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Revolutionize Your Shopping Habits

Your commitment to the CMWM weight loss program may require a revolution in your shopping habits, but, like the best revolutions, the reward will be more than worth the struggle. Stock your pantry and fridge with the right kinds of foods and you’ll be removed from temptation and halfway to success.

Inform Yourself

The more you know, the better choices you can make, for yourself and your family. Study the food lists in the CMWM handouts and you’ll be armed to make great decisions every time you shop or eat out.

Feed Yourself

Shopping on an empty stomach is opening yourself to temptation. Eat a healthy snack from the list of approved foods before heading to the grocery store to help keep your eye (and hand!) from wandering.

Circle the Perimeter

Fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy proteins (fish, meat and dairy products) are all stocked on the outer ring of the supermarket.

Read Labels

But don’t look only at fat content. Remember that protein is the key element of the CMWM weight loss program. Pay attention to carbohydrates — including sugars — and protein per portion. Familiarize yourself with the typical protein and carbohydrate ratios of approved foods such as water-canned tuna and use that knowledge as a guideline when reading the labels of other foods.

Choose Variety

Each time you shop, try to choose a different combination of protein-rich foods. From Day 6 onwards, work in a tasty selection of vegetables and fruits. Variety will keep your taste buds from becoming dulled and retain keep your interest—which is the key to success!

Choose Frozen over Canned

Even foods canned in water can contain a lot of salt and preservatives, so, when you can’t buy fresh, try to buy fresh-frozen.

Avoid Package Meals

Even diet meals will not contain an appropriate ratio of protein to vegetable carbohydrate, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Deploy the Refrigerator

All fresh foods, including nuts and seeds (which contain oil) will stay fresher for longer if refrigerated.

In the Meat Aisle

Choose lean poultry, pork or beef. Buy skinless chicken, turkey or Cornish hen breasts and you’ll save money by not paying for the weight of skin you won’t eat anyway. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are great value for money. Use the labels to track how many ounces you are buying. Thick cuts of poultry can be butterflied for quicker cooking and lean ground meat makes a quick, easy and tasty meal when seasoned with spices.

Filet mignon, flank steak, sirloin and tenderloin are all excellent cuts of beef that are ready to be grilled or broiled with a dash of olive oil spray once the fat has been trimmed.

At the Seafood Counter

Flounder, haddock, halibut, salmon, trout and sole are all good choices for a protein-rich, quick and easy meal, with salmon being particularly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Buy fresh fish when possible. You can use a few clues to check for freshness. Avoid fish that meets any of the following criteria: fishy smelling, tacky or slimy, cloudy eyes, patches of discoloration, brown (as opposed to red) gills. Cook and eat fresh fish within a day or two of buying it and, as with all meats, don’t re-freeze fish that was frozen.

When choosing shellfish or crustaceans use the following guidelines. The “lips” of shellfish such as clams, scallops and mussels should be closed. Live lobsters are a dark blue-green and cooked lobster is red. Shrimp and prawns should be translucent.

Go easy on seafood, especially the bigger fish such as halibut, haddock and tuna, incorporating it into your diet only once or twice a week so as to avoid over-accumulation of mercury, PCBs (poly-chlorinated biphenyls) and other chemical contaminants that pass through the food chain.

At the Dairy Refrigerator

This is the place to always carefully check use-by dates, and also study labels for hidden sugars, carbs and fats. Parmesan, fat-free cheese, non-fat or 1% cottage cheese and non-fat, sugar-free yoghurt are what to look for here. Tofu will also often be stocked in the dairy section.

In the Produce Aisle

Familiarize yourself with the list of low-carbohydrate vegetables, or make a copy to carry with you when you go shopping. Vegetables that keep well include asparagus, artichokes, beans, squash, celery, radishes, onions, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, dark leafy greens (e.g., collard and Swiss chard) and cauliflower. You can stock up on these once a week and have all the ingredients for several tasty meals.

In the Freezer Aisle

This is the place to buy vegetables and fruits that are off-season, or to keep in the freezer for those days when you don’t have time to shop or prepare a meal from scratch. Be sure to buy fresh-frozen products and read labels to catch hidden sugars, carbs or fats. Watch for packages that are soft or frosty, as this means they have either thawed and re-frozen or been there for a very long time. Check sell-by and use-by dates also.

Choosing Canned Foods

Become an inveterate label reader. Canned foods—fish, shellfish, vegetables or fruits—should be preserved in water not oil. Watch out for high sodium content and hidden fats, sugars and carbs.

Choosing Condiments

Because you will be doing without oils and other fats, spices and other seasonings will be important for keeping your meals tasty and interesting. Here are some good ones to keep on hand: chili powder, red pepper, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cumin, turmeric, mustard seed, fennel seed, cinnamon, nutmeg, basil (fresh or dried), oregano, cardamom, ginger. Minced garlic adds great flavor with little effort. Other staples for the pantry or fridge include olive oil cooking spray, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

We hope that in following the California Medical Weight Management program you not only lose weight and gain health, but also discover a new world of cooking delectable meals with fresh ingredients and tantalizing flavors. Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: Results are typical but not guaranteed. Your actual results may vary. Real CalMWM patients shown with permission.

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