Nutritionist-approved 6 to 1 method can make grocery shopping easier

A chef has detailed the advantages of the 6 to 1 method. (Getty Images)
A chef has detailed the advantages of the 6 to 1 method. (Getty Images)

Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about food, from meal planning to grocery shopping to actually cooking, but a new method could make these tasks a lot more simple.

Called the 6 to 1 method, it was first introduced to the masses by US chef Will Coleman who posted a video explaining the method to TikTok which has been viewed over 1.1 million times.

“This makes grocery shopping way easier, way cheaper and you get in and out so you’re not there all day long,” Coleman explains in the video, adding that the method has ‘changed his life’.

“I’ve used this twice now and saved money each time,” one person commented, while another said: “I need to do this because I get overwhelmed grocery shopping.”

In the viral video, Coleman explains that the 6 to 1 method involves buying the following during each grocery shop:

  • 6 kinds of vegetables

  • 5 types of fruit

  • 4 protein sources

  • 3 types of starches

  • 2 sauces or or spreads

  • 1 treat

In a separate video Coleman goes grocery shopping and buys a bag of kale, herbs, red onions, garlic, asparagus, and mushrooms as his vegetables; cherry tomatoes, red peppers, apples, lemons and limes, and jalapenos as his fruit; proteins were salmon, chicken mince, eggs, and cheese, while starches were pasta, tacos, and buns; sauces were aioli and salsa verde, while his treat was a bag of crisps.

“This systematic approach aims to encourage diversity and moderation in one’s diet, which is essential for achieving nutritional balance,” clinical nutritionist Rimas Geiga says.

“From a clinical nutrition perspective, I recommend this method for its structured yet flexible framework that simplifies shopping, discourages impulse purchases, and facilitates a balanced intake of nutrients. It's particularly beneficial for those who may feel overwhelmed by detailed meal planning, allowing for spontaneity and creativity in meal preparation.”

Geiga says those who prefer a structured shopping list without the ‘constraints’ of detailed meal planning will like the 6 to 1 method.

“It appeals to busy professionals, families, and those looking to make healthier food choices while retaining flexibility in their meals,” he adds.

Variety Fresh of organic fruits and vegetables and healthy vegan meal ingredients in reusable eco cotton bags on beige background . Zero waste shopping concept. Healthy food, clean eating, eco friendly, no plastic. Flat lay, top view
The 6 to 1 method can give you a wide variety of foods and nutrients. (Getty Images)

“It also serves as a foundational strategy for individuals new to nutrition-conscious shopping, teaching them how to build a balanced diet starting from how they shop.”

He adds that you are more likely to reduce waste if you shop for specific recipes, but that shopping without a recipe can cultivate culinary creativity.

“It can adapt to seasonal produce availability,” he continues. “I suggest a hybrid approach: plan several meals but also allow for a few meals that utilise whichever ingredients are fresh and available, thus combining structure with flexibility.”

We all know that a balanced diet is the key to good health, and Geiga says that this method is a good example of how to follow it.

By focusing heavily on fruits, vegetables, and proteins, it aligns with dietary recommendations to ensure a significant intake of these essential food groups,” he adds.

“It encourages consumers to think about their diet in a segmented yet holistic way, promoting nutritional awareness and mindful eating. This method not only guides shopping habits but also fosters a balanced approach to consuming a variety of foods, which is fundamental for long-term health sustainability.”