The grocery store can be your best friend or worst enemy. It all depends on where your mind is at when you actually go to the store. If you’re feeling stressed out, overworked, hungry, tired, lethargic, or down on yourself…you are more likely to reach for your favorite comfort foods like cookies, ice cream or chips. These foods are our enemies because they have almost no nutritional value and can lead to weight gain. In order to avoid buying these kinds of foods, the best thing you can do is start to look at the grocery store as though it is your medicine cabinet.
In case you missed it, make sure to read my 5 Top Things to Leave Out of Your Cart!
I have 4 rules that I recommend you follow when grocery shopping in order to avoid weight gain down the road:
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Again, if you are hungry, are more likely to make impulse purchases. If you’re prone to impulse buying, drink a protein shake or eat a satisfying snack, like one of these, before heading to grocery shop.
- Read labels. You want to buy products with as few ingredients as possible. Ideally, they do not even have a label (e.g. an apple or carrot slices). Pick items that have relatively low salt and sugar counts. You can always add a high-quality sea salt (my fave is Celtic Sea Salt) or a sprinkle of sugar, like stevia, yourself. Foods that have too much salt or sugar just make us crave…you guessed it…more salt and sugar, which leads to unwanted weight gain.
- Make a list and make sure the bad stuff is left off. Going to the grocery store with a healthy list sets you up for success. Prioritize the produce section as well as whole grains, nuts, seeds, high quality oils, and organic animal protein. Often times we plan our meals but fail to plan for the urge to snack or for a dessert. Planning “healthy” snacks and desserts can also set you up for success.
- Shop the perimeter. We have all heard this before, but it is true! The perimeter of the grocery store has whole, real foods. Nutrient-rich calories come from whole foods, which our bodies know what to do with as opposed to nutrient-poor calories that come from processed foods.
Happy shopping! Don’t forget your list!