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Living Well : Nutrition

Smart Grocery Shopping

There are plenty of ways to "shop smart" for groceries—just be mindful and plan ahead


If you buy healthy foods, you will eat healthy foods. If you plan ahead for your trip to the grocery store, you can make it easier to eat healthy! Here are some tips that can help you make the right choices when you go food shopping:

  • Shop on a full stomach. When you are hungry, it’s easy to buy unhealthy foods because everything looks tasty. A simple trip to the store to buy a few items can lead to many unhealthy meals and snacks. To a hungry person, the supermarket can be like water to a thirsty person in a desert. Stores are designed to tempt shoppers to make impulse buys. Your self-control may be high when you first walk in, but you don’t need a lot of self-control in the produce section! As you move through the store, self-control gets weaker as you walk down the cookie aisle and even weaker along the frozen food and ice cream section. To avoid losing self-control, try to shop right after you have eaten; you may be surprised at how much this can help you
  • Shop from a list. Try to make a shopping list before you leave for the store and shop only from the list. Be sure to prepare your shopping list when you’re not hungry, deciding what to buy before the foods in the store tempt you
  • Buy foods that you need to prepare. Thanks to prepackaged foods, microwave ovens, and fast-food restaurants, it’s easy to eat without planning ahead. Eating this way requires little thought and is based on impulse. But when you buy foods that you must prepare, you can create a healthy diet. Let’s use a common example. If you feel an urge to eat fried chicken, you could visit a fast-food restaurant and have the extra crispy 3-piece meal, which is about 1700 calories. You wouldn’t need much time between your craving and eating this meal; but, you could plan ahead and cook it yourself. Buy a whole chicken from the supermarket’s poultry section, cut it up, and prepare it using your own recipe. As you go through these steps, you’ll probably have plenty of time to think about your desire for chicken—you may even end up eating less. Even better, you might decide to bake the chicken instead of deep frying it. That can mean fewer calories!
  • Buy ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables. We all like to snack from time to time. Eating healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can be a great way to control calories. Most grocery stores have fresh cut, prepackaged, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables. If you buy produce items that must be washed and cut, try to do this as soon as you get home so these snacks will be handy when you’re ready for a treat. Try to make it as easy to reach for fruit or vegetables as it is to reach for cookies or chips
  • Park your shopping cart at a distance. Most people push their shopping carts up and down each aisle. This makes it easy to take an item off the shelf and drop it into the cart, even when it’s not on your shopping list. Parking your cart at the end of each aisle and walking back and forth to it offers 2 important benefits. First, you’ll have more time to think about each item and may be less likely to grab extra items when you have to carry them back to your cart. Second, walking back and forth to your shopping cart can be a great way to increase your physical activity

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Do not take Qsymia if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or become pregnant during Qsymia treatment; have glaucoma; have thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism); are taking certain medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken MAOIs in the past 14 days; are allergic to topiramate, sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine, or any of the ingredients in Qsymia. See the end of the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Qsymia.