You’re waiting in the checkout line at the supermarket and see your nemesis. No, we’re not talking about an ex-boyfriend who did you wrong — we’re talking about the sweets that can sabotage your good intentions to eat healthfully.
Many stores intentionally offer candy, chocolate, and other treats near the cash register to encourage impulse buying while you’re waiting to pay. In the UK, local chain Tesco just banned sweets from checkout aisles in all of its stores, but since that hasn’t happened in the States (yet!), you’re going to need a strategy. Here, six tried-and-true tips for how to resist checkout aisle temptation.
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1. Get a snack before hitting the supermarket - If I go food shopping when I’m hungry, I will always end up getting foods that aren’t the healthiest choice. Before I enter a market, I always make sure to eat a banana or an apple to curb my appetite.
2. Carry water - Holding my water bottle while I’m checking out means that there’s one less hand free to grab an impulse-buy candy bar.
3. Have a healthy treat in your cart - If I’ve already got something sweet in my cart, I’m less likely to reach for the chocolate. My go-to healthy snack of the moment is Medjool dates. They’re rich, juicy and have a deep flavor that reminds me of chocolate.
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4. Read the tabloids - Even if you’re not into celeb gossip, it’s a good way to kill some time and distract yourself from temptation.
5. Opt for self checkout - The line moves more quickly which means that you won’t have as much time to decide to pick up a snack. Also, the displays are often much smaller than cashier-checkout lanes since there are usually several conveyors in each row.
6. Reassess you cart - Take a moment to review what you’re already buying. If you remember that you’re going to be taking home a box of chocolate chip cookies, then you won’t need that last-minute chocolate bar.