Do you plan your grocery shopping? Since shopping is one activity that most of us use either as “something necessary to get out of the way as fast as possible” or as a stress buster, the very idea that you need to plan your grocery shopping may be new.
However, a few proven strategies can help you shop for food that will help, and not hinder, your weight loss journey. Here’s how.
Shop on a full stomach. This may read like an irrelevant tip, but you’d be surprised at how much more likely you are to eat and buy high-calorie foods when you shop for food on an empty stomach. Large food stores are designed to tempt you. You’d have noticed that the chocolates and potato chips are stored very near the checkout counter – an easy temptation for you to fall into, especially when you are hungry.
Buy according to a list. Write down a weekly and daily shopping list and replenish as and when needed. This will prevent impulse buying and also help you to have healthy options available all week to choose from your fridge or larder. Remember to include options for healthy snacks when writing the list!
Make sure processed foods on this list are minimal. Processed food, such as ‘heat-and-eat’ pre-cooked meals and instant noodles, take much lesser time to prepare and can have hidden fats. Food you cook from scratch gives you the option of controlling what ingredient goes in, and how much, helping you keep within your calorie limit. If in doubt about a certain processed food, read the package carefully before buying.
Shop with a partner or friend. You could even switch your shopping from time to time, so that you are buying from your friend’s list and vice versa, to receive help in curbing impulse buys form the food mall, such as ice cream tubs or large bottle of soft drinks.