Many people have healthy intentions when they visit the grocery store. However, circumstances come up and healthy grocery shopping becomes an unhealthy free-for-all. Baskets are filled with cookies, chips, soda pop, and other unhealthy snack items. Shopping carts end up overflowing with all of those diet killers that tempt innocent, well-intentioned shoppers. Below are a few helpful pointers to make healthy grocery shopping an easier and more common experience.
Don’t Go Grocery Shopping Hungry
The aisles of temptation when hunger has kicked in will only lead to over-purchasing and poor food decisions. Instead, go immediately after a meal or have a light snack before heading into the store. This will help any diet conscious shopper maintain strong willpower and a clear head.
Make a Healthy Grocery List
Do not go to the store empty handed. Know exactly what items you need. Make a list and stick to it. Without a list, you’ll end up forgetting things and adding unnecessary “splurge” items.
Stay to the Outside Perimeter of the Store
Every grocery store has the same general set up: fruits, vegetables, breads, and dairy items typically line the outer edges while the processed, boxed, bagged and canned items fill the inner aisles. Spend the majority of time shopping on the outside aisles and the cart will easily be filled with whole, natural and healthy foods.
Avoid Grocery Store Samples
The most dangerous parts of any store are the ends of the aisles where nice older ladies offer bites of tasty sample foods. A shopper who accepts a few of these along the way may end up consuming hundreds of calories without even realizing it. Politely decline samples to prevent an accidental diet disaster.
Read Packaged Product Labels Carefully
Labels can be deceiving. Scrutinize products before simply tossing something in the cart that says, “low calorie” or “less fat”. One area that often confuses dieters is the number of servings. For example, the label on a can of soup may say 110 calories per serving. However, the can itself may contain 2.5 servings. Therefore, consuming the entire can would amount to 275 calories. Read ingredient lists and check the numbers. Just because something claims to be healthy doesn’t mean it really is.