Your grocery shopping habits can determine the outcome of your weight loss efforts.
Want lose weight and improve your health? Many experts would tell you that you should start with a balanced diet and a good exercise plan, but others would say that the journey begins when you shop each week.
It would help if you learned some shopping tips and tricks because losing weight is more about making lifestyle changes than getting stuck on fad diets.
Grocery Shopping Habits That Will Help You Lose Weight
If you think about your last trip to the supermarket, how did it go? Did you make a list and only buy the things on your plan, or did you overspend by making impulse purchases?
Dieting and losing weight is difficult, but it is more of a commitment to a lifestyle change than anything else. Here are 15 tips for your next shopping trip that can help you lose weight.
Start by making an eating plan that includes healthy food choices. You want to shop smarter, not harder, so this is the place to start. You then create a meal plan list and only want to purchase the items on that list.
By shopping smart, you can buy nutritious food and save money, too. Most people buy on impulse and forget half of the things they need, often requiring a second visit.
2. Shop on the outer perimeters of the store
If you look at how your grocery store is laid out, you’ll see that healthy items and selections are almost always outside. The interior corridors are where you will find sweets, chips, and other prepared foods. Try not to stray too far from the perimeter unless you are going to a specialized section that will benefit your weight loss journey.
3. Spend time on the fresh produce section
You should spend most of your time in the fresh produce section. If you really want to be healthy, then this is the area to start. You need to eat a variety of vegetablesand be sure to choose many different colors for all of your nutritional needs.
According to Harvard Health PublishingYou need a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet because of the nutrients they provide. While some vegetables provide vitamins and fiber, some fruits provide powerful antioxidants. All of these nutritional aspects are necessary for weight loss and general good health.
4. Eat before you go
If you go to the store on an empty and noisy stomach, you are more likely to make impulse purchases based on your hunger. The last thing you need to do is give in to the temptation and buy a huge bag of cookies or a pint of ice cream when you’re trying to recover. Eat a nutritious meal before you go and you will probably spend less money.
5. Stay out of the candy aisle
Although you may be tempted to go down the candy aisle for your children or your spouse, it is an area that you should avoid at all costs. Even if you are looking for a chocolate bar that is 80-90 percent dark chocolate, venturing into this area is not a good choice. The smells and sensations that chocolate gives people can be too overwhelming to resist.
6. Use a click-list program
Click list programs have become popular these days. For dieters, they can make their grocery shopping much more manageable. When you use these programs, you don’t even have to get out of your car. There will be no chance of messing it up when you have everything loaded and pre-cut for yourself.
7. Read the labels
Don’t be fooled by the labels. Did you know that manufacturers can put whatever they want on the packaging for you to test their product? There is little regulation on the use of marketing terms to sell food. Therefore, it would be useful to be wary of items that say:
- Fat free
- Low in carbohydrates
- Keto friendly
- It is not a low calorie food.
Many of these products use unhealthy substitutions that will not reduce the calorie content or enhance your diet.
Cash registers were designed for impulse purchases. How many times do children beg for candy bars, lip gloss, or magazines? If you are trying to diet, it is the only place where you will come face to face with all the things you are not supposed to eat.
It’s best if you focus on the task at hand, unload the cart, pay the cashier, and walk away. Better yet, you may want to self-pay. Not only will you get a good workout loading and packing your groceries, but these areas have minimal impulse buying screens.
9. Buy early in the morning
According to Today, the best time to do your shopping is in the morning. The product is always the freshest and least collected, and there will be more supply. As the days go by and people accumulate in the store, the selection will become less attractive.
Therefore, the key is to buy early, such as after breakfast, for best results.
10. Loading of seeds
The seeds are a friend of a dieter. Try adding flax, chia, and hemp seeds to your daily meal plan. Not only are these loaded with fiber that will help you eat less, but they can also lower blood sugar levels, glucose and will keep you feeling full for longer periods.
Chia seeds can swell up to 15 times their size, so if you eat a handful of these before a meal, you are likely to consume much less.
11. Buy organically
While it won’t affect your weight loss, try shopping organically when you go to the grocery store. You will avoid produce and other foods that use preservatives or pesticides. Have you ever seen how much wax is in a normal store apple?
It’s overwhelming when you realize all the extras they add to keep things fresh. Your body doesn’t need these “extras”.
12. Avoid processed bars and dietary aids
Although you may be tempted to buy these diet bars and other aids, you don’t need them. Most of these bars use Artificial sweeteners along with MSG. Did you know that many of these chemicals are deadly to a dog or cat? If a dog or cat can’t eat them, why should humans?
13. Just say no to sugar alcohols
Okay, so you’re trying the keto plan and you want to eat healthy, but you like sweets. So the first thing to do is opt for diet-friendly snacks. One thing you will notice is that they use sugar alcohol instead of sugar.
Sugar alcohols are not digested by the body and they can bloat you. If you see words like erythritol, arabitol, xylitol, mannitol, and isomalt, you should avoid it. These products are all hybrids of sugars and alcohol together, and they are useless additives.
In addition to the bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea that you can get from these products, you may also suffer from headaches and nausea. In addition, according to Strong diabetesSince these products act like sugar, some will raise your glucose levels.
14. Buy yogurt but check the sugar content
Yogurt is a great product that can help you fill up and stay healthy. Buy one that has prebiotics for gut health, as well as one that is low in sugar. Just read their labels, but yogurt is a versatile product that can fit into any diet plan.
15. Avoid frozen and prepared foods
It may seem like the easiest way out, but don’t fill your cart with convenient, processed foods. Even if these foods claim to be diet-friendly, they are not the best option for you. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, frozen ones are better than canned ones as they have less salt and stabilizers are added to them. However, it is best to do most things fresh.
Shopping for groceries is a chore that most people hate. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically over the years, making this daunting task a bit more manageable. Before you go to the supermarket to buy things for your home, make sure you have eaten and are full.
It would be better to make a meal plan for the next week and then make a shopping list based on this meal plan. Having a checklist keeps you accountable for your purchases and allows you to focus only on the items you need.
If possible, frequent farmers markets and other similar establishments that offer fresh produce. These are usually organically grown in your area rather than shipped from all over the world. Local farmers pick their fresh produce, so you get the best deals locally.
While losing weight is the goal, your journey should be about Changes in lifestyle. Diets do not work and many people quickly become yo-yo dieters because they cannot follow these programs long term. The key is to still enjoy the foods you want, but you must learn to prepare them in a healthier way.