When it comes to fat loss and changing your body shape, your nutrition is ultimately going to be the determining factor. You must regularly be in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume) for the fat-burning process to occur, and this takes consistency, discipline, and focus.
To achieve this with your nutrition, you must also be organised, and your weekly food shop is what sets the tone. It goes a long way in determining what your meals will look like for the week and if you will be able to stick to your calorie intake. It also helps you have clarity, structure, and control during a week in which you are likely to be occupied with work and family commitments?
So, what should your weekly shop look like? What are the most important areas that you need to prioritise?
High Protein Foods
Protein is an important macronutrient that plays a crucial role in the process of muscle recovery and repair when you are looking to build more muscle or tone your body. It has ‘building blocks’ called amino acids that the body uses to build and repair muscles and bones, in addition to making hormones and enzymes. Protein is also essential for retaining the muscle you have already gained and can be used as an energy source.
So, aim to make protein sources the cornerstone of your weekly shop. Lean meats, seafood, dairy, and supplements are all excellent sources to choose from, which you can then store in your freezer to make sure it does not go off if you intend to consume them later in the week. If you can, this should be the first thing you look for in the supermarket.
Stock Up On Vegetables
Another important part of your nutrition will be to add plenty of vegetables into your routine. This will provide your body with an excellent variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy and strong. Furthermore, these foods are low in calories, meaning that you can be fuller and more satisfied without going over your required calorie intake for the day. This will help you avoid the temptation to snack on other foods that are higher in calories. Look to include a wide range of vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, green beans, asparagus, carrots, peppers, onions, and more.
Carbohydrates should an essential part of your food shop. They provide you with your main source of energy that you can use to fuel your training, exercise, and daily tasks. They also play a key role in muscle recovery and sleep quality, as well as providing several health benefits.
Look to include a wide range of slow to fast-releasing carbs so that your energy is constant and you recover well from your sessions. Slow-releasing carbs include rice, pasta, potatoes, oats, and whole-grain bread, whilst fast-releasing carbs mainly revolve around fruits and certain bars or snacks.
Quality, Nutrient-Dense Foods
One of the best things you can do when you start your fitness journey or even just to improve your overall health is remove food groups from your diet that you are intolerant to. These foods cause higher levels of inflammation in the body, which leads to higher water retention and therefore makes you feel more bloated.
By cleaning up your diet, you will be able to see noticeable progress in the first one to two weeks due to the lowering of inflammation levels in the body and therefore less water retention. It will also reduce cortisol and improve energy levels, which can lead to better performance. You don’t have to buy organic if finances don’t allow it, but make sure that the quality of the foods you are buying is as high as possible, to reduce any harmful chemicals or hormones entering your body.
So, if you are looking to change your body composition for the better, your weekly food shop is essential to determine your progress. A good shop should include high protein sources, a range of carbohydrates, nutritious vegetables, and high-quality, less processed foods. Doing this will allow you to have a well-rounded diet that gives you the best chance of reaching your goals of fat loss and an improved body shape.
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