How to Avoid Making Unhealthy Choices at The Grocery Store

How to avoid making unhealthy choices at the grocery store #grocerystore #producesection #produce #freshproduce #healthyeating #eatinghealthy #fitness #fiteating #cleaneating #groceryshopping
You’ve been there – intent on going into the grocery store to pick up a few health-conscious items only to get swayed by the music, the smells and the rows of rows of food (good and bad) on the shelves.

Before you know it you are leaving having overspent and with food products you know good and well you have no business with.

You are not alone, I’ve been there and it feels like a set up every time I go in there.  From the people who offer you free “samples” of food to the cool packaging to make something unhealthy sound healthy it can get overwhelming.

If you aren’t careful you may also come out of there with more calories than when you went in from eating in there.

Here are some basic tips I try to follow (I have to admit I am not always successful) to avoid the bad stuff and come out with the good stuff for me and my family.  So here goes.

They want you to buy more

Go in understanding they do things to make you buy more.  It’s true.  

From the lighting, to product placement, people offering you food samples, etc.  It’s a grocery store and they typically make small margins so they have to get you in there spending spending spending.  

Once you understand that you can equip yourself properly.

Don’t go in hungry

Eat and drink before you go shopping.  Even if you plan to run in and out, don’t go in hungry or thirsty.  

Once you do, and go past the bakery with their fresh baked bread or past the deli with cooked chicken wings, you will be done for.  

If you are satiated then you can focus on getting what you came in there to get because your hunger trigger isn’t being pulled which can be extremely persuasive to not only get you to buy more than you intended but possibly get you to consume unhealthy yet fast and convenient food which takes you off of your healthy nutrition plan.

Make a list

Write up a grocery list.  It helps to keep you on task and focused.  

I write my list in the order of the aisles so I can pick up everything I need in one fell swoops vs. traversing back and forth the “bad” aisles looking for food items and then happening to walk down the cookie aisle or something like.  

Be on a mission to get nutritious food for your family and you.  A list ensures you are prepared.  

And don’t be like me, make sure you check your pantry and fridge and double check that grocery list so you are not overbuying.

Read food labels
reading food labels

Read food labels.  Don’t get trapped by words like healthy, organic, low fat or all-natural.

These words on labels are there to entice you into thinking you are purchasing something good for you when in fact it is disguised unhealthy food with fancy pretty labels.  The most important label is the one on the back of the package.

It shows the ingredients and nutrition list which illustrates how much sugar, salt and transfat is contains in a single serving.

And while I’m on it, make sure you understand what a single serving is so you are not eating more calories than you think.

Forget the coupons

Coupons are trash.  I know I know they help you save money but many times you have to overspend just to get something “FREE” or for a discounted price.  

Yet you spent an arm and a leg just to get it.  It doesn’t add up or makes sense.  

So stick to your plan, only buy what you can consume and if it is fresh and healthy – you can’t buy too much because it won’t last too long.

Video

And there you have it.  Try these tips and I am certain it will help you avoid unhealthy choices while at the grocery store.

What tips do you use to make healthy choices at the grocery store.

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29 Replies to "How to Avoid Making Unhealthy Choices at The Grocery Store"

  • comment-avatar
    Deborah
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (8:22 am)

    #2 for sure. I never go to the store hungry!
    Deborah recently posted…Friday Five-Favorite Race MemoriesMy Profile

    • comment-avatar
      Diatta
      Twitter:
      August 8, 2014 (8:54 am)

      I sometimes do and must do better.

  • comment-avatar
    Pamela Hernandez
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (8:48 am)

    I always shop with a list. Also, if I have a hot green Zen tea from Starbucks in my hands it makes it harder to sample things. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Jennifer
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (10:30 am)

    I make sure never to go in hungry, because that’s when I buy ALL the wrong food! And I’ve gotten way better at making lists and sticking to a set budget, as well as shopping the perimeter of the store.

    Great post!
    Jennifer recently posted…Happy Snacking with Door to Door OrganicsMy Profile

    • comment-avatar
      Diatta
      Twitter:
      August 8, 2014 (10:40 am)

      Thanks Jennifer. I find if I remain disciplined with these tips I have much better success.

  • comment-avatar
    Ali
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (11:56 am)

    It amazes me, but I hardly ever see anyone but me carrying a list around the grocery store. How in the heck do you know what you need to buy if you don’t plan it out?! I scour the ads mid week, make a general plan for meals, make my list and hit the stores. This saves me a lot of undue temptation that wandering around aimlessly would like cause.
    Ali recently posted…Friday Finds 8-8-14My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Erin
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (12:11 pm)

    SO important to not go hungry! That’s the best way for me to actually stick to my list!
    Erin recently posted…Friday Five 27My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Jeanine
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (1:00 pm)

    Great tips! My biggest mistake is always shopping for groceries while hungry!

  • comment-avatar
    GiGi Eats
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2014 (10:53 pm)

    It was funny, I went to the grocery store with a friend the other day, and he said: There is nothing worse than going to the grocery store after lunch, nothing looks good…. Obviously he isn’t shopping for his health 😉
    GiGi Eats recently posted…What The Fudge?My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Sonya August 9, 2014 (5:18 pm)

    These are great tips! I usually follow all of them, but there are times that I have a lot of errands to run and I end up being hungry when I make it to the grocery store. I always end up overspending and buying something bad to snack on when I’m hungry at the grocery store.

  • comment-avatar
    Heather (
    Twitter:
    August 9, 2014 (11:24 pm)

    I love your healthy tips!
    Heather ( recently posted…Easy Morning Routine for the Night Owl Homeschool MomMy Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Brittany August 10, 2014 (12:26 am)

    Making a list and eating before I go is KEY for me!! I don’t buy a lot of the things that are unhealthy anyway because most of them have dairy in them, but for the few items that don’t I make sure to come prepared. MOST of the time! 😉

    Great post, and loved your video!

  • comment-avatar
    Debi
    Twitter:
    August 10, 2014 (11:38 am)

    I try to only get what is on my list and I try to not wander around the store, because I get sucked into.
    Debi recently posted…What You Should Know About School LunchMy Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Jessica August 10, 2014 (11:44 am)

    I never go shopping while hungry…it never ends up well.
    Jessica recently posted…Bruschetta Noodles :grain free:My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Courtney
    Twitter:
    August 12, 2014 (3:44 pm)

    great tips! planning ahead can be so important when grocery shopping!
    Courtney recently posted…Blogger Tip Tuesday: Using Pinterest to Grow Your BlogMy Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Pamela Hernandez
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2014 (7:38 am)

    Shop in healthy places! Shopping at the farmers market makes it easier to buy the good stuff!

  • comment-avatar
    Aimee
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2014 (10:55 am)

    Great tips! Going to share these with my accountability group!
    Aimee recently posted…The One Thing I Learned in 2014My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    MCM Mama
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2014 (4:31 pm)

    I almost always go to the store hungry, but I do it so often, I’ve kind of adapted to it. My grocery cart is usually pretty healthy, except for the beer. I”m a sucker for trying a new beer.
    MCM Mama recently posted…2014: My year in racing {link-up}My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Sandra Laflamme
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2014 (10:22 pm)

    I always try to stick to the aisles on the outer edge of the store which keeps you away from most processed food. Never go grocery shopping directly after a workout. I am always too ravenous then and make poor choices to feed my hunger 🙂
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…My Year of Running 2014My Profile

  • comment-avatar
    Janice- The Fitness Cheerleader
    Twitter:
    December 18, 2014 (10:26 pm)

    I usually shop the perimeter first, then go down a few aisles to get things off of my list. Impulse buys aourn the perimeter are ok: meat, veggies, fruit & dairy, while the aisles are full of…..
    Janice- The Fitness Cheerleader recently posted…Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

  • comment-avatar
    jill conyers
    Twitter:
    December 19, 2014 (5:41 am)

    I think it’s so interesting how grocery stores use product placement specifically for the purpose of making you buy more. Going grocery shopping hungry is never a good idea. Everything looks good!
    jill conyers recently posted…Morning Rituals and Lorna Jane GiveawayMy Profile

    • comment-avatar
      Diatta
      Twitter:
      December 19, 2014 (11:08 am)

      Exacrly Jill. They trap you down to the lighting and music to make uou buy more.

  • comment-avatar
    GiGi Eats
    Twitter:
    December 23, 2014 (12:25 am)

    I have to say, and this might sound nuts, but I don’t ever buy or even look at unhealthy options. I B-LINE for the fish and the butternut and spaghetti squash… And the spinach, and then I am outta there. I don’t get tempted. I don’t care for crappy food. I want to feel my best, and feeling the best = eating the best!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Taylor Swift Baked Us CookiesMy Profile

    • comment-avatar
      Diatta
      Twitter:
      December 23, 2014 (4:38 am)

      That is great Gigi. Some of the crap is so tempting to many of is.

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