Creating a grocery list may help you lose weight, according to a 2013 study published in "Nutrition and Diabetes." For vegetarians and meat eaters alike, one of the most important components to creating a healthy grocery list is planning. Spend an hour each week drafting a shopping list to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
Focus on Whole Grains
Whole grains are integral part to a vegetarian diet for weight loss. A 2012 study published in the "Journal of Nutrition" involving 79 obese and overweight postmenopausal woman found those who ate whole grains -- compared to refined grains -- experienced a greater decrease in percent body fat after 12 weeks, even though all the participants were on a calorie-restricted diet. Examples of whole grains to add to your grocery list include quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, popcorn, barley and buckwheat. Other options are whole-wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal and whole cornmeal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends making at least half of your grains whole grains.
On a vegetarian meal plan, protein-rich foods should have a presence in your shopping cart. Beans are a good protein source because, like whole grains, they offer a healthy dose of fiber -- black beans contain 17 grams of fiber per cup -- and they are low in fat. Common examples of beans include, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans, split peas and white beans. Tofu, soy milk, veggie burgers and tempeh will also help you meet your protein needs. For ova-lacto vegetarians, consider eggs too.
Stick to Healthy Fats
It used to be thought that eating fat led to weight gain. But healthy fats are an important part to any diet. According to the publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010," adults should get 20 percent to 35 percent of their calories from fat. Certain fats -- such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are present canola, safflower and olive oils -- may even lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to oils that are liquid at room temperature, add avocado, nuts and seeds to your list. Another go-to healthy fat is chia seeds, which can be tossed into steel cut oats or a green smoothie. Because chia seeds are packed with fiber, they can help you feel full longer and can prevent overeating.
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in volume and generally low in fat, making them a healthy addition to your grocery list if you are trying to lose weight. The USDA recommends making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Examples of vegetables to add to your grocery list include bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach, carrots, butternut squash, cauliflower, eggplant, cabbage and zucchini. For your fruit fix, add apricots, bananas, cherries grapes, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, watermelon, papaya and/or apples to your cart.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: What Foods Are in the Vegetable Group
- Nutrition and Diabetes: The Cost-effectiveness of Shopping to a Predetermined Grocery List to Reduce Overweight and Obesity
- Fitness Magazine: 10 Foods That Will Help You Lose Weight
- USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Real Simple: Busting 10 Diet Myths
- USDA: Nutrition in Black Beans
- USDA: What Foods Are in the Protein Group?
- USDA: What Foods Are in the Grains Group?
- Journal of Nutrition: Whole Grain Compared With Refined Wheat Decreases the Percentage of Body Fat Following a 12-Week, Energy-Restricted Dietary Intervention in Postmenopausal Women