Shop the Borders
No, you aren’t shopping for some new illegal immigrants. What I mean is, take a look at your local grocery store the next time you are in there. Where is most of the healthy/fresh food located? Almost exclusively around the borders of the store. Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fresh meats and seafood, eggs and egg whites; you get the idea.
The lay out of the store has the healthy stuff on the outside (not to say you can’t find unhealthy stuff on the border, i.e. 20% fat ground beef anyone?) and the fat, simple carbs, and sugar on the inside. Keep yourself on the border for the majority of your time spent in the store, and you’ll be less likely to walk out with those impulse purchases of high-fat, high-sugar snacks.
A great strategy to follow; make a lap around the outside of the store first. Studies show that a person is more inclined to purchase things not on their grocery list within the first 10 minutes of entering a grocery store. With this in mind, keep yourself in the area where impulse purchases are likely to be healthy purchases. After completing your lap, then go into the middle aisles to grab what you need.
Be aware that the middle aisles are largely filled with junk as you make your rounds. In this area of the store in particular, always be sure to check nutrition labels. There should be certain areas of the store that you should skip impulsively. Avoid the frozen food aisles. Unless you know you absolutely need something from this section, there’s no reason to browse. High-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar, and yet, somehow tasteless options can be found here. Who really wants a part of that?
You may also want to avoid the cereal aisle. Cereals are effective in luring you in with their colorful boxes and advertising. I must admit, my Achilles heel is a giant bowl of Cookie Crisp cereal right before bed. But, if I don’t have it in the house, I don’t consume 40+ grams of sugar and even more simple carbs right before I lay down for the night. Now, I’m not saying NEVER go down the cereal aisle. Just be aware of how often you find yourself browsing this aisle and purchasing something you know you really don’t need.
It comes down to the simple idea of, don’t put yourself in situations where you might slip up, and you’ll slip up less. Be aware of the lay out of your grocery store and do your best to keep yourself in those safer border regions.