2017 Cityline Weight Loss Challenge: Meal planning + grocery list

Here are some tips to get into the groove of shopping and prepping your food for healthy eating.

Here we go again! The Cityline Weight Loss Challenge is officially in gear and it’s time to plan for success. In order to start on the right foot, I’ve outlined a few simple meal-planning tips that can be used at work or at home. Once you get into the groove of shopping and prepping your food properly, this approach shouldn’t take much more time or be costly.


Make a grocery list. Below you will find a list of food to buy that will make weight loss easy and grab-and-go. I certainly don’t want you to be running to the grocery store every day, so it’s always a good idea to double up on some staples (e.g. yogurt, fruits, vegetables).

In the beginning, keep it simple. Weight loss doesn’t have to be gourmet. (It can be, but most of us simply don’t have the time for that). In the beginning, it’s best to keep meals simple and repetitive. For example, if you find eating a yogurt parfait delicious and easy in the morning, you can eat the same meal for breakfast as many times as you like! Variety is not necessary for weight loss. It’s only necessary if you are feeling “food bored.” I firmly believe being a creature of habit helps in the first few weeks on my program.

From the grocery store to the counter. Whether you grocery shop on the weekend or in the evening, when you bring your groceries home, prepare them (chop, clean, boil, freeze, etc.) before putting them away. For example, wash your berries, make a batch of quinoa or oatmeal or put some nuts in grab-and-go containers. By doing so, you’ll make the rest of your week much easier when you have less time.

Examine your containers. We all want to be environmentally-friendly and organized, so you have to have the right containers to pack lunch or snacks properly. When beginning the challenge, I want you to examine your Tupperware and grab-and-go containers. It’s important to organize them (Yes, that’s right: match the lids with the bottoms!), and make sure you have a variety of sizes. While you’re at it, this is also a good time to take a good look at your food cupboards, fridge and freezer for a big ol’ cleaning. Any foods that may sabotage your success or have expired should be cleaned out. Like a beautiful and organized closet, your fridge and cupboards should reflect the way you want to feel.

Double batch it. Hands up if you like time-saving steps! When making dinner, feel free to double-batch so you have an instant lunch option the next day. Alternatively, if you’re making soups, stews or chilis (stay tuned for recipes), double the batch to freeze for future, last-minute dinners or quick meals.

Basics to buy

Cityline weight loss challenge – Grocery list


  • Go green – broccoli, spinach, kale
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini – green or yellow
  • Peppers – red, green or yellow
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Tomato
  • Green beans
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber
  • Artichoke
  • Beets


  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Melons
  • Bananas
  • Pomegranate
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • Frozen fruit


  • Sprouted grain bread (i.e. Stonemill Bakehouse, Ezekiel)
  • Whole grain wraps
  • High fiber cereal – i.e. All bran, Nature’s Path Heritage O’s
  • Slow cooking oats
  • Sprouted grain flour
  • High fiber crackers (i.e. Mary’s crackers)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice

*** Opt for a cereal with more than 3 grams of fiber per serving and less than 7 grams of sugar per serving.

Healthy oils and fats

  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pine nuts
  • Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp hearts


  • Greek yogurt – 2%
  • Flavored yogurt (to be mixed with Greek) – 2 %
  • Baby bell cheese
  • Goat’s cheese


  • Omega 3 or organic eggs
  • Egg whites


  • Light tuna packed in water
  • Wild salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Haddock
  • Shrimp
  • Nitrate free chicken or turkey (ask for low sodium meats)
  • Chicken or turkey breast
  • Ground chicken or turkey


  • Chickpea
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Navy beans
  • Edamamme (soy beans – purchase shelled in frozen food section)


  • Green tea
  • Celestial seasoning Bengal spice tea (great for cravings!)


  • Mustard
  • Salsa
  • Healthy bars (kashi, bounce or simply bars)
  • Spices and fresh herb (i.e., dill, basil, cilantro)
  • Chicken soup broth and/or vegetable broth
  • Fresh garlic
  • Nori

Download a printable PDF of the grocery list here.