7 Grocery Shopping Tips that Help Weight Loss

The Editors of Prevention
 7 classic strategies to keep your weight loss goals on track
7 classic strategies to keep your weight loss goals on track

When you're trying to shed a few pounds and stick to a weight loss program, your regular food shopping trips to the grocery store can feel like walking into a land of temptation.

But there are some easy ways to navigate the aisles without filling your cart with diet-busting fare. Just try these food shopping tips this week, and you'll quickly learn how to pick up foods that help you find success.

Make a list
Food shopping from a list will help you buy only foods you need, will cut down on the number of tempting "extras" that you have around the house, and save you money at the same time!

Practice the perimeter
Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats (lean), dairy (low-fat), and breads (whole grain) are usually kept around the perimeter of the store. These are the types of foods on which you need to base your weight loss program. Processed and pre-packaged foods are normally kept in the inner aisles. Try to limit wandering down these aisles.

PLUS: While dieting can definitely help you reach your ideal body weight, make sure not to ditch these 7 supposedly "forbidden" foods that actually help you lose weight.


Ditch debit and credit cards

When you make a food shopping list, estimate how much your grocery trip will cost. If you bring just enough cash to pay for the items you need, you won't need to use willpower to leave tasty, tempting foods on the shelf.

Never shop on an empty stomach
When you're truly hungry, almost all food (especially less-healthy, high-calorie foods) is appetizing. Food shopping while hungry is an open invitation for impulse buying. Make sure to eat before you go so that the sights and smells of food (desserts at the bakery, fried chicken at the deli) are less enticing.

Be wary of bargains
Sometimes grocery stores make offers that are hard to resist like "buy one gallon of ice cream and get a second one free." When evaluating a bargain, ask yourself whether you are better off saving a few pennies or a few pounds. Do you really need 2 gallons of ice cream in your freezer?

PLUS: 25 Ridiculously Healthy Foods

Buy "junk" foods no one likes

Sometimes "junk" foods find their way into your house because family members ask for them or because you're entertaining guests. If your family members request several flavors of ice cream, buy the one you like least. You'll be less tempted to eat any or very much of it.

Read nutrition labels carefully
Even if a wrapper tells you the item has "no added sugar" or that it's "fat free," it may still contain sugar and a lot of calories. Check the nutrition facts label for calorie content to stay with the weight loss program. Claims on food labels can sometimes be confusing.

Written by the Editors of Prevention


More from Prevention:

5 Foods You Should Always Buy Organic

25 Best Diet Tips of All Time

100 Cleanest Packaged Foods