10 Shopping Tips to Help You Lose Weight
Jan 06, 2016
10 Shopping Tips to Help You Lose Weight
1. Buy Pre-Cut Veggies
One of the biggest barriers to eating fresh fruits and veggies for most people is that they are “too tired” or “too rushed and distracted” to wash and cut up things like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
Let’s face it……these aren’t just excuses…sometimes we really are too tired, don’t have time, and forget about the fresh produce we buy and intend to eat.
That is what makes pre-cut veggies like broccoli slaw, baby carrots, cauliflower, and fruit so convenient and if you consider the time it takes to wash, cut, and prepare the vegetables as well as the waste (cutting off the ends and stems), pre-cut veggies and fruit really don’t cost that much more to buy.
2. Choose Canned Tuna/Chicken Breast (Packed in Water) or Rotisserie Chicken Breast Rather than Processed Meats
We understand that making a lunchmeat sandwich is fast, easy, and can taste pretty good, but many luncheon meats are high in fat, sodium, nitrites and can have a long list of ingredients that most of us have no idea how to decipher unless we look them up.
When you choose canned tuna, chicken breast, low-sodium packaged salmon or tuna, shredded rotisserie chicken breast or boiled fresh chicken breast to make a sandwich, you can be sure that it will be an overall healthier choice than most lunchmeats you will find.
Just remember that the condiments you choose can add up in calories and unwanted fats, so go for mustards, avocado/guacamole instead of mayo, hummus and if reduced sugar ketchup.
3. Switch from Regular Bread to “Thins” or a Whole-Grain Light Bread
Even some of the “healthier” Whole Grain Breads that appear to be a “healthy” option because they have multiple grains or even have the “whole-grain stamp” on the package can have up to 300 calories or more for 2 slices and that doesn’t include the meat, cheese, condiments, and sides that you may add to go along with your sandwich.
Choosing the “sandwich thins” or a “light bread” such as Healthy Life Original 100% Whole Wheat Bread(only 70 calories for 2 slices, made with whole grains) can help you cut some calories if you are a bread or sandwich fan, without sacrificing the bun altogether (and who really wants to eat a hamburger or sandwich without the bread? )
4. Turn Spinach into Salads
There’s many ways to use spinach, but one of my favorites is as a salad! Spinach is a good source of potassium, high in vitamin K and vitamin A and provides almost 3gm of fiber if you make a 3 cup salad and did I mention only 20 calories…..I’ll say it again – only 20 calories!
Add a variety of chopped fruit and/or veggies to your 3-cup spinach salad for added flavor and fiber and make it a meal with grilled fish, chicken breast, or shrimp! Dinner can be on the table within 15 minutes with this lower-calorie meal and it is filling!
5. Go for Whole-Grain Versions of Cereal
Cereal choices are not lacking and some are better choices than others, but one thing to look for as far as cold cereals go is to choose ones that have less than 8 grams of sugar per serving and at least 3 grams of fiber or more per serving, so that it is more filling and worth the portion or serving size they recommend.
Hot cereals like oatmeal, bulgur, and many other whole grain options are better for you in terms of filling you up because of the fiber content…..but they are only better choices if you choose the “plain” varieties and add fresh fruit, dried fruit, or even unsweetened vanilla almond milk to give it a sweeter taste rather than choosing a “fruit flavored” one that’s packed with sugar and ingredients…..and may even be higher in calories!
6. Buy Sliced Mango, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, and Other Fruit for Snacks or Dessert
You will still pay less than you would for a fruit salad at a restaurant! On average a serving of fresh fruit is only 100 calories, so go ahead and go for the fruit and don’t listen to anyone that says “fruit is high in sugar and will make you gain weight”….eating fruit is NOT why 2/3 of our population is overweight or obese.
7. Try a New Vegetable
“People who eat a wider variety of vegetables tend to be thinner,” according to Susan Roberts the Director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.
It makes sense if you think about it because vegetables are high in volume due to their water and fiber content so it fills up the space in your stomach quicker, which means fuller belly and less room for higher-calorie foods (even if they are small in volume…for example a tablespoon of regular cream cheese).
8. Go for Frozen Fruit Smoothies for Breakfast or a Snack
Smoothies are the quickest way to have breakfast in your hand and have you on the way to work or where ever you need to be with a full belly. We’re talking only 5 minutes to blend frozen fruit, milk or unsweetened milk alternatives and veggies (like spinach, I promise you won’t taste it) and you have breakfast!
Of course you can add natural peanut butter to it for added protein and flavor or you can get real fancy and add ground flaxseed or chia seeds for a plant source of omega 3’s, just know that the calories can add up with the addition of healthy ingredients like these.
If you aren’t a breakfast eater, let me convince you that eating something rather than nothing for breakfast will help when it comes to losing weight! Study after study has shown that people that are trying to lose weight and eat breakfast compared to those that don’t eat breakfast and are also trying to lose weight have better success with breakfast!
The main finding of these studies showed that breakfast skippers ended up eating more later on in the day at meals and snacks, which often far exceeded the calories that they would have consumed if they had eaten breakfast that morning.
9. Choose Calorie-Free Beverages
When you drink, it is usually because you are thirsty or maybe to help dislodge the food you scarfed down in a hurry to get back to work, but odds are you are not drinking because you want to consume more calories to feel fuller (that’s why we eat – to feel full).
Liquids don’t fill us up and can pretty quickly lead to weight gain if you are consuming things like Sweet Tea, Soda, Fruit Drinks, Energy Drinks, Alcohol and even Coffee with added creamer and sugar. Don’t be fooled…..just because you don’t feel full from drinking, doesn’t mean the calories aren’t there.
Choosing water is always best for our body, but you can add lemon juice, lime juice or, even squished berries to flavor it! Try unsweetened herbal teas – by brewing 6 herbal tea bags in your coffee pot such as the blueberry or cherry flavors and fill up a large pitcher the rest of the way with water), some other calorie-free choices are carbonated water, and plain coffee.
10. Make Junk Food Boring
Trying to cut calories and lose some weight? Don’t stock your home with 5 kinds of cookies and 3 kinds of ice cream and especially don’t buy your “favorites” because you know they will be gone.
Research shows the more variety you have….the more you eat, so keep things simple – if you want a cookie every now and then or some chips, that is fine but try to find a cookie that is made with whole wheat flour, has more fiber or has more of a nutritional benefit.
For example, a Oatmeal Raisin cookie is likely going to be a better choice than the Triple Chocolate Brownie Fudge cookie (you would be getting more fiber and possibly less calories from the oatmeal cookie).
If you have a weakness for a certain food or “junk food” and you want to lose weight, then it may be helpful to keep it out of your house for a while and find an alternative that you feel safer with having in the house.
Information in part, courtesy of Nutrition Action Health Letter July/August 2011