Mission Thin Possible is a program coaching the adoption of permanent life change slowly, one small step at a time. This applies to our food shopping as much as anything else. We need to replace bad shopping habits with good shopping habits. If you never have your poor choice snacks and other high calorie foods in your home, you are more likely to eat a healthier option.
During our MTP journey so far, we have covered reducing sugar, reducing high fat content items, choosing more vegetables, adjusting our portion sizes to aid our goal of permanent weight loss. We will not succeed, unless we adopt our improved diet into our weekly food shopping. We must turn them into our shopping habits and keep them and not fall backwards.
Shopping for many of us is an enjoyable activity as well as a necessary household task. We have to acknowledge though that when we are shopping for food, we are in a “high risk area”.
The pleasant taste of our favorite foods, salty, sweet, savory, the smells of the fresh bakery and special offers plastered visibly along each aisle can result in powerful desires being pulled up from within our memory banks. These feelings are in many cases responsible for us making poor impulse decisions to BUY, and purchase even those items that we have previously condemned as the worst of our “bad habits”
This is exactly the objective of the supermarket product advertising, the design and layout of the supermarket, and the placement of products on the shelves. It is a carefully orchestrated set up, operating in concert to make you buy more of what you don’t really need. We must try and resist the temptations and stick to our prepared shopping lists.
Most people buy most of the same products week in, week out, and their list becomes a habit we can memorize. But if we don’t use a list we tend to browse and that is to enter the temptation zone.
Look at your list each week and identify the worst items you want to change. Eliminating 1 or two bad actors at a time each week is enough. Use a pre-emptive action strategy and intentionally stop buying the items you need to remove from your pantry at home. Don’t buy food to “stock up”. Never buy the items you know are your usual habit ” comfort” or” binge eating” foods in times of emotional stress.
Plan your shopping lists ahead of time following the zones of your supermarket. For example, fresh produce, dairy, meat, frozen etc. Save touring the dry goods aisles until last so that you will spend as little timer as possible in the “temptation” aisles where your general bad habit foods are likely to be lurking, cookies, cakes, chips, pop, ice cream, pizza, chocolate. Avoid the soda pop and chips aisles altogether if you can.
Make your list in advance based on your reduced calorie meal plan needs for the week. Plan to shop once a week to reduce the amount of temptation you face. Always take your list and a pen to mark it off as you go – or if you are using a smart phone app, make sure your phone is charged.
Have a bottle of water in your purse to quell any hunger pangs or feelings of snacking triggered by being in the supermarket. If you must buy something while waiting to check out, go for the sugar free gum. Reward yourself after a successful shop by calling in for an unsweetened coffee on the way home.
Mission Thin Possible is about changing your habits to live longer, the end goal of us all. Making a few simple changes to your food shopping trips will help you minimize temptation foods that can derail the best intentions.
Remember to wear your pedometer while shopping to add to your step count for the day.
- Make and plan your shopping list.
- Identify two items you will eliminate from your shopping list each week and identify items that are alternatives that you will buy.
- Modify your shopping list each week and stick to it.