Warning: Don’t Shop When Hungry

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At the Store


Having a shopping list is an important part of your plan for healthy grocery shopping. You can strengthen your plan by knowing what you will do when you get to the store. Think ahead about which aisles you will shop, and how you can use labels to help you. Also, do not go on an empty stomach, as you will be more tempted to buy high-calorie snacks. If you are really worried about external stimuli: put in a pair of headphones, they’ll help you focus on buying what you planned to purchase.


Sections to be careful in:

  • Freezer - ice cream, most frozen dinners (if you get one, look for one with a lean protein such as non-breaded chicken or shrimp, vegetables, and beans, sweet potatoes, or a whole grain such as brown rice), fried potatoes, chicken nuggets and other breaded foods, breakfast sandwiches with bacon or sausage or on croissants or bagels, pizza

  • Meat and deli - sausage, fatty red meat, processed luncheon meats, prepared mayo-laden salads, lunch kits with processed meat and crackers

  • Bakery section - cake, cookies, pie, doughnuts, white bread and bagels

  • Pantry - sweetened breakfast cereal and oatmeal, instant meals such as mac and cheese, canned chili, canned fruit with sugar added, toaster pastries, syrup, jam,

  • Dairy - butter, margarine (or choose trans fat-free), pudding, sugar-sweetened flavored yogurt, sweetened almond or soy milk

  • Snack aisle - white crackers and pretzels, potato, tortilla, and corn chips, cookies, rice cakes, dried fruit, granola bars

  • Cash register - candy, single-serve sodas

  • Beverages - fruit drinks, fruit juice, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, coffee creamer

If potato chips trigger cravings for you, do not go down the snack foods aisle. If you cannot resist grabbing a cookie sample when you pass the bakery, skip that area. If the ready-to-eat pizza or ribs smell too good to pass up, skip the prepared foods section. In particularly, avoid the aisles that contain alcohol such as wine and beer. Seeing them can be tempting to purchase.

Removing external negative stimuli is one of the things to help you stay motivated on your fitness journey!

 

Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Assistant Professor of Public Health