Who hasn’t devoured a bag of chips or nuts while ‘ducking into the shops to grab some dinner’? In fact, it’s an all too common phenomenon. Working 9 to 5:30pm, realising you haven’t eaten all day, bee-lining it to the supermarket to grab some veg and meat for dinner and walking out … jean-popping full. Somewhere between aisle 1 the ‘12 Items or Less’ checkout you’ve managed to devour a combination of foods that can’t be found on any level of the Government’s Healthy Food Pyramid.
This, my friend, is one of the healthy shopping food rules just broken! Here, the 3 healthy shopping rules you should live by to make smarter and money-smart choices
1\ Plan your meals
If you’re an impromptu (read: non-planner!) relax. We’re not suggesting you change your entire personality type and schedule brekkie, lunch and dinner for the week. Although, if ‘planning and organising’ are second nature to you – you should do this!
OK, back to the non-planners… start small. Just think of Monday to Wednesday, or even just two days ahead if it helps, and write down your meals. By being clear about what’s on your up-and-coming menu you will be able to write a list that ensures you only by the ingredients required for your breakfast, lunch and dinner – saving on food wastage and money. The pro two planning two or three days in advance also means that your food will be fresher, as you can top up with fresh veg on day 3. Alternatively, if you do plan weekly shops, you’ll save precious time on supermarket-runs. Just make sure you eat the fast-wilting veg such as salads at the start of the week and your hard-wearing foods like potatoes and carrots later.
If you can pre-make freezable side dishes to accompany your veg or salad, do it! Lasagne, mince, quiche, bakes and casserole are great freezable or long-lasting dishes.
Also, remember that while fresh is best, many frozen vegetables such as peas, carrots, corn, beans etc are frozen almost immediately after being picked, retaining their nutrients. So don’t be afraid to eat them!
2\ Shop the perimeter
Supermarket layouts generally have a predictable layout – which we can use to our healthy advantage! Basically the perimeters are broken up into fruit and vegetables, delicatessen and fridge and frozen sections (and checkouts at the front of the store.) Shop the perimeter! Load your trolley with the five food groups your body needs to perform at its optimum, as recommended by The Australian Dietary Guidelines. This includes vegetables and legumes, fruit, grains (cereal), lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives. All the aisles in-between are generally where you’ll find the processed or non-perishable foods.
3\ Shop with a full tummy
And back to our first point… if you are hungry, you are much more inclined to make impulsive food choices to fill the void quickly. The problem is, of course, these food choices are more often bad food choices. Devouring a bag of macadamias, chips, chocolate, salami or pother processed meats. And this sabotages all our attempts at living healthier – the exercise we may have done that morning, the healthy dinners we planned for the week, the resistance to eat sugary foods throughout the day … all undone in 15 minutes!
Try and plan your supermarket shopping to commence after eating a meal, or if you do need to shop on a hungry stomach, make a healthier fast-food decision, such as a banana, apple or high-fibre low GI bread.
If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight, speak to your doctor who can perform a health assessment and develop a healthy weight loss plan that suits your lifestyle and needs. Or visit https://cansciencetaketheweightoff.com/ for more interesting facts about weight loss.