The food you buy when you go shopping will ultimately make up the majority of the food you eat for the week. This may sound like common sense but being a healthy weight really can be that simple.
Often people will justify certain purchases that they know are not healthy options: “it’s for the kids/grandchildren”, “I will only eat a small amount of it”, “they were on special”, “it was cheaper to buy in bulk”, “I got it as a treat for my husband”, “I just got it to keep in the cupboard”. The simple fact is if you buy it – you will eat or drink it, it’s only a matter of time.
The weekly shop is the absolute key to setting yourself up for a successful week. Only buy what is healthy to eat. Stick to the basics: fill your trolley with lots of fruit and vegetables, good quality carbohydrates and lean protein. Before you proceed to the checkout take a moment to scan the contents of your trolley for high calorie foods: oils, spreads, dips, biscuits, crisps, cheeses, alcohol, nuts, chocolate etc and minimise it. You will find it much easier to minimise the damage now than when you are at home tired, hungry and stressed. If you are going to buy higher calorie food then buy it in small portion sizes and don’t be fooled into buying more of something that you don’t need because there is a discount. One dollar extra for twice as much of something you do not need is one dollar wasted. If you are buying food for others in the household then look for the healthy option for their sake or alternatively choose a flavour you do not like or buy only enough for them.
If convenience food appeals to you because time is scarce then look for foods that are already prepared for cooking. For example: diced meats, trim cuts of meat, frozen vegetables, frozen and bagged for steamed vegetables, portioned packs of porridge, express rice, canned diced vegetables, potato wedges etc.
Prepare before going shopping by taking a list with you and stick to the list avoiding impulse purchases. By shopping after a meal you will be ready to turn down any and all danger foods. Shopping on an empty stomach is a recipe for an exaggerated food bill and calorie dense foods. Stick to the outside aisles and pick up the essentials: bread, meats, milk, yoghurt, fruit and vegetables, then choose the aisles you need to go to ignoring the tunnels of temptation!
If supermarket shopping is proving challenging then try an alternative. Pick your products up from specialty stores like the butcher, fruit and vegetable shop or farmers markets. If you have a regular shopping list and are short of time then try Internet shopping. You will have delivered to your door exactly what you need each week and nothing more. Try: www.foodbox.co.nz or www.fruitguys.co.nz or www.countdown.co.nz or for those with deep pockets but lean clocks www.myfoodbag.co.nz