During the holiday months, the grocery store is one particular place where shopping can easily become stressful. The crowds can influence our purchasing decisions, especially when we’re faced with seasonal sweets in every aisle. To help us stick to our healthy eating goals, here are a few tips to implement during future food runs.
Write a list
Take stock of what’s already in your kitchen and pantry before you head out for the grocery store. Consider what food items you’ll need and how long they’ll last. Record your list in an accessible and convenient format, like on your phone or on paper. This preemptive action helps create a game plan so that you can avoid coming home with food that you don’t ultimately need.
Give yourself time
You can’t always plan ahead for grocery shopping trips, but if possible, allow yourself extra time to navigate the crowded aisles and to check out the available types of each item on your list. You may discover healthier versions of your favorite foods by scanning the ingredients and nutrition facts of nearby products. And taking a second to compare the prices per oz of similar items can help you manage your budget and determine whether to buy in bulk or in smaller quantities.
You don’t have to deny yourself every holiday food or drink. A couple of seasonal treats on your grocery list can be rewarding breaks from your normal healthy-eating routine and a fun way to motivate yourself to keep pushing forward. The key is to not let a hectic shopping trip move you towards too many unhealthy items.
A quick review of your basket or cart before the check-out line can help you evaluate if you’re leaving with everything you really need to maintain your health goals.
With a little time and planning, you can have successful grocery shopping trips even during the very busy (but oh-so-fun!) holidays.