Controlling Your Shopping Cart


As the holiday season comes to a close, new resolutions come into play, and suddenly everyone is aiming for weight loss and healthy eating. Maybe these are even the same resolutions from previous years. How can you make them stick this time around? To control what you eat, you need to control your shopping cart.

Eat Before You Shop

You may have heard this one before. Never underestimate the power of an empty stomach. Hunger changes your perception and erodes your willpower faster than you would believe. If you go shopping with a growling stomach, you will almost invariably come home with foods you had no intention of buying. Even eating a protein-rich snack before hitting the grocery store can make a huge difference in your shopping habits. Eating a meal before shopping is best, but schedules don’t always allow for that. Regardless, never go shopping on an empty stomach.

Keep to the Edges

Believe it or not, your course through the grocery affects your shopping habits. If you’re looking for the essentials, like bread, milk, and produce, simply dodge tempting chips, cookies, and other hazards by keeping to the outer edge of the store. This allows you to make a loop around the regular aisles, where many of the greatest risks lurk. However, most groceries place their bakeries along the outer part of the store. It’s the only serious risk. It’s easier to face down a single temptation rather than being ambushed by prepackaged chips, cookies, cake mixes, sugar cereals, and other unhealthy options at every turn. If you must go down an aisle, get what you need and then backtrack to the outer loop again. The outer loop takes you wherever you need to go, and you’re less likely to fall for the candy and junk food in the aisles.

Keep Your Cart Colorful

Make sure your cart features many bright, varying colors. This does not, by the way, apply to packing, only to the food itself. The easiest way to add color to your cart is to add a variety of fresh produce, which is the healthiest option in any grocery store. By actively seeking color, you can slowly train yourself to seek out orange carrots, red apples, purple beets, green lettuce, and other healthy eating choices. Bread, chips, and even cookies are nowhere near as colorful as the natural bounty of the produce section.

Buy Short Term

Weight loss requires more than just cutting out fat and sugar. You also need to cut out salt. Sodium traps water in your body, adding to your weight and detracting from heart health. A simple way to cut out sodium is to buy fresh foods. These will not keep as well as processed foods, so it’s better to think short term when you hit the store. What do you need this week? Aim for foods that won’t last forever in the fridge or pantry. Healthy foods typically have short shelf lives.

By controlling your shopping cart, you govern what food makes it into your home. When the urge to snack hits, the contents of your pantry and fridge will determine what you eat. Weight loss depends on choices made in advance. Managing your shopping cart is the ultimate way to curb your eating habits.