10 Tips to Eating Locally | BeLiteWeight | Weight Loss ServicesMaintaining your weight loss means being careful about the food you choose. A healthy diet contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and cheeses and whole grains. One way to ensure your food is fresh and healthy is to buy it locally. (Plus, nothing beats heading to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning!)

Start Small Thinking about buying all food locally can seem overwhelming, causing some to scrap the whole idea. Start by making a few small changes, such as trying to secure one local item for each meal, or picking one food group to focus on. Once you get this down, start to add to it to build your local base of foods.

Plant a Garden Whether you live in the country (or suburbs) or the city, find a space to plant a garden. Plant a few tomatoes, fresh greens and herbs. Fresh vegetables and herbs add delicious zest to any meal in your weight loss plan.

Pick Your Own Look for opportunities in your area to pick your own vegetables or berries. Many farms offer the opportunity during the summer to pick berries, which you can then make into your own homemade jam to last all year.

Check Labels Look at the local grocery store for items that were made and processed near your home.

Join a Co-op A farm cooperative, sometimes known as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, includes members who pay a yearly fee to take part in weekly shares of vegetables, fruit and eggs. Larger co-op markets are now becoming popular as well, enabling members to do all of their shopping just as they would at chain grocery stores.

Consider the Season In-season vegetables and fruit are usually easy to obtain. Do some research to find out which local fruits and vegetables are in season, and look for them in local grocery markets and on the side of the road, depending where you are.

Shop the Farmer's Market Your local farmer's market will offer the freshest items in stock locally. Make it a habit to stop by each week, meet the farmers/growers whose food you’re buying and stock up.

Research Your Restaurants Many restaurants pride themselves on cooking with local produce. Find out which ones are doing this and make them your go-to food joints; fresh means quality.

Don't Be Fooled Marketers are skilled at creating misleading packaging to make consumers believe they are buying products that are wholesome. Read labels carefully and don't be fooled by marketing scams.

Get Educated Take the time to watch food documentaries, read books and check out websites on the best foods to eat. The more educated you become, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy weight loss plan.