Fat Loss Nutrition

Always Take This With You When Shopping

shopping hunger trap

Crazy how quickly an everyday shopping trip can derail our fat loss goals.

Tell me if this sounds familiar… you pop out on a Saturday morning to run a few errands — do the grocery shopping, get the oil changed, make a quick stop at Home Depot.

Next thing you know, your “quick” shopping trip has turned into a four-hour errand marathon.

I swear this happens to me at least once a week, and when it does, one of two things occurs:

1. I’m STARVING, and I break down and grab a fast food snack, like a greasy slice of pizza from Costco; or…

2. I’m STARVING, and I decide to “be good” and wait ’til I get home to eat… but by the time I get there I’m so hungry I devour half a bag of cookies before I even know what hit me.

This runaway-errand scenario always throws a wrench into my healthy meal plan. Ultimately it makes me feel crappy about my food choice, which seems to just spiral into a whole day of bad choices.

Avoiding the Hunger Trap

No matter how strong our willpower, the shopping trip hunger trap always seems to end badly. It doesn’t help that healthy fast food is hard to come by (or absurdly expensive). And seemingly healthy options often AREN’T: take a Starbucks blueberry muffin, which is 350 calories, 12g of fat and 29g sugar!

To make matters worse, we’re hard-wired to crave junk food when we’re hungry. So even if we could find (and afford) a quick healthy grab, the siren call of pizza and cookies is going to be impossible to resist.

Quick Healthy Snacks

Preventing extreme hunger is the best way to avoid the desperation trap and stay in control of our food choices. And let’s be realistic: it’s too easy for a one-hour trip to turn into a four-hour trip, especially when there’s a Costco or Sam’s Club involved — and heaven knows those big-box and warehouse stores aren’t helping us stay slim.

So from here on out, my game plan is to take a healthy snack any time I go out shopping. It could be a piece of fruit, a whole wheat peanut butter sandwich, an IdealBar or Carrot Cake Protein Cupcakes (get the recipe here). I might even take a meal replacement shake: just drop shake mix into a shaker bottle, buy a chilled bottle of water at the store, and you’re good to go!

Here’s to not being at the mercy of fast food!

By Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff on Google+

Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert

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