Lets face it, food is amazing and most of us have our favorites we go for when we are craving a bite to eat. Two habits I find that I have had difficulty breaking, that many of you may have also experienced is shopping on an empty stomach & not being properly prepared with a list. Many of times when I was shopping on an empty stomach, it meant I was willingly throwing things in the cart I didn’t even need because it looked good at the time, and when I didn’t have a list to get me back on track, that is when I went haywire and just made excuses for buying things that I normally wouldn’t put into the cart.
It is easy to go to the store and want to try all the new products, follow cravings instead of purpose and for those of you who have a family to shop for, it easy to put them first when shopping and not think about what you need. Then there are some of us who stay on a strict budget and so splurging is our way of rewarding ourselves when we have extra funds to do so, or perhaps we stay on this strict budget and can’t afford to buy foods that people would consider “healthier” options. Trust me when I say, I have been there multiple times when it comes to finances and having to be strict with my funds — it does delay some choices and it does make shopping more difficult sometimes — not to mention it adds unnecessary amounts of stress to make sure we stick to it so we can afford other bills, etc.
When people ask me what I buy at the grocery store, my answer: I shop with a purpose in mind & I shop knowing what I need and what I want (I keep a good balance of needs vs wants, so that my wants don’t outweigh my needs) I don’t neglect my wants but I do make choices that make it necessary for me to have my needs. I.e for example, there have been times I had a craving for something sweet — but I needed to buy some vegetables, well technically I can get both, I can find something sweet that I enjoy and get my veggies BUT what I notice some people will do is get more sweets than veggies, leaving their cart full of junk food and less nutrient based (5 different packs of cookies, but one head of lettuce) — well yes, you managed to get both… however, you are only going to be satisfied for a short period of time from eating the cookies; whereas you can use the lettuce for a meal that will be more filling.
I am a firm believer that moderation is key, I don’t like for people to go on these strict diets that prohibit them from eating foods that they enjoy… I am so against the diet culture as a whole because really it has caused more issues than helped and it causes people to be paranoid about food, causes people to form eating disorders they didn’t have, it pressures people to follow eating habits that are risky, it scares people into thinking that food is bad, it creates fads that are short term gains, it dictates people’s lives and it only creates myths that people believe in because they don’t know any better or have no educational background in the field of nutrition or have been fed ideals of what it means to be ‘fit & healthy’ — if you don’t remember anything else from this post, know I am a huge advocate for food is fuel & what you eat is your business BUT there are ways to better your eating habits to get the results you want for yourself without having to cut everything out and starve yourself. As a personal trainer, this is one of the many things I explain to clients, because I want people to eat foods that fuel their body and mind but also foods they like (whether it be alternatives to their food choices/recipes, or how much they eat or drink something) — again moderation is everything!
A Few pointers when grocery shopping:
- bring a list
- eat beforehand
- think about meals you want to have during the week
- cravings aren’t bad, don’t be afraid to buy something off the beaten path but keep in mind how much of it you are buying and how much of it you need
- grocery shop with a purpose —
- intend to buy more needs than wants
- when grocery shopping for the family, don’t forget to add things to the cart for yourself too.
- You don’t have to buy organic in order to eat healthy
- Buy breakfast ,lunch, dinner — helps to think of groceries in this aspect unless you are someone who eats more or less meals a day
- stay away from aisles that aren’t on your list
Hopefully this post has been helpful. Leave comments letting me know how you do your grocery shopping without falling victim to cravings!!!
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