• Matthew Langford

How to Create a Life Changing Shopping List!

The stoplight method is one of, if not, my favourite ways to keep on track to reach my

goals. In the precision nutrition game, we learnt about a very crucial law founded by Dr John Berardi, that law is along the "If a food is in your house or possession, then you or someone else will eat it." The law is great for us because it simply means to become healthy; you need to have healthy food in the house and remove junk food. To take full advantage of this we need to put foods in front of ourselves that we want to eat and are healthier options. Why is this important? Because taking the guesswork out of choosing healthy options better sets us up to keep on track to success! When we know what we have to work with, then we are better able to keep ourselves accountable. That is where today's blog will help. We will run through how to create a personal list that you can take with you when you go anywhere and can help keep you on track wherever you are. So what is this magic list?

The stoplight food list. This list has three categories, red, yellow and green. You can probably imagine what goes in these different categories and you'd be close. The list serves as a guide not just on what is healthy unhealthy, but on what you can substitute for an option that will get you toward your goals. You make it, and the foods in each are up to you. It acts as a flow chart moving from red into yellow and yellow into green. So next we will explore just what each of these colours mean.


  • The foods you go for when there is absolutely nothing around.

  • Foods that satisfy the taste and desire in you, but not so much the hunger or the nutritional requirements.

  • Foods you ultimately want to move away from if you are going to get to your goal. These move you away from said goal.

  • Examples of my red: Oreos, McDonald's, timtams, KFC


  • Foods that are okay sometimes. You don't want to eat them too often.

  • Better option than red foods

  • Can include the treat foods that you might sometimes choose.

  • Options that you can make as your last resort that will not move you away from your goal.

  • They don't move you toward your goal, but not too far back either.

  • Examples of my yellow: Subway, Cafe Burger, Restaurant Meal, Sushi, Nachos.


  • These are the foods you want to strive for. Eat these in the right moderation, and you will skyrocket to your goal.

  • The golden standard you set for yourself.

  • These move you as far toward your goal as possible.

  • Chosen as foods you would like to eat regularly as part of a healthier lifestyle.

  • Examples of my green: Home prepped lemon chicken, rice and vegetables with greek yoghurt sauce, Natural peanut butter on sourdough, Acai Smoothie, Bananas.

The examples I have given above are to illustrate how I have used this method. When I am out and about and haven't planned for food, there is always going to be a McDonald's around, but with a small bit of effort, I can find something from the yellow list instead. When I am doing my weekly shopping, I will avoid things such as chips that would be on my red list and move toward buying foods that will make up meals from my green list. It becomes a game of trying to get out of the red and into the yellow or even green. Everyone's list will be different, and it is about creating something you can use. You can get more specific if you like, as well. Maybe you could have a Double cheeseburger from McDonalds on the red list and a salad from McDonald's on the yellow. The objective of the list is to maintain improvement, keep the list updated regularly until you fit your view of a healthy lifestyle.

There isn't too much more to it than that. Make it into something you will use and enjoy using, and this little tweak will have you on the path to conquering your goals.

Let me know on Instagram by tagging me in your stoplight lists so I can see just how awesome you are doing!

Happy Conquering!

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