There are many things we do that contribute to losing weight and to maintaining our best weight for life. Developing healthy habits, exercising, reducing stress, restful sleep, having a positive mindset to name a few. But the main contribution to weight loss and weight maintenance is what we eat and drink, and how much.
For most of us most meals are eaten and/or cooked in the home. What you have in your pantry or fridge dictates what you eat. If your pantry is full of baked goods, crackers and sweets and the freezer full of ice-cream, it creates the problem of choice. Perhaps it’s time to question your shopping habits.
Let’s see if there are some temptations that you can eliminate when shopping for food so that you feel more in control at home. Having to rely on motivation and willpower as strategies at home just doesn’t work.
Try implementing some of these shopping strategies to eliminate the problem of choice and make eating (and drinking) healthy the only option:
1.Plan meals and snacks for the week and make sure you write out your shopping list before you go shopping.
2.Buy only what is on your list for these pre-planned meals and snacks. This also contributes to reduced food wastage and makes shopping quicker, easier and potentially cheaper. If you were to give someone your list to do your shopping, you would not expect them to add anything.
3.Never shop when you are hungry as you will find yourself with unplanned purchases and it won’t be extra meat and veg in your shopping trolley. It will be sweets, chocolates and ice-cream!!!!
4.Ordering online may suit you better and help avoid any impulsive purchases. If you find yourself tempted with bakery smells then buying groceries online could save time and any temptations, keeping you on track with your intentions. Most online ordering allows you to save your order and just add or subtract to it when next you order.
5.Shop the perimeter means avoiding the aisles in the middle where the pre-packaged foods are. The essentials are around the perimeter, including meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy, non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Note that these foods are all stored at home in the fridge not the pantry.
6.Buy Australian (or New Zealand) and support our local economies. If you are lucky enough to have local produce markets that are full of fresh and wonderful foods slot it into your weekly shopping time. They often have entertainment and it’s a joy to meet the farmers that grow the produce.
So now that you have some tips for your shopping do you agree with this statement:
“You have more control over what you buy than what you eat.”
By making small adjustments with your grocery shopping habits, a good outcome for most households would be eating less junk food and eating healthier and more satisfying meals and snacks. It also helps to have a well-stocked fridge, freezer and pantry with all the basics to support your healthy eating plan.
Here’s a list of a few of our non-negotiable “basics”:
Pantry basics include:
Spices for flavour, salt and pepper, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, canned fish, tuna, sardines, and tomatoes
Fridge basics include:
Eggs, meat (grass-fed is best) and free-range poultry, wild-caught seafood, full-fat dairy including cheeses, cream, butter, Greek (no sugar added) yoghurt and low carb vegetables
Freezer basics include:
Frozen berries and frozen vegetables
Starting any new habit requires a plan and commitment. Change isn’t easy if your surroundings don’t support it. That’s why starting with your shopping is the key. Motivation wears off very quickly without a plan.
Eating healthy should not come from placing restrictions or limitations on yourself. It should be easy to implement and improving your environment and eliminating obstacles (like bad food choices) are a great start.
If you would like to see how using these and other strategies to help you on your weight loss journey become easier, click on the Lose Weight Now button at the top of the page to enrol in the 8 week online program.