By Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Weight Loss Program
Eating with awareness is the key to successful weight loss and weight maintenance. If you’ve ever finished eating something and then thought: “Why did I eat that?” you’ll recognize the importance of mapping out your meals and snacks with a healthy meal plan for weight loss.
Because you’re in the process of changing your lifestyle and altering your relationship with food, you may want to consider shopping in a different grocery store or market. Sometimes such a simple change can help break certain patterns, particularly if you find it difficult to avoid the temptation to buy cookies, chips and other non-nutritious foods when you shop.
Change Your Shopping Habits
Another switch you can make is to shop on the perimeter of the grocery store, or “shop the edge.” Most grocery stores are arranged so the fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meals, poultry and fish are found along the outside aisles of the store. The interior aisles tend to be stocked with processed foods that I encourage you to avoid. Try shopping this way for at least several trips and see how it works for you. Awareness is such a big part of your ability to successfully lose weight.
is another way to transform your shopping patterns. A health-food store is a great place to stock up on organic produce, nuts, olive oil and other essential items. If there’s no farmer’s market in your community, investigate the nearest one and plan a weekend drive to it. The colors and smells at these markets can turn a routine chore into a very pleasant sensory experience. The same is true of a good fish market.
Have an Agenda When You Shop for Food
I’m a firm believer in planning meals. The better you plan your meals, the more successful will be in achieving your weight-loss goals. Healthy meal plans for weight loss also require you to have an agenda when you shop, and that will enable you to stay on the grocery store aisles where you'll find the healthy foods.
Knowing what you are going to eat ahead of time and sticking to that plan will almost guarantee your weight-loss success. You may even find it helpful to post your healthy meal plans for weight loss on the refrigerator as a reminder and reinforcement of what you intend to eat each day.
I recommend you keep the following healthy foods on hand so you’ll always have something nutritious to eat, particularly when you come home late and are famished. Add additional items in season, or as needed.