Being in a weight loss program is a difficult task that requires a lot of commitment and dedication. There are times when things get tougher and messy making you feel like giving up. For instance, think of a week where according to you, you gave it your all and never saw any progress in terms of losing weight. Its normal and this should not deter you from pushing ahead and remaining focused on the course. The way you eat greatly contributes to how you progress and so, it is important to watch what you eat. Shopping can be a difficult thing for people that are on a weight loss program. In this article, you will get a depth analysis of the dos and don’ts when shopping for food.
Strategy one: planning
Planning is the key element for people interested in purchasing what is useful to them and not just anything that will derail their performance. First, you will have to set time and take a look in your fridge to confirm what you still have and what you lack. If you still have any perishable foods like fruits, lean protein or vegetable, make sure you finish them first before going on your next grocery shopping trip. Confirm your pantry for diet staples. Noting down what you need is also important as this will help you from picking what you don’t intend to. Below is a sketch of how your grocery list should look like.
Now you have confirmed what you lack, in list form, outline what you need to purchase. For instance somebody who is after a healthy meal will have something like this.
• Bread: whole grain bagels, pit pockets, breadsticks and breads.
• Easy-to-cook oat.
• Whole wheat pizza dough.
• Grated low-fat cheese.
• Frozen or fresh fruit
• Sweet potatoes.
• Dried rice.
• Flavoured vinegars, either red wine or white wine.
Now you are good to go, but before you go out shopping for weight loss foods, there are a few things that may make you forget what you went shopping for in the first place. These things include:
Shopping on a hungry stomach – before you leave your home, have something light that will fill your stomach and prevent you from being tempted to eat fast foods like chips and candy while shopping. Not only will this affect your budget but only drag you behind in what you are trying to achieve.
Carrying way more money than you need - having more money at your disposal may entice you into buying things you don’t need. So it is important to carry what you only need unless you are sure that your self control can never let you down.
Strategy two: choosing food
Now you are in your favourite grocery store ready to shop and yet you are confused and don’t know what to pick. Suppose you want to buy frozen foods, say desserts and appetizers, then this is how you should go about it.
Vegetable mixtures – try buying variety of vegetables in a single pack. This will be economical and more nutritious.
Pasta – many people get confused here. Note that frozen plain ravioli can be low in fat and calories and therefore before throwing any in your shopping basket, read the labels to confirm that you are buying the right pasta.
Unsweetened frozen fruits – these fruits are the best option for people who like yogurt or pancakes for dessert or breakfast. Confirm their freshness before purchasing.
Greens and beans - it’s easy to stock frozen vegetables and a myriad variety of beans like lima beans and black-eye beans. Conveniently, these types of food are more nutritious compared to fresh veggies.
How to choose canned food
Canned foods may be easier to prepare than fresh but are less healthy in terms of content. But for people with a busy schedule, below is a recommendation of canned foods to get if need be:
• Tomato sauces and pastes
• Low sodium chicken broth
• Canned lentils and beans
• Low sodium lentil soup
• Canned tuna
• Canned salmon
• Canned crab
• Low sodium corn kernels
• Low sodium split pea soup
What to avoid when shopping
Making good decisions while grocery shopping requires the wisdom to know what you don’t need and what you should avoid at all cost. Below is a list of foods you should avoid buying:
Refined grains - unlike whole grains, refined grains undergo processing which leaves them without bran and germ components. For nutritious meal, stick to whole grains which are rich in magnesium, vitamins B, dietary fiber and iron.
Fried foods – though tempting, fried foods should be avoided at all cost. They are rich in more fats and may hinder your progress. In addition to hindering your progress, they can expose you to risks of contracting coronary diseases such as varicose veins, high blood pressure and could cause you to have a heart attack.
Sugars and starches – sugars and starches are the top sources for calories and could also affect children or teenagers growth. Note that frequent consumption may also lead to tooth decay. After consuming sugars, you are advised to rinse your mouth with clean water.
Best time to shop
This varies from one place to another, be confident and inquire from your grocery store when they restock the groceries. This will enable you to schedule your time to one day after their restocking. Shopping for fresh foods gives you enough time to consume them before they spoil. While many people prefer shopping on Sundays and Saturdays, it is recommended that you seek a day when they are not as busy. This will give you ample time to do your shopping without running your shopping cart into others or from shopping and having items that are on your list from being sold out.
Planning your meals
After shopping, now that you have a fresh stock of food, it is imperative that you have everything in place, clean and refrigerate your perishable food. Note that some foods like canned beans should be rinsed before cooking. Plan your meals before time and make sure everything is as per your weight loss plans.
Regardless of what weight loss program you have signed up for. Take note that it is important to ensure that you eat a balanced diet. Balanced diets constitute meals that are rich in Vitamins, Proteins, Carbohydrates and water. Beside, the same foods containing these elements are also rich in other non essential elements such as magnesium, potassium and zinc. If you're planning to lose weight its a good idea to start by eating the right foods accompanied by regular exercises.