Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grocery Store Tips for Weight Loss Success

The grocery store can be our best friend for weight loss success and it can also be our biggest weight loss challenge, providing us with healthy food at reasonable prices.

Here are 3 of my top simple tips to help the grocery store lean in the BFF direction rather than foe!

1. Don't go to the store hungry.

I know, I know, you've heard it a gazillion times already. Well, you've heard it a gazillion times because it is true! When we are hungry we are more apt to grab a "quick something" and that generally is not an apple! Nope, we're apt to grab a candy bar or bag of chips while standing in the checkout line. And that's on top of the other stuff that wasn't on your list that found its way into your cart because...yep, you're hungry. When we are hungry our resistance is down and EVERYTHING sounds good! By eating a healthy snack before we go shopping we help control our cravings and are much more able to make healthy, conscious food choices that support our goals.

2. Make a list and buy what is on the list.
OK, this could have been 2 separate tips but really, what good is a list if you don't use it? So make a list, bring it to the store with you (how many times have I left my list on the counter and then wracked my menopausal brain trying to remember what was on it?) and then buy off the list! I'm not militant about least not entirely...if you see something that you forgot to add to the list, fine. Something's on sale for a super price that is healthy that you KNOW you will eat, okay. Sounds/looks/smells good--no way! So if you really want to have cookies or ice cream, then they have to be on the list. Sometimes writing it down is enough to convince yourself you don't really want it! Making yourself shop with a list also stops the "I'll just pop in for a few things on the way home" shopping...that's when a lot of high-fat/sugar/salt items make it into the cart (on their own without any help from me, I swear!)

3. Pay with Cash
According to the Journal of Consumer Research if you buy your groceries with cash your cart will tend to hold less junk food! If you want the immediate gratification of junk food then decide you must have the immediate cash to pay for it, otherwise your delayed payment will come due and you will have the extra weight on the hips, too. Take this one step further and roughly calculate how much money you will need for your groceries and bring only that amount of cash. Then when you are tempted to add that box of cookies and you are faced with having to return either your milk or the cookies you just might decide to keep the milk!

You'll notice these 3 tips all help us to make conscious choices. We always have a choice about the food we eat--what we put into our body and how much of it. By following these tips we help ourselves to make the small changes in food buying that will result in big changes in our health, including our waistline. As an added benefit we'll save money, too!


LesleyFW said...

I use my mobile phone to photograph my list in case I forget it!

Laurie Tossy said...

That's a good idea Lesley!
I've recently gotten a smartphone and now have a shopping list app right on my phone...but sometimes paper is still easier for me!