Have you ever wondered how to shop to lose weight? Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite tasks to do, especially when I’d rather be playing with my grandkids or having fun with my friends.
When I made the decision to lose weight I had to figure out a way to remove the temptations that beckoned me; you know what I mean, the Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s, potato chips and Diet Coke to name just a few. I wondered how other women my age avoided knuckling under to the pressure of advertisers and food samplers.
One day I read an article about how to shop, what to do, what not to do and it all revolved around the theme of how to shop to lose weight. This information sure seemed like it was written just for me. Have you ever wondered how on earth you can lose those unwanted pounds and not feel like you are depriving yourself, too?
What if I could share with you five teeny-weeny secrets I use to keep myself on track, guilt free and losing weight consistently while keeping it off, too? (I’ll share them with you but only if you promise you won’t keep it to yourself, promise?)
Tip# 1 – Shop your local market
In today’s busy world we are bombarded with advertisements and encouraged to save time and money by shopping at big discount stores, price clubs and warehouse clubs. They all offer a decent value for the money, but then you are left with a lot of food, that you feel compelled to eat or it will spoil. (Remember those words our fathers spoke at the table? "Those starving kids in China"…and so we clean our plates even though we are full.)
Now you’ve lost the value of the discount for the large volume, right? Save yourself the trouble and money, simply buy quantities that you need at your local grocery store.
In short, buy only what you need for this week’s menu, no more, no less.
Tip# 2 – Shop the outside isles
The designers of supermarkets have a very specific plan in mind: They want you to spend as much time as possible in the presence of cheap, high-margin junk food. That’s why they stick all the fresh, healthy foods along the edges of the grocery store—and why, no matter what supermarket you pop in to buy a carton of milk, you invariably have to walk all the way to the back to find it.
Pretty sneaky, aren’t they?
Get in the habit of working those edges first to load your cart with vegetables, fruits, and meats while staying away from the inner aisles as much as possible.
Tip# 3 – Buy fresh not frozen or packaged
In today’s busy world we often think that we don’t have time to cook, at least that’s what I used to think. As an aging baby-boomer who still works building a business time is limited; yet, what I’ve found out about pre-packaged foods made me sit up and take notice. Wait, I’ll save that for another time and place, let me explain why fresh foods are healthier and tastier than packaged foods for our families.
It's a lot easier at two in the morning to pop a frozen pizza or a pop tart into the oven or toaster than it is to actually cook scrambled eggs or fix a sandwich with the goodies. When you buy foods that you have to cook to eat, you will be more likely to only eat when truly hungry, and not out of emotion or boredom. Plus, this doesn't even mention the fact that most pre-prepared and pre-packaged foods contain more starch, carbohydrates, sodium, and sugar then their natural counterparts.
The point to fresh over packaged is this: if it’s frozen, boxed or dried the natural nutritional value of the food is gone. It is either greatly diminished, DEAD or nonexistent. What is the point of eating something that isn’t going to nourish your body and will pack on those unwanted pounds needlessly?
Tip# 4 – Shop the spice isle
This tip took awhile to learn as it is an art to use spices correctly. However, Google became my best friend as I searched for ways to spice up my chicken, hamburger and steaks. Our meals today are different each night although the staples are the same.
Flavorful food, spicy, textured, foods full of taste will satisfy more than just our hunger. People do not eat only for energy and fuel. Most of us enjoy eating for pleasure, entertainment, companionship, and for simple taste – we like to taste our foods. When shopping, check out the spice aisle and look at all the varieties you can add to your foods to give them more flavor, without adding calories. Some spices even have added health benefits, and some, like cayenne pepper, ginseng, fennel, and garlic have been shown to assist with weight loss and digestion.
Tip# 5 – Shop with a list
I can’t count the number of trips to the store we made without a shopping list. Many times we would come out with bags full of junk, snacks, soda and not really many items to fix a meal.
What a waste…and that waste went right to my waist!
Today, before leaving the house we both think about the coming week and our schedules. We check out the pantry and its contents, the refrigerator and the fruit and vegetable bins then write our list accordingly.
Not only do we save time, we save money and are in and out of the store in record time. We no longer shop mindlessly; instead, we shop to lose weight and keep our hard earned dollars in our pockets.
One last bonus tip – I know this one seems silly and simple, but it makes a difference. I read a research study once, though I can't remember where I read it now, but it clearly said that they found people spend more money and buy less healthy foods when they shop while hungry or before they have eaten a meal. If you eat a small meal or a snack before you make your list and go shopping, you'll be less likely to buy items simply out of craving and not necessity.
Always keep your goal in mind – shop to lose weight. This will help you to follow these five tips, eat healthier foods and lose those unwanted pounds quickly and forever.
If this has given you food for thought, made you stop to think or you know of someone who might enjoy it please…pass this along. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.