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How to grocery shop to lose weight

October 17, 2012

Grocery store fresh produce fruits vegetablesI recently saw an article that talked about how product placement in the grocery store is contributing to obesity. It is relatively easy to avoid eating junk food when you don’t see it, but when you need to resist junk food that is right in front of you it is much harder. The companies selling junk food pay extra to put their products in highly visible areas where you will likely see them like the end of an aisle or the check out line. Since the junk food is so visible it makes it tougher to resist and increases your odds of making an impulse buy.

For people who are trying to lose weight, grocery shopping is one of the most important parts of the weight loss effort. If you don’t buy the junk food while you are at the store, you won’t end up eating it once you get home. Here are some tips on how to grocery shop in a healthy manner which will make dieting easier.

  1. Don’t do your grocery shopping when you are hungry. You are more likely to buy unhealthy food when you are hungry. Either shop after you eat a meal or have a healthy snack of fruits and vegetables before you head to the grocery store.
  2. Only buy food from the outside perimeter of the store. All of the real food, like fruits, vegetables and meats, are found on the edge of the store and not in the aisles. The aisle are where the store puts all the junk food like candy, soda and chips. The only things you should be buying from the aisles that you put in your mouth are spices and oils and a few random ingredients (e.g. coconut milk or coconut water).
  3. Buy as much fruit and vegetables as you can. The more you fill up with fruits and vegetables in your diet the less you will be hungry for empty calories.
  4. Don’t buy liquid calories. Avoid soda, juice and milk. Soda is just sugar water and has no place in anyones diet. Even natural juice is not optimal for weight loss because it tends to be high in sugar and during the juicing process it loses all of the fiber. Your body doesn’t register liquid calories as calorie intake, so it will never make you feel full, especially because it no longer has any of the fiber. Milk is bad for weight loss because it significantly raises your insulin which will make you hungrier.
  5. Write out a grocery list of what you need before hand and stick to it. Don’t be temped by the delicious snack cakes you walk past.
  6. Learn how to read the food labels. Reading food labels are important, especially for people on the paleo diet. Manufactures sneak unhealthy ingredients into everything, especially soy and high fructose corn syrup. Avoid these ingredients and try to make sure that the foods you buy have as much protein, fiber and vitamins possible. Focus on foods with low sugar.
5 Comments
  1. Thanks for the helpful hints for healthy grocery shopping; now I know to keep my focus on the perimeter of the store:))

  2. Good post, Wayne. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  3. #1 is key! Killer tip. I’d add, “and don’t shop when you’re tired.” Tired leads to as many bad decisions in the grocery store as hungry does, in my experience. Be alert and focused.
    And on #6, I’d include the tip some smart person gave me: “If it has ingredients you can’t pronounce, it probably has ingredients you shouldn’t ingest.” Step away from the multi-syllabic chemicals!

    As for #4, if you MUST have bubbles, try seltzer water with fresh lemon or lime slices. Even if it was all diet soda, I’ve cut out all those products, and get by quite nicely on seltzer or Perrier or Pelligrino. So far, so good!

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