Posted: Apr 22, 2013
There are many influences on a person's weight including physiology, psychology and the environment. The latter, in my opinion, has perhaps the greatest influence in our society. Case in point: this past Saturday I was in a large arts and crafts store and noticed something strange when I reached the cash – they were selling candy. From licorice to chocolate, the selection was huge. But why would a crafts store be selling these products? The answer is simple- to capitalize on impulse shoppers. We've all been there; you're tired and haven't eaten in several hours when you are suddenly faced with an array of sweets. And since you're hungry, deciding to purchase a chocolate bar is a much easier choice. Below are some strategies to help minimize the likelihood of impulse buys, but first think about how readily available food is today. It used to be that it was only available at markets or if you grew it at home. Now it can be purchased at gas stations, business supply stores, and hardware stores, to name a few.
a) Ensure organized eating. By this I mean having breakfast, eating every 2-3 hours and ensuring protein at all meals and snacks.
b) Stay hydrated. Many times we mistake hunger for thirst so make sure you are drinking throughout the day. As a general guideline, aim for 2-3 litres of fluid per day. Water is your best choice as it is calorie-free.
c) Utilize a car-kit. This is an easy way to avoid hunger and temptation at the checkout. Pack a lunch bag with nuts, protein bars, crackers and peanut butter for example and leave in the backseat or trunk. Remember to restock frequently.
d) Do not shop when tired or stressed. Doing so may result in choosing sweets as a way to cope. In addition, feeling tired lowers ones inhibitions making saying no to sweets that much tougher.
Mark McGill, RD