22 Jul 2011

Grocery Shopping Dilemma

I'm sure you've all been through this typical grocery store dilemma. You're at home and you go through your fridge and make a list of food you need, most of it being fairly healthy. Tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, chicken, milk, eggs, etc. Then you head to the store and you're doing ok...

Yup still on track! And then it's like BAM!! You start drifting into the other aisles and suddenly you're here:

Times like these I kind of wish there was a grocery store nearby that didn't even have those things on sale! They would be so much easier to avoid if these products weren't EVERYWHERE! You have to think about how much marketing and money has gone into these junk food products by huge food corporations like Kraft or Nestle, to make sure that there is such an omnipresent and huge assortment available to us, ready to fatten us up.

If you're tempted by these kinds of foods, you have to make some hard choices. There's a few ways to go about this:

  • Cave entirely and load up on junk food - FAIL! No progress is made and you've totally fallen off the wagon. :(
  • Cave only partially and indulge in one junky item. Here the best choice is buying a single serving portion, for example one small chocolate bar, or a small bag of chips - don't buy the XXL Party Pack size or a dozen donuts!! Sometimes it might be better to indulge in a craving and try to at least minimize the damage, than to totally deprive yourself and go insane because all you can think about for the next day is how much you're craving a Snickers bar! Of course, if you're indulging every day or every time you have a craving, you're not really changing your eating habits at all. Also, make sure to read the labels on the back - believe it or not, there are differences between junk food. Frozen yogurt might still contain a bunch of unnecessary sugar, but it will also be less fattening than Pralines & Cream ice cream. 70% dark chocolate is another good variety to regular milk or white chocolate as it contains a lot less sugar and fat.
  • Deny and walk briskly past - yay you did it! Pat on the back for you! It's OK to have sweets once in a while, but if you're trying to change your diet and lose weight - let's face it - the more you avoid these foods, the better.
  • Deny and buy a healthy alternative - this is usually my favorite (albeit often more expensive) option. No chocolate for me? OK, but I'll buy a container of fresh blackberries, or cherries, or splurge some extra money on a pricier cut of meat. Reward yourself for staying away from junk food with high quality healthy food. If you can afford it (and I know not everyone can) splurge on the pricier grade of nectarines or peaches, or maybe organic tomatoes or meats - the food tastes a lot better than lesser grades, and you're rewarding yourself with food - but ones that won't pack on the pounds! If you're a foodie like me, you'll get so much more joy out of the food you're eating if you buy high quality produce.

Keep your goals in mind when grocery shopping. Make a list and stick with it as much as you can. Avoid the junk food aisles. How serious are you about getting back into shape and losing those pounds you've packed on in recent years? If you've already dropped some weight, try to remember how amazing you felt finally being able to slip into your old jeans again - are you willing to give up those feelings for a chocolate bar?

I hope that's been motivational and helpful to you, and happy healthy shopping!


  1. Anonymous9:39 pm

    Do they have whole foods in Switzerland and Canada?

  2. Or ask someone to do the shopping for you, that's probably the safer way :). Also you could buy supplies for a couple of weeks, that way you stay away from the Temptation for a longer time. But that's not a very good idea if you want fresh and healty food.

  3. Anonymous10:23 pm

    As I was reading your previous blogs I noticed you exercise to to P90x. I have heard of it but never really looked into it until today. Please have totally transformed using that system as I see it through your videos to. I recently joined a club and a trainer told me i need to build my own muscles without machines so im totally out of shape. He offered to train me but its to cost to much.

  4. Anonymous10:23 pm

    ...So with me being over 300 lbs do you think this would be a good system to buy into. I know your not an expert or trainer or whatever but since you are in the program I just wanted your thoughts on it. Thank you Julia your truely an inspiration <3

  5. This is where I fail when shopping. Alas since is 113 degrees today all I want is ice cream or a cold Coke

  6. Anonymous2:17 am

    I've been doing a lot of the last one lately! Quitting all pop, and severely limiting pretty much anything with sugar in it, I've been snapping up a whole bunch more fruits and berries!

  7. Anonymous3:42 am

    wesure have lots of good food in canada.. during the summer and fall i love the farmer's markets, everything is fresh home grown and you can find many farms that are organic as well.. im from montreal, quebec.. specifically from the west part of the island and we have quite a few health food stores and markets.. and i have to say i'm one of those people that could stand in a junk food heaven and not be tempted one bit.. thank god for my lack of a sweet tooth.

    i have also been considering the p90x, have indeed purchased it but like you, Julia, decided i should prob do a couple of months on the elyptical trainer since i'm one of those lacking in any kind of endurance haha :D you are a gift from above and trully an inspiration.. Thank you so much!

  8. Anonymous6:30 am

    Love your post..so true!! I go food shopping and when I get home I notice I just unpaked a bag of double fudge oreos!! Thanks for tips!!!!

  9. Ugh, I'm a sucker when it comes to grocery shopping. When I go into the store, I'm sooo full of motivation. The sodas and candy bars don't faze me at all. But the pastry!
    But thank you! You've given me some more resolve, when I got shopping tomorrow, I'm going to remember this! :)

  10. Christian Dior MAK11:47 am

    o god!! i just cant do p[roper grocery shopping...i always end up standing in the junk aisles! i can not avoid going in there no matter what i do! its sooo hard for me...i hav tried it so many tyms but...no good for nuthing!!
    but i'll definitely try out ur technique as m a fooodie n alot of ur tips hav helped me...so i sure will try these out!! lol...

  11. If you're craving sugary sweets like chocolate, eat a banana instead, it'll give you the fix you need and after a few days you'll find you won't miss junky snacks as much (although the first 3 days are the hardest in my opinion).

  12. Very nice and helpful post lovely!

  13. Anonymous8:26 pm

    It's good to grocery shop when you're NOT hungry, then you're less tempted by the goodies. BellaSC

  14. Anonymous9:19 pm

    Please confirm that these pictures are not all from your local grocer, oder? I live in Germany and at first was so jealous because I am an American expat and saw all the American products. Then when I looked closer at the picture it looked like Wal-Mart. :) For a moment I was about to freak out that you could get all that in Switzerland. It is hard to avoid those things but for an expat like me who really misses certain things that would be especially dangerous!

  15. I just came back from Vacation, and Friday is my 32nd birthday. This is not a good two week period for me. Little to no workouts, lots of fun, and good yummy food. I just try to manage fitting in as many healthy meals in, with the not so good ones, and some physical activity that is outdoors. What more can I do, and I know a pity party doesn't help. Thanks for posting this because I know what I'll be getting back to next week ;)

  16. Anonymous3:55 pm

    I think i'm a little better in this stuff...i can totally avoid this lane but its the stuff my mum gets for my sister i can't avoid like i can't seem to avoid the stuff in my house...

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  18. Thank you,this helped me a lot. The worst part of being on a diet/eating healthy is going to the grocery store!:( If you dont have any junk food at home,it's easier to resist,I think:)