We’ve all done it. It’s a mistake that I’m sure grocery stores are happy people make week in and week out. No, I’m not talking about forgetting your reusable grocery bags. I’m talking about going to the grocery store HUNGRY.
We seemed to be focused on grocery shopping this week on elementaltampa.com, and for good reason. The choices you make at the grocery store can have a significant effect on how you look and feel. You may not realize it but those choices can be influenced by the level of hunger you have before you step into the grocery store. In as 2013 study, researchers found that individuals that went grocery shopping while “hungry” were more likely buy high-caloric unhealthy foods (chips, candy, etc.) than those that ate before shopping for groceries. Another study confirmed these findings by documenting individuals that went grocery shopping before dinner time, 4-7pm, buying more unhealthy foods than those people that went shopping after lunch, 1-4pm (source). The “feast or famine” mentality left over from our primitive ancestors may want us to eat everything in sight when we’re hungry, but there are certain steps we can take to prevent us from bringing home a barrel sized container of cheese balls.
Shannon and I have discovered several ways to prevent impulse buys while grocery shopping, but none work as well as eating before you go. A couple of our go to pre-grocery shopping snacks are raw cashews and/or cured meat with cheese. Both snacks are nutritious (cashews: 6g fat, 4g carbs, 2.5g protein per ounce; genoa+provolone: 26 g fat, 21g protein, no carbs per package), shareable, portable and most importantly satiating. I’ve, and some scientific research, found that foods containing a significant amount of protein and/or fat will help you stay fuller longer and hold back that pesky hunger hormone gherlin.
Hopefully you are already practicing this pre-grocery shopping ritual. If so, send us pictures of your pre-grocery shopping snacks. We’re always looking to expand our repertoire.