Grocery shopping can be frustrating and overwhelming. Supermarkets can influence buying habits using behavior design psychology, often driving processed foods. If you grocery shop without a plan, it is very easy to fill the cart with unhealthy, convenience foods. Here are ways to fill your cart with healthy foods that will leave you feeling happy and guilt-free.
Create a shopping list
Studies have shown that a grocery store list decreases impulse buying, leading to improved weight control an healthier food choices. Here's how:
Make a list of all your staple foods-ones you know you won't have to buy every week.
Keep the list somewhere easily accessible i.e. taped to the fridge
Copy the list each week and remove anything on there that you don't need for the week.
Plan weekly meals
Choose recipes for the week and add those ingredients to your list.
Create different lists for specific stores
Shop the edge of the grocery store first
-fresh fruit, veggies, proteins(meats, chicken), etc. are all located on the outer perimeter of the store
-by starting your shopping with those foods first, you're more likely to make healthier choices overall
-you're more likely to stay focused and stick to your list if you fill your cart with nutritious foods from the outer aisles first
Five Ingredient Rule
-Avoid packaged foods that have more than five ingredients. The more ingredients, the more processed it probably is. If you can't pronounce the name of the ingredient, it likely isn't nutritionally beneficial for you. Keep in mind that products that contain five "artificial" ingredients aren't good for you. Artifical still isn't natural even if it only lists five ingredients. Marketers can make this very confusing. Just remember to read the labels and look for ingredients that are all natural and not processed.
Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming process, but if you go prepared with a list of healthy foods, it will make shopping much easier.
-ignore discount signs designed to encourage unhealthy eating
-buy mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods
-shop off your list or weekly meal plan
-read nutrition labels and ingredient lists of packaged foods
-stick to your plan to avoid impulse buying
-never shop hungry; that almost always leads to impulse buying and distracts you from sticking to your list