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Following your weight loss plan at the grocery store

Making the right choices for your weight loss plan starts at the grocery store.

If you bring home tempting options you’ll be more likely to succumb to your cravings and stray from your weight loss plan; but, if you don’t buy these foods in the first place, they won’t be on hand when you feel like you want them. Following are some tips to help you learn to make the right choices from the start.

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Plan ahead - create a master grocery list of your dietary staples. Photocopy it, add any other foods that you might need and bring it with you to the grocery store. Stick to your list! If you plan out what you’re going to purchase ahead of time, then you’ll be less likely to grab those tempting treats.

Savor the savings - check your local flyers before heading to the supermarket to determine what’s on sale at different stores. If chicken is really cheap this week, buy extra and freeze it for later use - buy extras of any favorite foods that are on sale and can be stored for future use. However, make sure you don’t buy potentially diet-sabotaging food choices simply because they’re on sale. Just because the cookies are cheaper this week doesn’t mean you should buy them. If they don’t fit into your weight loss plan, don’t have them around.

Don’t shop on an empty stomach - never, ever shop when you’re hungry. Freshly-baked cookies and bread seem that much more appealing when your stomach is growling. Instead have a small snack or a meal before heading to the grocery store, and you’ll be less likely to reach for those appealing foods.

Read the labels - before you throw something into your grocery cart, take a quick look at the nutrition label. Remember, just because the label says a food is trans-fat free, doesn’t mean it is the best choice for your weight loss plan. Beware also of labels that state a food is ‘light’. This label could be deliberately deceiving - it could mean the choice is lighter than its fat-laced original or simply that it’s light in color. Read your labels carefully, and make sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing.

Stick to the perimeter - shopping in the perimeter aisles of the grocery store can be an easy way to stick to healthier food choices. This is where all the fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and dairy are located. The inside aisles contain many processed foods that should be avoided.

Fresh is best - ditch TV dinners and convenience meals for the real thing. Frozen meals just don’t taste good and are infused with tons of preservatives. Your weight loss plan should consist of fresh and wholesome food choices.