So it’s spring here in the Northern hemisphere and people start to think about the summer and more about their appearance. After the winter full of fests, robust family dinners, we tend to overeat and overindulge ourselves. Which usually results in extra pounds, low energy, cellulite (oh, cellulite, my dear companion!). If you have been naughty like me, eating like a wild animal, you most likely have just woken up out of your winter hibernation looking in the mirror and not liking the image in it. So, we start our efforts to stick to some healthier diet plan that can help us get in shape easily. I am not going to elaborate much on the usual suspects – sugar, white flour, burgers, fatty meat, deli mea
t products, packed junk “food” full of artificial coloring, preservatives and so on and so on. But we all know the struggle of keeping a healthy diet – all those temptations in every corner. That’s why I gathered some shopping tricks that can assist me (and you) be more diligent in my eating program.
- Making grocery lists – yeah, we know that one, don’t we! But I rarely stick to my list anyway. So I just make some general points – for example: fresh fruits and veggies, lean meat, fish, cold pressed oils, real apple cider vinegar, dairy etc. whatever is in your plan.
- Planning the shopping route – most of us do their groceries in a supermarket. There are many counters and areas with all kinds of products. And thank God they are divided in different types! This way I go only to the areas that I am interested in. For example, I go to the fresh produce section, fish, cold pressed oils, honey and tahini counters, lean meat, legumes and that’s it! I don’t even look at the candy & chips sections. The pastries’ zone is also out of my radar. 😀 That’s how I avoid a lot of temptations!
- Shopping alone – I like to go shopping alone. It saves me a lot of time from going around like a headless chicken. But when you have company and they like to visit those damn chocolate sections it gets harder and harder to refrain from buying them. Not to mention kids! If you have small children, try your best to go shopping without them! You know how difficult it is to explain why that colorful package is not very healthy! And as soon as you know it you buy one for yourself, too…
- Never shop when hungry – you may already know this, but I will repeat it – Never ever, ever, ever go grocery shopping when you are hungry! No need to explain that one!
- No gloomy shopping, please! – the #4 rule fully applies to negative emotions. You know the term “shopping therapy”. What’s so therapeutic about it?! It will most probably get you into debt or
obesity – and the vicious cycle continues! We tend to fill some emotional holes with buying stuff or stuffing our faces with junk food. But this is never the answer. The feeling after eating a whole bucket of ice-cream is not very cheerful. So, first, before entering the store we should get our minds and emotions straight. It doesn’t mean we should be super jolly jumping around the aisles! But being fully aware of what we buy and why we buy it.
Beware of the checkout point! – What do we usually do when waiting in line at the checkout? Well, there is not much to do but to look around. And that’s what the marketing guys want us to do. You know these side counters are full of sweets and other small and unhealthy stuff. Keep yourself busy or just don’t pay them much attention. If you have followed rule #4, then you will be fine!
- Buy at specific small shops – I put this suggestion as a last one, because I know it is not suitable for everyone. What I mean here is to go to small shops that sell a specific category of products. For example – fresh produce or fish markets from local farmers or a special organic bio store. This means shopping at different points which consumes a bit more time. But if you are able to afford it, feel free to make a research what is available in your area. The benefits are many – less temptations; local food – you can check how the animal or the crop has been grown; it’s usually cheaper because of less transportation costs; supporting our local farmers and community.
These were my suggestions for healthier shopping! If you have any other tricks that you would like to share – don’t be shy! Feel free to comment, share or leave a recommendation!