Avoiding Grocery Store Temptation
The right tools can ensure a trip to the market doesn't derail your weight-loss efforts.
You’re at the supermarket and starving. How do you avoid temptation in the aisles? All it takes is a few minutes of advance planning. Here's how to get in and out of the supermarket faster and with the right stuff in your grocery bags.
Take some time to plan menus for the upcoming week. Create seven lunch and dinner menus (fewer than that if you eat some meals out). Keep in mind the week's events: 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.
As part of your preparation, if you’re a Weight Watchers subscriber and you have a smart phone, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the new, free Weight Watchers Mobile tool. You’ll be able to use it when you’re in the store to check the PointsPlus® values of the foods you’re perusing. You might want to make sure you’ve updated your Favorites too; they can act as an evergreen shopping list to make sure you always have your go-to foods to hand.
Create a real grocery 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 foolproof shopping list comes right out of the seven-day menu plan strategy.
Make your shopping 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
Subscribers can use the Weight Watchers Mobile tool while in the supermarket to look up meals in the Plan Manager from the previous week to make sure favorite healthy foods end up in the cart. The mobile tool also allows you to calculate PointsPlus values of new foods from the nutrition facts label and look up recipes so you can buy all of the ingredients you need.
Grab a snack beforehand
You've heard this countless 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 midweek to replenish your supply of fruits and vegetables. In the summer months, save time by stopping off at a roadside stand.
If you hate spending time in the grocery store, find one that will do it for you. You can shop on the Web, or by simply calling or faxing your order in to a local market; pick it up or have them deliver.
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
- Before you pick up a cart, walk up every single aisle in the supermarket as quickly as possible; you may even spot some bargains
- Grab a cart and shop
Now you're moving more slowly, which means fewer calories burned per minute. So put some extra effort into reaching and stretching for goods on the shelves. Remember that every little bit of activity counts. If you’re a Weight Watchers Mobile user, you can track your activity while you’re standing in line for the checkout (while doing calf raises).
Sticking to your weight-loss plan can be a lot easier with these strategies in mind. And with Weight Watchers, no supermarket aisle is truly off-limits. You can learn to balance better choices with whatever you desire, and never feel deprived.