
  • Farro
  • Bulgur
  • Instant brown or brown basmati rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat or whole grain bread (check out this post for my top 3 bread picks)
  • Oats (steel-cut oats are the best)

Frozen foods:

Frozen foods can and should be on your grocery shopping list for weight loss. Adding frozen options to your meal rotation can make meal prepping easier and more likely to stick to. Many frozen foods are also incredibly nutritious, as they’re frozen at their peak ripeness.

Here are a few frozen items to keep on hand:

  • Veggies (choose lightly sauced or plain to reduce sodium/fat content)
  • Fruit (for smoothies and snacking)
  • Meals (check out my favorite items and brands in this post)
    Waffles – I love Kodiak cakes, and my kids do too
  • Grilled chicken strips – I like Perdue
  • Shrimp (I prefer the pre-cooked, deveined version as it saves you more time)

Dairy:

  • Cottage cheese (plain, not flavored)
  • Greek yogurt (ideally plain, or one with minimal added sugar. I like the Chobani less sugar option for a flavored version).
  • Milk – Skim, 1%, or soy milk is fine. Even though it’s lower in calories, I’m not a huge promoter of almond milk because it’s very low in protein.
  • Cheese – Low-fat string cheese, sliced deli cheese, Babybel cheese cubes
  • Kefir –  (If you’re not familiar, it’s a fermented drinkable yogurt rich in probiotics)

Meal and snack ideas

Now that we’ve gone through the basic grocery shopping list for weight loss, here are a few easy meals and snacks you can whip up from this list, including healthy breakfast recipes for weight loss.

Breakfast: 

  • 2 eggs with a handful of blueberries and a slice of whole wheat toast
  • 2 Kodiak waffles topped with strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey
  • Oatmeal made with milk and Greek yogurt, topped with apples and cinnamon

Lunch:

  • 2 Starkist tuna packs with ½ pack chopped salad mix, add apples for more fiber
  • Chicken salad sandwich using frozen chicken strips mixed with light mayo, top with lettuce on whole wheat bread
  • Canned soup with a frozen meal

Dinner:

  • Stir-fry with frozen shrimp, peas, and brown basmati rice
  • Whole wheat pasta with ground turkey meat sauce and a side salad
  • Easy tofu with lemon sauce – saute firm tofu with olive oil until crisp, add lemon, and serve with spinach and rice on the side

Snacks:

  • Cheese stick with an apple
  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Baby carrots with hummus

Building a healthy grocery shopping list for weight loss

Building a grocery list for weight loss doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Pick your favorites out of this list and get shopping!

If you need more help with planning your meals in a way that is individualized to you and your goals, contact me to schedule a free call. We’ll discuss your struggles, goals, and desires and see if my sustainable weight loss program fits you well.