Because without a single doubt both weight gain and weight loss start at the supermarket. Forget the baby steps. Get your shopping right and you will already be taking a giant leap towards your goal. This cannot be stressed enough. I struggled with my weight for years (still have my moments!!), did the big-weight-loss-company thing, even became a leader for one of them! I started to delve deeper into the whys and wherefores of losing weight so I could pass on something a little more modern and a little less ‘standardised’ to my class members – and only THEN did the lightbulbs start burning! I resigned as leader (the last straw was when the weekly magazine advertised a fried white bread jam sandwich as a suitable snack!!! Yes! Really!), I made some informed changes and I reached the goal weight I’d been chasing for years! Go figure!
This is not the place for the science. That’s a whole other blog. I am simply here to help and I think I can make your weight loss journey a little easier if you keep the following tips in mind the next time you’re browsing around the supermarket aisles (Tip 1: Never ‘browse’ in a supermarket).
Warning: If you’re serious about your weight loss you won’t mind me being VERY blunt in places, will you?
Here we go, then:
• If you can afford the charge to have your shopping delivered you will already be avoiding countless supermarket tricks to lure you in and buy lots of food you might ‘think’ you need – but you don’t! Make a list and shop online.
• The key to successful shopping is to have meals planned and to WRITE THAT LIST! After that, all you need to do is put blinkers on and STICK TO YOUR LIST! Nothing more, nothing less.
• Never shop when you’re hungry – or when you’re craving ‘treats’ – and try to avoid your main shop when you’re stressed, sad or grumpy. Mood is crucial to shopping success.
• The more fresh food that’s in your trolley the better your shop. If tins and packets outnumber the proteins, fruit and veg, it’s time to reassess your meal plan.
• More vegetables than fruit (with the exception of berries – feel free to indulge). It’s easy to fall into the trap that you can eat loads of fruit because it’s healthy. Yes, it’s healthier than other options, but in terms of weight loss it is still full of sugar. Less processed, perhaps, but sugar is sugar is sugar.
• Put the blinkers on when you see the 2-for-1 offers and/or BOGOFs. If budget comes before health, we’ve got a problem! Remember that the supermarket offers are not there to help you. Really! They’re not! They’re there to help the supermarket! Do NOT be a victim! There are exceptions (naturally) – but beware. If it’s fresh food and you’re sure you’re going to be able to eat it, fine. If it’s a ‘treat’, do you really want two of them in the house? How is that going to help you? And before you put them in the trolley, do the maths. Calculators at the ready (if your mental maths abilities aren’t up to scratch). You might find that buying two of those products separately actually costs less than the ‘offer’. Sad, but true.
• When you’re moving down the aisles, remember to look up and look down! The products that are easiest to reach are the ones they want you to buy – and are often the least desirable in terms of weight loss. Shop from top and bottom shelves.
• Avoid branded weight loss products and anything that says FAT FREE. There’s a reason these companies are all still in business!!! This is quite possibly the most significant change you could make to your shopping – and the most beneficial in terms of your weight loss. Branded weight loss products are frequently more expensive than other similar products – and are often loaded with hidden ingredients (‘fat’ is what gives these products flavour and has to be replaced with something to make them palatable). Since these products are lacking in vital ingredients that serve a real purpose in our diets, you will also find you eat more of them because they are not nutritionally balanced and don’t fill you up. Time to challenge the brain-washing and start eating food that hasn’t been tampered with!
• Don’t be fooled by seemingly healthy options like ‘Reduced sugar’ or ‘No added sugar’! Reduced from what? 6 teaspoons instead of 7? Is that what you consider healthier? And pause a moment to think what ‘no added sugar’ really means. Not added to what? The original version of this product? The one that already has 7 teaspoons in? Ah! No need to ‘add’ any, then.
That’s all for today. More tomorrow. In all honesty, I hope you’ve read this and have been able to say ‘I do all that already!’ Perfect. You’ve got this shopping-thing sorted and given yourself the greatest chance of success. Weight loss is not just about following rules. It’s about learning – all the time. If there’s anything here that’s new to you then that’s brilliant news, too. I hope it helps. Look out for Part II. Till then, stay focussed, shop smart and keep questioning!