How your grocery shopping habits can affect your weight-loss plans

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Few people enjoy having to go grocery shopping and want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. However, this can lead to unhealthy purchases, which in turn can get in the way of your diet. Just putting a little bit of effort into planning your shopping and ensuring that you research products so that you know what you are buying can make all the difference. Here are some suggestions of ways that grocery shopping habits can affect your weight loss and how you can ensure that the affect is as positive as possible.

First of all, take a little bit of time to sit down, plan your week’s menu, and then work out exactly what you need. Once you have done this, there will be no need to wonder aimlessly round the supermarket, straying into the aisles that are full of food that is fatty or full of sugar. Make a concerted effort to only go down the aisles that you need to go down, so that you avoid temptation. If you find that this is just not possible, then perhaps you should look into Internet shopping – that way you are far less likely to succumb to temptation, and it can save you time.

Make sure that whenever you do go shopping, you have eaten beforehand. If you shop on the way home from work, for example, when you haven’t eaten since lunch, you are far more likely to buy something quick and easy to eat – and quite possibly a bar of chocolate to keep you going until your dinner is ready. Consider going shopping at the weekend instead, after you have had a proper meal. You will have more energy and shouldn’t have a sudden craving for sugary foods to keep you going throughout your tasks.

Look at the number of times a month that you go shopping. You may prefer to do a huge shop once a month so that you get it over with in one go. However, this then means that you have a large amount of food in the house that you are more likely to consume. You may also find that in between shops, you are popping to your local shop with fewer choices for top-up items – therefore putting yourself at risk of making less healthy choices. Try shopping more often, at least once a week, and ensuring that fresh food is the mainstay of your shop.

If you are buying unhealthy snacks for other members of the family, this can become a really serious problem for your diet – the thought of just one bar of chocolate or just one bag of crisps can lead to cravings for more. If you really must buy them treats, then shopping more frequently will ensure that you cut down on the amount. However, the best option is to put your family members on a diet as well, or let them spend their pocket money on their own treats that they eat outside of the house.

Most people have an idea of what is healthy and what is not. However, you might want to start doing some research into what you are eating. The number of calories or grammes of fat in a favourite food item may be much greater than you realised. For example, a bottle of wine has around 500 calories, which can be nearly half the daily amount of calories you want to be consuming. Educate yourself through the Internet and become accustomed to checking calories, fat levels and anything else you want to cut down on.

With a little bit of effort and forethought, you should be able to change your grocery shopping habits to ensure that they support your diet. If you stick to them, they could become part of your life, ensuring that your weight loss and healthy eating plan is permanent.

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