Who would have ever thought that there was a wrong way to grocery shop? I mean, it’s just going to the store and buying foods you need, right?
Apparently, there is a psychological aspect to this activity, one which involves what you buy based on how hungry you are when you go shopping.
Here are some grocery shopping mistakes that could be slowing down your weight loss.
You Don’t Shop After a Meal
When you’re hungry, you not only want to eat whatever you see in front of you, but you will be more likely to cave in to those chocolate and chip cravings.
It seems to make sense for hungry shoppers to buy more food than those with full bellies, but a Cornell study found that that wasn’t the case, instead, they buy more unhealthy foods. So try planning your trip to the market after you’ve had lunch or a snack.
Being spontaneous may be a great, fun trait to have with your social life. But when it comes to shopping, that may be your downfall. Shopping without a list of things you need doesn’t only make you more likely to buy things on impulse, but you’re also less likely to go home with the healthy things you needed for your meals.
Put together a plan for what you want to cook and eat for the next week, and go to the store to buy those things. You could make a separate list of extra things that aren’t as healthy to make your second priority. There are also a million of great meal prep ideas out there to steal to keep your kitchen stocked with what you need.
You Linger in the Middle of the Store
This is where all the packages and processed foods live in the store. I know it’s hard to resist all that sugary goodness, but your waistline and your health will not be happy with you spending too much time in that section.
Think about all the grocery stores you’ve been in; the produce, meats, dairy, and refrigerated foods are all in the outer perimeter of the store. To reach your health goals, stay in these areas.
You Get Caught up with the Meaningless Health Claims
Of course, you want those granola bars in the box that tells you how much antioxidants are in them or the “vegetable” chips that give you a full serving of veggies with each cup. But should you? No. Despite the healthy lingo, most of these foods are full of fats, sugars, and refined carbs that you don’t need.
Luckily, not all products mislead their consumers. But how can you tell which are bad and which aren’t? By reading!
You Don’t Read Nutrition Labels
I always look out for fat content, sugars, and the ingredients of the products. A lot of foods deemed to be healthy could actually do more harm than good. Take Greek yogurt for instance.
Looking at how much sugar is in each serving is very important to me. I always get a brand that has less than 7 grams per serving, while most brands have over 12 grams – which is quite alarming for something that is supposed to be healthy.
Nutritionists say to look out these four things when reading a nutrition label: added sugar (corn syrup, fructose syrup, invert sugar, etc), trans fat (the worst fat you can consume), saturated fat, and sodium (high intake can lead to hypertension, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney disease).
Here are a few food additives experts advise to stay away from:
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Trans Fat
- Food dyes: Blue #1 and #2, Red #3 and #40, Yellow #5 and #6
- Caramel color
What are some things you do to make sure you get the most of your grocery shopping trip?