One thing that can help you stick to a nutritional plan is eating only what’s in your cupboards and the fridge. When we don’t have junk near buy, we don’t eat it simply because energy, cost and motivation required to obtain that food outweighs the benefit. Thus, we opt-in to consume what is more readily available and accessible. So, if your kitchen is stuffed with nothing but great and healthy choices, then that’s what you’ll eat. Then how do you make sure you don’t have junk in your kitchen? Well, you need to master your grocery shopping so that you don’t get caught buying junk.
Make a list and stick to it
Before you head out to the supermarket, make a grocery shopping list. If you’re on a nutritional plan or have implemented a healthier lifestyle, put down items that will only help you reach your goals. If an item is not in your nutritional plan, don’t put it on the list. When you get to the market, buy only what’s on the list.
Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach
If you go to the store on a full stomach your chances of purchasing something unhealthy and on impulse decrease significantly. This will also help you stick to your shopping list.
Don’t be suckered by special deals
Avoid deals like a plague. Unless the item is on your list, you can buy it. Otherwise if it’s not on your list don’t buy it just because it’s on sale this week.
Choose a better alternative
Do your homework in advance or compare items at the store. See if there’s a better and healthier alternative available. For example, instead of buying white rice, see if the store carries brown rice. Instead of buying Cereal A, see if a Cereal B or C or D has less sugar, more fiber and so on.
Stay around the perimeter
For the most part, raw and unprocessed foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, meats are situated around outer perimeter of the store. Most of the packaged goods are usually found in the aisles.
Avoid processed foods
These are the items that have been modified significantly from their natural states and are loaded with preservatives and other ingradients to make them look delicious and pretty.
Avoid canned items
These items are also loaded with all kinds of preservatives to ensure an extra long shelf life. Go for frozen peas instead of canned. Get frash corn instead of canned. There are always better alternatives.
Learn to read the labels
You need to know what carbs are, proteins, fats and other nutrients. Also, most importantly, you need to know how much of those nutritents in a serving size. Sometimes labels can be deceiving. Just when it looks like there’s hardly any sugar in a cereal, you look at the serving size and it comes out to be only a teaspoon. Of course I’m exaggerating, but some companies are able to print favorable nutritional data only because they also list a very small serving size.
Look at the ingredient list
If it has too many things that you can’t spell, just drop it.
Ask yourself, would you let a baby eat it?
Lastly, the item you’re about to buy, would let a baby or an infant have it?