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:
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
• 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!