How to shop healthy for your weight loss diet
Despite our best intentions when we head to the grocery store, temptation lurks down every aisle. Though you may have a plan in mind and a list prepared as you start to push that empty cart, you may find it quickly filling up with the kinds of foods that your weight loss surgeon would frown upon, justifying your decisions with every excuse from A to Z.
It can be hard to resist the lure of enticingly unhealthy foods, but nothing is more important after weight loss surgery. Healthy habits at the supermarket are ultimately the basis of a healthy diet—whatever you buy follows you home, and that tempting food you pick up off the shelf in Aisle 6 becomes a tempting food on the shelf of your own pantry. To give your healthy diet a foundation of healthy groceries, here are some tips for how to keep yourself on point at the supermarket.
Stick to the list
Nothing provokes grocery store temptation more than making things up as you go along. Though the simple act of making a list of necessary items may help you stick to healthy choices, it isn’t an infallible way of making you shop right—you have to make a serious effort to stick to it. Instead of allowing yourself to throw impulse items in the cart as you go, sit down and make a list of everything you need beforehand and don’t allow yourself to stray from it at all. Put your blinders on and pick up each item on your list until you have everything you wrote down, then leave without browsing.
Don’t shop hungry
The sights and smells of the market are all the more alluring to a grumbling belly. If you hit the store hungry, your defenses against unhealthy foods will be reduced, making it much more likely for unexpected fat or sugar-filled foods to find their way into your cart. You can overcome this by shopping just after a meal or eating a quick, healthy snack before you make your way to the store.
In today’s high-fructose world, few things promote healthy eating more than steering clear of processed foods. As a general rule, if it can’t be grown or raised by human hands, you shouldn’t eat it. Though you may know the negative health impacts of common additives like high fructose corn syrup, many other unsavory items hide in the nutritional labels of processed foods. The food coloring Yellow 5, commonly added to everything from potato chips to soft drinks, has been banned in some European countries for its link to fatigue, cancer, anxiety and hyperactivity in children—and that’s just one of dozens of strange ingredients these foods contain. When jotting down your shopping list, double check that the items you’re putting on there are natural and additive-free whenever possible. As most grocery stores stock processed foods in the aisles at the center of the store, it might also be a good idea to stick to the edges, where fresh produce, dairy, meat and bread are typically found.
If you’re like many patients of weight loss surgery, the temptation of unhealthy foods can be enough to derail the progress of your diet. One of the best ways to keep yourself from giving in is to keep these foods out of your house altogether, and this strategy starts at the supermarket.
Have any more tips about how to keep your cart from filling with harmful impulse buys? Share them in the comments below.