Have you ever noticed the fruit and vegetable section of the grocery store is rarely the first thing you see when walking in? Have you ever wondered why there is always candy instead of healthy foods at the check-out stand?
As we approach the grocery store we think of all the things we need and where in the store we can locate them. If you are looking for healthy food, chances are good that you will have to traverse the store to get to it!
Typically, the healthy sections of grocery stores are far away from the convenient center, in locations often in the very back of the store or to the left or right side. If healthy food were easy to access, then unhealthy food such as cookies, ice cream, candy, packaged goods and many other processed foods would not be purchased as much. The “sweets” are usually placed in the middle so that we can’t help but stop and check out all the foods that will keep us from our diet and weight loss goals. Even when waiting in line to pay for groceries, it is easy to be tempted to grab something sweet since it’s convenient.
Here are some easy tips to keep the middle of the store out of your grocery basket!
1) Go straight to the fruit and vegetable section first.
Going to the grocery store can easily make us feel hungry, so if we go to the healthiest place in the store first, we are more likely to purchase healthy foods simply because we’re listening to our hunger – which in turn will lead us to eat healthfully when we get home.
2) Avoid the bakery or sweets area…
unless of course there’s a birthday party or special event to plan for! When we can smell and see all the tempting options, our senses start to take over our minds, and we are more likely to give in to unhealthy items.
3) Always stick to your list.
Whether on a smartphone or on a good old-fashioned piece of paper, a list will help to stay focused on the task at hand. By concentrating only on the food you need, it will be easy to ignore the possible temptations of the colorful and unhealthy packages that could result in an impulse buy.
4) If you’re going to give in, give into dark chocolate!
Dark chocolate has many benefits when taken in moderation. It is known to boost immunity and metabolism and can keep us satisfied when we are craving something sweet. It has also been proven to lower the risk of heart disease.
5) Plan out your dinners for the week if at all possible.
For me personally, I have found this to be a great way to promote healthy eating in my family. When I go to the store, I have my list of all the ingredients I need to make a dinner, whether in the crock pot or on the stove top. With meals planned out, it is easier to stay on track and not suddenly stop for a fast-food dinner because there is nothing to cook at home!
There are many choices when we grocery shop, and at times it can be nothing short of overwhelming. Hopefully some of these tips will help beat the temptations that can keep us all from our health and weight loss goals.
– Megan Lobe, Meritage Medical Network Internal Exercise and Health Blogger
Megan is in the Provider Relations Department at Meritage. She received her undergraduate education at Sonoma State University with a degree in Exercise Science. Megan played college tennis for three years during her 4 years at Sonoma State and has volunteered over 700 hours of her time in convalescent homes and physical therapy clinics in Rohnert Park and Sonoma County. Megan is currently working on her masters in Corrective Exercise and Orthopedic Rehabilitation. She plans to graduate the Spring of 2017 and obtain her board certification in Exercise Physiology.
Meritage Medical Network is a healthcare network representing our local physician members. We provide health care and administer benefits for HMO members in Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. Our expert medical and administrative staff are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the highest quality health care available.