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Shop the Perimeter: Navigating the Grocery Store the Healthy Way


What does “shop the perimeter” mean? You may have heard this phrase before, and what it basically boils down to is this: The foods most conducive to helping kickstart weight loss can be found on the perimeter of the grocery store.

Supermarket Psychology

The psychology of grocery shopping is something you probably haven’t ever thought about, but all grocery stores basically have the same layout. Why? Think of this scenario: How many times have you had to go all the way to the back of the grocery store to quickly grab a gallon of milk, only to end up grabbing some tasty snacks along the way? That’s intentional! Supermarkets are set up this way so other tempting treats will catch your eye as you navigate your way to the back.

The grocery store is designed to get you to buy, and therefore, eat, more food. With a little advanced planning and guidance, though, you can make healthier choices in any grocery store. Our biggest piece of advice and general rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of the supermarket.

Why Is it Important to Shop the Perimeter?

What’s in the perimeter of your grocery store, anyway? Chilled food and fresh food. What’s in the center? The food with all the preservatives: prepackaged, processed, dried and canned foods. Visualize any grocery store: Produce, meat, and dairy are always on the outside perimeter of the store, whereas the junk food is mainly found in the center aisles, where, let’s face it, of the majority us spend most of our time! Most supermarkets are laid out like this: Fresh fruit and veggies are on display as you enter, then you walk farther back and you’ll see the deli counter packed with seafood and meats behind the glass. Keep walking, and there’s the dairy.

One word of caution: We’re not saying you can’t make bad choices at any point while shopping in the outside perimeter of the supermarket. If you pack your cart with red meat from the deli counter and heavy whipping cream and butter from the dairy section, your choices aren’t as health-conscious. What’s the better option? Load up your cart with plenty of fruits and veggies before meandering farther back for your lean meats and dairy. You can continue on the outside edge of the supermarket and select raw shrimp or chicken breasts from the deli counter, low-fat or skim milk and probiotic-packed, low-fat yogurt in the dairy section, and so on.

You have many choices while shopping the grocery store, and a little advanced planning goes a long way.

Interested in losing weight? Contact Soza Weight Loss at (504) 475-9817 to learn about healthy food choices and how we can help you lose weight, or contact us online for a quick reply.

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