Saturday, October 2, 2010

Outsmarting the Supermarket


Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting September 28, 2010.

You can make your time at the supermarket work for your weight-loss plan. Here's how.
You're driving home from work (or your workout), about to pass out from hunger, and you still have to make a stop at the supermarket. As you walk down the aisles, suddenly everything looks good, especially the worst stuff: the entire snack section, full-fat potato salad at the deli counter and the frozen lasagna.

How do you avoid these temptations?

All it takes is a few minutes of advanced planning. Here's how to get in and out of the supermarket faster and with the right stuff in your grocery bags:

Plan ahead
Take five minutes to plan menus for the upcoming week. Create seven lunch and dinner menus (less than that if you eat some meals out). Keep in mind the week's events: For instance, working late on Thursday? Make it a take-out night.

If the dishes you plan don't include vegetables, estimate how many salads or cooked vegetables you want to accompany the meals. Also, plan on a few snacks and get enough cereal or breakfast foods

Create a list
This isn't the list you hurriedly make as you rummage through your fridge and see that you need more milk or you're out of eggs. Nope, this fool-proof list comes right out of the seven-day menu plan strategy.

Make your list market-friendly
To make shopping easier and faster, organize your list according to the sections of the store. Shop at specialty markets? Then organize by market. Here are some basic categories:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Refrigerator cases (dairy, juice, eggs, etc.).
• Meat, poultry and fish cases
• Canned foods, condiments and oils
• Grains and cereals
• Breads
• Frozen foods

Grab a snack beforehand
You've heard this a zillion times before, and it's still true: Shop hungry and you're more likely to succumb to high-calorie foods. If you don't have time for a whole meal, munch on a quick, healthy snack such as a handful of nuts or a small bag of baked chips before you grab your cart and go.

Hit the supermarket once a week
If possible, shop on the same day each week and spare yourself some aggravation by avoiding the busy times: weekday evenings or weekends (by Sunday, the produce is usually not so hot anyway). If you work during the day, go after 9 p.m.; if you have a more flexible schedule, go during the day.

Make a produce pit-stop
Shopping once a week may be too little for fresh produce, so dart into the market mid-week to replenish your supply of fruits and vegetables. In the summer months, save time by stopping off at a roadside stand.

Burn down the aisles
You can be surrounded by food but still burn calories if you spend a little extra time at the supermarket. Here's how:
• Park in the very farthest spot from the door and briskly walk to and from the car.
• Grab a cart and shop. Now you're moving more slowly, which means less calories burned per minute. So put some extra effort into reaching and stretching for goods on the shelves. And remember that every little bit of activity counts.

Take your points calculator with you
• Before you put a single thing into your buggy be sure that you have calculated the points value and feel like it could be easily adjusted into your daily points
• Bring a magic marker and go ahead and mark the pts value on the label. This will save you a lot of time later and prevent you from having to recalculate every time you want to eat it
IF YOU CAN PUT ALL OF THESE TIPS INTO ACTION, THE SUPERMARKET CAN BE A LOT LESS CHALLENGING!

9 comments:

Annie said...

Great tips! My WW meeting got a bit side-tracked this week, so we didn't get to talk about all of this. Thanks for sharing!

Losing Brownies said...

Those are great tips! I love the one about calculating the points and writing it on the box! That is awsome!

Kelly said...

oooooooooohh! Good stuff here!
Thanks for sharing :)

Adrienne said...

I always try to plan ahead and not be hungry either while shopping because not only will I buy wrong foods.. I will over spend on money! yikes. Great post!

Living a Changed Life said...

Annie - That happens to us sometimes too. Happy to share!

Losing Brownies - I have to do that, because it keep me on track.

Kelly - You're welcome!

Adrienne - Thanks!!

Stacy said...

CONGRATS!!! I am seeking to change my eating lifestyle as well. Very hard when you LOVE to cook! I'm so glad to connect with you. You have some wonderful tips!! I will visit often and hope you visit me, too! Blessings, Stacy

Living a Changed Life said...

Stacy - I'm so glad that you are visiting. It is very hard to eat right when I love to EAT. Oh well I had learn a lot the last few years and am excited to share it with others.

Jen said...

I used to do meal planning and I tell ya, I spent less money as well because I knew exactly what I needed. Sadly that has fallen off it's band wagon and I really need to start doing it again.

Living a Changed Life said...

Jen - I used to be much better at meal planning as well. I really need to get back into that.

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