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Our R.D. Created a Grocery Store List to Make Shopping a Breeze

By Stephanie Eng-Aponte

Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, R.D.

Expert Reviewed

If your grocery store list is a mile long and you’re looking for healthy ways to keep up with your weight loss goals, we’ve got a solution for you. De-clutter that disorganized grocery list and start fresh with one that’ll complement your busy schedule, not complicate it. Jenny Craig’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Briana Rodriquez, shares the foods that always make it into her cart — and the ones you won’t want to leave the store without.


If you’re a Jenny Craig member, all your meals are taken care of, but this list of healthy foods is handy when you’re shopping for nutritious snacks.

How to simplify your next grocery shopping trip

When you’ve got a busy week ahead, the last thing you’ll want to do is head to the grocery store unprepared. Keep these tips in mind!


  1. Consider what’s in season (and on sale!). Scan the weekly ads for the best deals, but try to be mindful of the season you’re in. Fruits and vegetables taste even better when they’re in season, compared to other times of the year.
  2. Map out your trip. Start with the produce section (produce can usually be found around the perimeter of the store) and end with the refrigerated and frozen sections to keep all your groceries fresh.
  3. Stock your car with reusable grocery bags. Say farewell to bags with torn handles and collapsed bottoms. Sturdy, insulated totes with thick handles will make sure you’ll never fall victim to a ripped bag again.

Which healthy foods should you put on your grocery list?

Try adding these options to your cart — we’ve also included our suggested serving sizes at the bottom of the post to help keep you on track with your weight loss goals.


Adding some Fresh & Free Additions — non-starchy vegetables, condiments and more — is a great way to add more nutrients, fiber and flavor into your meals. We’ve marked them with an asterisk (*) so you can find them easily.


Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

GroceryList_Fruits_Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash.jpgFruit makes a delicious addition to overnight oats, smoothies, and yogurt parfaits.


Compared to apples and bananas, berries and melons can be lower in sugar and carbohydrates. In moderate portions, they’re healthy alternatives to baked goods and sweets, making them a good choice for weight loss and maintenance. Just keep an eye on the size of your portions, Rodriquez suggests.


Consider buying a bag of frozen berries if you don’t think you’ll finish them before they get moldy. And if you’re feeding more than just yourself, opting for frozen produce is a cost-effective way to buy in bulk while reducing waste.


Add these to your cart:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lemon*
  • Lime*
  • Oranges
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

*Fresh & Free addition


Vegetables are available in a wide variety of colors, flavors and textures, and should make up the bulk of your grocery list. Non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, celery, cucumber and spaghetti squash, are great for adding more volume to your meal.



“Enjoy smaller amounts of starchier vegetables, like corn, peas and potatoes if weight loss or maintenance is your goal,” says Rodriquez.

Photo by Iñigo De la Maza on Unsplash

fresh-vegetablesMost vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber, which could help with weight loss. When paired with a reduced-calorie diet, research shows getting plenty of fiber may help support your weight loss goals, and may even help you stick to your healthy eating habits.1,2


Add these to your cart:

  • Artichokes*
  • Asparagus*
  • Broccoli*
  • Brussels sprouts*
  • Carrots*
  • Cauliflower*
  • Collard greens*
  • Cucumbers*
  • Garlic*
  • Green beans*
  • Herbs*
  • Kale*
  • Mushrooms*
  • Onions*
  • Peppers*
  • Spaghetti squash*
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes*
  • Yams
  • Zucchini*

*Fresh & Free addition

Pantry Staples

What’s the one thing you’ll always find in Rodriquez’s basket?


Peanut butter!



“Nut butters are a good source of healthy fats, and they’re so versatile,” she says. “Keep your portions to about one and a half teaspoons for weight loss and maintenance.”

Photo by vaaseenaa on iStock

pantry-staplesRodriquez recommends swirling a teaspoon of nut butter into your oatmeal or spreading it over a thin slice of baked sweet potato for a fiber-rich “toast.”


When you start filling your cart with pantry essentials, check out the Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list. Some items, like salad dressings, pasta sauces and even peanut butter, can contain a surprising amount of added sugars, she explains. To stick to your weight loss goals, try to reduce your sugar intake where you can and opt for no-sugar added varieties.


Add these to your cart:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Coffee*
  • Hot sauce*
  • Low sodium broth*
  • Mustard*
  • Nonstick cooking spray*
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • Pickles*
  • Quinoa
  • Red wine, champagne or balsamic vinegar*
  • Rolled oats, steel cut oats, or quick oats
  • Spices*
  • Vanilla extract* (great for adding to oatmeal and coffee)

*Fresh & Free addition

Lean Proteins

Including lean protein in your diet could help support your weight loss goals, Rodriquez says. Look for the leanest ground meat you can find. Or, purchase lean cuts of meat, like chicken or turkey breast, tenderloin, eye of round roast, top sirloin, and filet.



“Protein is one of the three macronutrients we need,” she explains, “and similarly to eating vegetables, eating lean protein can also help you to feel satisfied. But because certain types of protein can be high in fat, be mindful of your portions and balance your plate with plenty of veggies.”

Photo by Angela Bailey on Unsplash

lean-meatsIf you don’t eat meat, check out these 14 vegetarian-friendly protein sources.


Add these to your cart:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • Shellfish
  • Tofu
  • Veggie burgers

Dairy & Dairy Alternatives

Dairy products can be a good source of protein, calcium, potassium and other nutrients, Rodriquez says. She suggests enjoying smaller portions and checking the Nutrition Facts label, especially if you’re trying to reduce your sodium. A 2/3 cup of cottage cheese contains over 300 milligrams of sodium — more than 15% of the sodium you should have in an entire day!3


Add these to your cart:

  • Almond milk, flavored or unflavored
  • Cheese, fat-free or low-fat
  • Cottage cheese, fat-free or low-fat
  • Greek yogurt, fat-free
  • Milk, low-fat or nonfat
  • Rice milk, plain, fat-free
  • Soy milk, light

Frozen Food Essentials

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

frozen-food-berriesWhen certain produce isn’t in season, the freezer section is the best place to look. Frozen veggies and fruit can be just as delicious and nutritious as fresh varieties, says Rodriquez, since they’re picked at the height of ripeness. Freezing helps to lock in intense flavor and healthy vitamins.


If you don’t think you’ll finish a bag of leafy greens before they go bad, the freezer section is another good place to pick up these nutrient-rich vegetables. Frozen greens, like spinach and kale, are best when cooked or blended. They make tasty additions to smoothies, pasta and soup. But avoid adding them to salads, since defrosted greens won’t have the same crisp texture as the fresh kind.


A blend of different produce items can make a surprisingly delicious smoothie — just give this Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie a try!


Add these to your cart:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage*
  • Cauliflower rice*
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Spinach*

*Fresh & Free Addition


Get a head start on your week by trying these 13 meal prep tips that’ll help support your weight loss goals, too. And if you need some inspiration in the kitchen, check out these easy-to-make recipes featuring plenty of Fresh & Free Additions.

Recommended serving sizes for weight loss

Support your weight loss goals by being mindful of your portion sizes at meal times. Check out this infographic for some visual cues. Here are a few other helpful guidelines:


Fruits: Try to stick to between ½ - ¾ cup per serving

Non-Starchy Vegetables (think: asparagus, broccoli): Load up your plate! 1 cup is a great serving size

Starchy Vegetables (think: potatoes, corn): Try to stick to ½ cup per serving

Dairy: Try to stick to ½ cup – 1 cup, depending on the product

Healthy Fats (think: nut butter, olive oil): 1 teaspoon per serving


Make sure to check with your Jenny Craig coach before adding anything to your plan so you can ensure you stay on track!


If you’re tired of grocery shopping while trying to lose weight, Jenny Craig can help! You’ll enjoy delicious chef-crafted meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus snacks and dessert) that are ready to go when you are. The Jenny Craig program takes the stress out of eating healthily: There’s no complicated cooking instructions, calorie-counting or measuring, just great food and personalized support from a dedicated weight loss coach.


We even offer delivery! Get 2 weeks of our chef-crafted food delivered straight to your doorstep. Plus, connect with your coach by phone or video chat.


Ready to get started? Connect with us today and ask how you can get FREE delivery




Stephanie Eng-Aponte

Stephanie Eng Aponte
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig and has written for the health and wellness, tech, and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. They employ an “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoy the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find them photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.

Favorite healthy snack: green apple slices with sunflower butter


Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, RDN

Briana Rodriquez, RDN
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs. 


Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!) 


This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.


Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy. 


This article contains trusted sources. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source. 

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