There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who love grocery shopping, and those who don’t.
Grocery shopping can be a super important step in your weight loss journey. If you are purchasing a lot of high fat and calorie foods, chances are you will struggle with seeing results. Yes weight loss is more than just eating healthy, but the nutrition aspect plays a huge role. The more junk you put into your body, the more stress it will be under, and the harder it is to lose weight.
So how can you use grocery shopping for weight loss? Here are three tips to help you shop smarter!
#1. MAKE A LIST
Make a list dang it! It is far too easy to head into the store with a list in your head instead of your hand. I leave the house thinking, “Okay, I need toilet paper, eggs, milk, and bananas.” I arrive home with toilet paper, eggs, egg whites, tortillas, cookies, apples, turkey meat, a new coffee creamer flavor that I wanted to try, and pretzels because I need snacks, duh.
Did you notice I forgot the milk and bananas and bought way more than I originally intended? When you write a list, I am telling you, you are WAY more likely to actually buy what you need. Yes it takes some discipline to stick to the list, but think back to why you made the list in the first place!
Maybe you are trying a new recipe and you needed a few extra ingredients. Say you are on a budget and you only want to spend a certain amount of money on groceries this week. You might be attempting a new healthy lifestyle and the foods on the list you created are foods you know will fuel your body and help you reach your goals!
Whatever the reason for the list, stick to it. Create the list on your phone so you don’t have to remember a pen to cross of the items as you place them in the cart. There are so many apps you can download to help you create an organized grocery list. If you are old school like me, write it down on a piece of paper!
#2. EAT A MEAL OR SNACK BEFORE HEADING INTO THE STORE
This may seem like a no brainer, but how many time have you gone into the grocery store while you were hungry? Once you got home with all your groceries did you wonder, “What in the world was I thinking?”
When you enter the grocery store on an empty stomach, your brain thinks it is getting food soon. Your body wants food and it wants food now. It does not like feeling hungry, and it knows that high sugar foods will make the hungry feeling go away fast. Have you noticed you grab more cereals, candy bars, or pastries when you are hungry?
One way to combat our stomach’s desires is to eat a meal or snack before entering the store. Have a protein bar or an apple with some peanut butter. Eat something that will help you not ravenously grab everything you lay your eyes on. Making sure your stomach is content will help you reach for foods with lower sugar and fat content.
#3. SHOP AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THE STORE
You may have heard this before and wondered what the heck it meant. Shopping around the perimeter means avoiding the aisles as much as you can. Picture your local grocery stores. Where do you find the produce section? Is it within the aisles of the store or is it right along the perimeter? What about the meats? Are they in-between the aisles or along the back or side walls of the store?
Most of the processed foods are located within the grocery store aisles. There you will find the candy, chips, cereal, pasta, and soda. Around the perimeter you typically have the fruits, veggies, dairy, and meats. Have you ever noticed that? It is almost as if the stores intentionally make it convenient for people to get all of the healthy foods they need without going into a single aisle.
Take a look at your grocery store and notice what kinds of foods they have around the perimeter of the store. If you are struggling with knowing what foods to purchase from the store, walk around the perimeter. Fill your cart with items from the produce section, lean meats, dairy products, and grains.
Grocery shopping can be a great experience and may contribute to success with weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. Create a list and eat a snack before heading into the store. Shop around the perimeter of the store to find foods that will fuel your body for your busy week ahead. Let me know in the comments your secrets for shopping smarter!