As I’m sure you have heard before, exercise is only a tiny part of your journey to a healthier you. What you eat and drink accounts for 80% of your success. So if your huffing and puffing in the gym, sweating through your sessions and pushing your body to the extremes, but still not seeing the results, it might be time to assess your shopping trolley.
Let’s look at few tips for the weekly shop…
- Never shop hungry! We have all been told not to shop on an empty stomach and it’s absolutely true. I’m sure we are all guilty of grabbing that chocolate bar or bag of chips out of the shopping bag and eating it in the car on the way home… When you are hungry you tend to gravitate to higher calorie foods, filling your trolley with unnecessary items simply to satisfy your current hunger. Ensure you eat before you start your shop and this includes the kids. Luckily at our local Woolworths supermarket, kids get free fruit, so that always keep my little guy occupied.
- Plan your weekly meals and snacks before heading to the shops. This means everything! What will you snack on at 3pm on Tuesday, what’s for breakfast on Sunday morning, is there enough chuck steak for that slow cooker on Thursday night. By planning your meals you ensure you don’t run out of anything and reach for the dreaded takeaway menus. Planning also saves money, it means less food waste because all meals are planned and specifically shopped for and no unnecessary items are purchased. If its not on your shopping list, meeting your nutrition goals, don’t buy it!
- Try to avoid the inner isles of the supermarket. The ones filled with packaged biscuits, cereals, soft drinks, chips, lollies and chocolate. Anything in those isles your body does not need, hence why they have been manufactured in a factory and put into boxes, not provided naturally. If you do venture down the isles, make sure you read the ingredients on the side of the pack (I will do a blog post on understanding the ingredients list a bit later so stay tuned). Pay particular attention to serving sizes when compared to intake, as the intended serving sizes are generally tiny and unrealistic. For example, I noticed the serving size on a pack of jelly snakes was 2 snakes… Now I don’t know about you but when I open a packet of snakes its not to just eat 2!
- If you have a local market, butcher or produce shop, support it and do the majority of your shopping there. Generally there shelves are stocked with fresh, seasonal and local produce, that hasn’t been shipped in from overseas. Also your local butcher will know exactly where the meat is from and ensure that is has been ethically sourced. All of these things are important when we talk about nutrition, because you only want to put the freshest, hormone free and ethically raised produce into your body.
- Your shopping trolley should be full of colour. If you look down and you have a bland looking trolley full of cardboard and plastic, you are doing something wrong. It should look fresh, colourful and inviting, full of fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy.
5. Steer clear of the drinks isle and that includes alcohol, energy drinks, juices, soft drinks, cordial and flavoured milk drinks. These drinks are filled with added sugars and calories and can easily add up to almost half of the added sugar in your diet. Again, make sure you read the label carefully before purchasing, as even the healthy looking ice teas can be packed full of sugar.
Before I shop I always do a check of what I already have in the pantry, fridge and freezer. What fruit do I need for Odin’s (my son) snacks for the week, what will I bake as a treat, do I have a mixture of proteins for dinner. Then I look at what fruit and veg I have left from the last shop and try to use it begore it goes off. So I might plan to make a big vegetable soup to use up those vegies, or bake some banana bread with the sad unwanted brown bananas left in the bowl.
So before your next shop:
-look at what you have
-write a list
-eat before you go
-avoid the centre isles
-look at the ingredients list