Grocery Store Strategies
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme, Put Your Best Fork Forward, is an opportunity to improve your eating habits by improving your overall habits. Have you ever noticed that when there is an abundance of choices it is harder to make a good one? That’s because we have less stress about decision making when there are fewer choices to make.
When you visit your local grocery store, you see the phenomenon of too much choice in action. There is one entire aisle devoted entirely to breakfast cereal! If you want to eat cleaner and healthier, one way to do so is to strategically navigate the grocery store.
Plan ahead. Make a list of the items you want to purchase and only visit the aisles that have the items you need. You’ll be less likely to end up with cookies in your cart if you don’t visit the cookie aisle, and you’ll save money.
Shop the perimeter. All of the fresh food items are stocked on the perimeter of the store – dairy, produce, meat. By shopping the perimeter, you are more likely to purchase items that are fresh, whole foods and less likely to come home with processed foods.
Don’t shop hungry. It makes sense that you won’t make the best food choices when you’re hungry, right? Researchers found that people who hadn’t eaten all afternoon chose more high-calorie foods than those who had a snack just before shopping. Shoppers bought a higher ratio of high-calorie foods to low-calorie ones in the late afternoon before dinner.
Sometimes having the greatest success means overcoming challenges to our success. By shopping smart, you increase the likelihood of making better food choices and that small shift in your habit can improve your well-being.