Food shopping is a pain in the arse. From the car parking spaces that would be a squeeze for a Matchbox car, to the incessant questions about loyalty cards (“Yes, of course, I have one. No, of course, I don’t know where it is.”) Food shopping can also place a real strain on your weight loss efforts with Special Offers on calorie-rich foods tempting you away from your diet. MAN v FAT have put together five tips on how to food shop like a weight loss boss.
TIP #1: Don’t go food shopping, let food shopping come to you
There’s a reason that this tip is at the top of this article, because it solves so many of the weight loss problems associated with food shopping. Quite simply: don’t go and let the food shopping come to you. Yes, you have to pay for delivery, but there are often offers to combat that and the cost is almost certainly cancelled out by the time/petrol/effort that you would expend going out to get your shopping.
You can add items directly onto your supermarket of choice’s online portal, pick a delivery slot, pay and be done. It’s even easier for repeat orders where you can buy the same things as in previous shops in seconds. Being on a diet often means you eat the same/similar meals, so once you go online you’ve got it all sorted. Plus, you don’t get The Girl Guides rattling their collecting tins at you in the entrance when you shop online.
TIP #2 – Forget the supermarket – go local
When you’re losing weight you often want things just so – you want your bacon fat trimmed, you want your mince beef extra lean, you want veg that’s in season. The best place to get that individual service and high quality products is at local shops or from your nearest market. Their prices will often beat those at the supermarket and their livelihood depends on giving the best customer service.
A good example is that if you ask nicely your local butcher will often keep bones for you to make broth (obligatory Arrested Development clip). Many don’t even charge as otherwise they’d have to pay to have them taken away. Try asking for that at supermarkets (we have) and they will look at you nervously before mumbling something about Health and Safety.
If you want a final reason to consider shopping locally see if you can guess how old the apples that supermarkets sell are – answer at the bottom of the article.
TIP #3 – Workout as you shop
The average food shop takes 2.5 hours (online takes 14 minutes fact fans – see TIP #1) which is a lot of time to be on your feet and a great opportunity to get a bit of a workout in. You can maximise your calorie burn with some simple exercises as you go round the store:
- BASKETS FOR BICEPS – split your shopping over two baskets and work on your bicep curls, split the reps per aisle and do five on both arms for each aisle. The trick to this is that it gets harder as you fill up your baskets. Shopping with a basket also encourages you not to stray too far from your list.
- SQUAT FOR CHEAP GOODS – a real incentive to get to the bottom shelf is that supermarkets keep their lowest priced products down below. Companies pay a premium to put their goods in your eyeline, so pop a price-comparison squat at least three times an aisle.
- TROLLEY LUNGES – if you don’t mind looking like a bit of a berk then a shopping trolley provides you with the perfect support to lunge. Go for 10 per aisle, again you should find your lunges get harder the more stuff you buy.
- CHEESE COUNTER PLANKING – that’s not actually a thing, we just thought it sounded funny.
- WALK OR BIKE HOME – some great cardio to round off your shopping experience. If you need to drive to get to your supermarket then consider how you could change your shopping habits, or make a game of parking as far as you possibly can from the entrance.
TIP#4 – Plan, plan, plan. List, list, list.
Make like Santa and make a list, check it twice and figure out what’s naughty and what’s nice. The super smart way to shop is to plan out every meal for a week or a few days (easier than it sounds) then break those meals down into ingredients so that you’ve got everything you need and no more. Throw in some healthy snacks, your toiletries and brother, you are done.
TIP#5 – Eat before you go.
You knew that one already, didn’t you? Ok then smart arse, minimise the hassle by shopping later and midweek – research suggests that between 9pm and 8am are the quietest times and the least busy day is Wednesday.