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Nutrition: Slim Down at the Supermarket


How rethinking the foods you buy can help you lose weightnutritionnov2013Stocked with sticky, sweet desserts, fresh-baked goods and so many of your favorite indulgences, the supermarket can be a destination for diet disaster. We visit the grocery store an average of 2.2 times per week, which gives us plenty of opportunity to pick up items that can pack on the pounds.

Most would agree that it’s easier to make a healthy choice in the grocery store than it is in the comfort of your own home (think late-night movie marathons in your PJs). Healthy eating starts in the grocery store, so try to avoid bringing the tempting foods home with you.

Of course, sometimes that is easier said than done, so here are a few tips to help keep the “unhealthies” in the store and out of your kitchen:

Time yourself. Some consumers make better choices in the evening, after they’ve eaten dinner and the bakery is closed. Others find they have more discipline in the early hours of the day. When possible, shop at the time that works best for you.

Take 10. Spending just 10 minutes mapping out your menu for the week will help you stay on track. If you have the ingredients for healthy meals at home, you’re less likely to order high-calorie takeout.

Get in the mood. If you’re sad, mad or generally feeling blah, you’re more prone to reach for ice cream or chips. Instead, play upbeat music in the car or take a few moments to unwind before entering the supermarket. Better yet, go after you complete a great workout.

Indulge in advance. Head off the hungries by grabbing a healthy and delicious snack. Satisfied shoppers are less likely to be tempted by calorie-laden impulse items.

Be kid-conscious. Whether they’re begging for candy in the checkout aisle or distracting you when you try to read nutrition labels, children can undermine your best intentions. If this is true for you, consider shopping without your kids or keeping them occupied during shopping trips with a toy or book.

Stop at the ATM. Paying with cash often keeps shoppers from splurging on extra items or calories. Take only what your shopping list requires or your budget allows; you can’t buy unnecessary, impulsive extras if you don’t have the money.