Just Gonna Say It: Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry Is Not It

Grocery shopping
Contributor: PEDESTRIAN.TV

We all make questionable decisions from time to time. It’s part of being human. Just last weekend I texted my ex an old photo of us holidaying in Bali. Terrible idea. Someone confiscate my phone already. 

The same used to be said for grocery shopping. Week in, and week out, I’d make the same bad decision: I’d go to the shops on an empty stomach, usually because I’d work late or sleep late or just, in general, leave things to the last minute. 

The result? A shockingly expensive selection of unhealthy foodstuffs. Without fail my rumbling belly would overpower my rational brain and instead of buying healthy, wholesome fuel for the week, I’d walk out with high-kilojoule quick fixes (we meet again, chicken nuggets) and my hand stuffed in a box of barbecue Shapes. 

It wasn’t good for my diet, and it wasn’t good for my bank account. I had to stop. Here’s what I did to avoid hitting the shops in starvation mode: 

Make a grocery list

Just do it, already. A grocery list is going to save you a) time in-store, b) money (you won’t make terrible financial food decisions) and c) from the temptations of the confectionary aisle. A grocery list means you can enter the supermarket feeling confident, and walk out with a week’s worth of meals that are actually nutritious and delicious. All it takes is a little forward-thinking. If you’re reading this going ‘eurgh, I don’t have a pen and paper’ – use your phone notes, silly. 

Stick to a routine

Life is just easier when you’ve got some semblance of structure and/or routine. Pick a day, any day, and make it your grocery shop day. Personally, I’m a fan of the Saturday morning food haul. My day goes something like this – gym, brekkie, farmers market. It means I’m never shopping on an empty belly, I’ve got food to start my week and I can budget better.

Set goals

Instead of going in with the vague aim to ‘eat healthier’, actually plan it out (which you can also do on your grocery list, how convenient). Aim to up the intake of fruit and veggies and start in that aisle, chucking fruits you might never have tried into your cart for a fun little adventure. It sounds sad but I genuinely get a kick out of trying new fruit. Sue me. 

Grab a healthy snack on the go

If you do find yourself hitting up the grocery store on an empty stomach for whatever reason, try to grab a healthy snack before you leave the door.

Eating a banana or a handful of nuts, or even a little cute tub of yoghurt while you’re moseying over to the shops will at least satiate you somewhat before you’re exposed to the aisles.

If you’re reading this and you’re ready for more tips on how to develop healthier habits and end your unhealthy relationships, visit Queensland Health’s Healthier.Happier website for tips and info to help get you started.