Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stick To Your List: You Can Resist!

Surely you've heard the advice, "Don't go to the grocery store hungry!". It's good advice. When you are walking around all the aisles of food it's too easy to grab something you feel you want at the moment, and regret leaving the store with it (or eating it while you finish up your shopping)! Here are five more strategies to be sure you exit the store with what you know you wanted, and don't end up at home with bags full of junk foods that were calling your name and blurring your determination to eat healthier:

1. Shop with a list. The reason for this is twofold: You make a list of what you need before you leave the house so you don't forget anything, and you do not buy anything that is not on the list. Strolling through the aisles wondering, "what else might I want later" is a certain way to end up with unwanted high calorie foods in your pantry, calling your name late at night. Remember, if it's not on your list, don't buy it!

2. Resist impulse buys. The stores know how to market. They'll put displays out where you'll see them even if you didn't want to--a display of cookies on the end of the paper products aisle; a collection of salty snacks by the fruit section... yes, they know you might try to avoid the snack aisle, but they'll get those tempting treats in front of you somehow. You can resist. Check your list.

3. Realize the attractive and yummy foods will be at eye level. Check out the arrangement of the foods next time you shop--the more tasty foods will be place just at your eye level. Just as the foods tempting for kids will be at their eye level (Dora fruit snacks and Sponge Bob cookies are just about at the height of your knees!). Know that the job of the supermarket is to sell food, and they know if you see it there's a great chance you'll buy it. See number one.

4. Beware the check-out displays. Here is an especially dangerous place! You've made it through the store, pushing by the displays that called to you, sticking to your list, resisting impulse buys and tempting treats and have even saved some money this time. Now you're stuck. Stuck in the line while the people in front of you take their time, deciding on their method of payment, chatting with the cashier, demanding a price check, or waffling between "paper or plastic". And what is there to do while you wait? Either look at gossip mags or eye the candy bars. Candy and mints and chocolates and all things tempting. It's easy to fail now because you can't keep walking, and this standing and waiting is stressful. But this is your final challenge--you can do it! Do not give in and buy a candy bar--see number one.

5. You don't have to buy ten to get them for one dollar apiece. Now you will find out as your cashier rings you up, you do not have to buy all ten to get the "ten for $10 deal" or three to get "3 for $4". Almost 100% of the time, this is a way for the store to get you to buy more, but you do not actually need to get more than one to get the sale price. A product may just be on sale for a dollar, and the sign will say "five for $5" so you instinctively buy five. No need! Just take as many as are on your list (ask a manager if you like) and be sure to check when they are ringing up at the check-out line... if the sale price does not come up, you can ask. But I don't remember a time in the past five years that the sale price didn't show the same for one item as it was advertised for buying larger quantities.

Now relax as you unpack your groceries at home knowing you have made the healthy choices you planned and have a kitchen stocked with foods to keep you on target with your weight loss plans!

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