Usually when someone decides to make a fitness goal, their first thoughts are what needs to happen at the gym and what cannot happen in their kitchen. I have found through my personal experience that the biggest changes I needed to make were in the grocery store. This is understandable, considering that is where it all starts.
In order to best keep track of what goes into my mouth, I need to first watch what I let into my shopping basket.
While I am not quite there to completing my goal, the progress that I feel and see leads me to believe that the changes listed below have been effective in helping me achieve results.
- Plan for portioned packed lunches. Tupperware helps to keep me in-check during lunchtime. It protects my food and does not allow me to cheat. If you get a set, it also encourages variety. When I go to the grocery store, I buy with the Tupperware in mind. What I mean by that is I buy little bits of everything: foods that I can take small handfuls of like fruits, berries, nuts, smaller-sized veggies like carrots and celery.
- Go grocery shopping more often and set a spending cap. I keep each visit under $30.00. I buy only what I need and I plan for two, maybe three days every time I go. This results in better planned meals. I am not throwing away spoiled goods. I have more control over adjusting my eating patterns. My food is fresher. Last but not least, I save money.
- Use a handbasket when food shopping. When I use a handbasket, I am acutely aware of each and every single thing that goes into the basket because I’m the one carrying it all the way to the register. Also, a handbasket physically limits the amount of food that I can buy at one time.
- Establish no-go aisles. I have mine and they are the cookie, chips, ice cream, and pizza aisles. I know what I like and I know what I need to avoid. People should not punish themselves by walking slowly down that one aisle and gazing longingly at that bag of chips. The produce section and the poultry display are your friends. The dairy section is still a necessary aisle, but as a cheese-lover I personally have to walk a tight rope. I tell myself, “Keep your eyes fixed on the greek yogurt and almond milk, and get out before you see cookie dough.” There are going to be those aisles too, but I try to make it easy on myself by setting boundaries.
- Go to the grocery store for late night snacks. I go to the gym late at night. Sometimes I will be getting out as late as 9:30 or even 10:00. By that point I am exhausted and I don’t want to cook. I wouldn’t have time to if I wanted to fit in a shower and get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. While my former instinct would be to grab something quick via drive-thru, I instead hit up the 24-hour Kroger. I go in, grab a banana and a coconut water (or whatever else that is light), and get out. I don’t store my snacks anymore. I get them as I need them.
I’m not a health guru by any means, but these five tips have been a great help. Please comment below if you have any other tips!