Grocery shopping when hungry can be fattening. We’ve all had the experience of going to the grocery store when we were starving and bought more than we needed or intended. To make matters worse, we most likely bought junk food. It’s like coming home and being overly hungry and eating everything you can get your hands on while making a big meal. When you eat six small meals each day based on vegetables, whole grains and fruit you set yourself up for success. Keep snacks of fruit or vegetables with you so that you can eat a few carrots or eat a banana in the car before you enter the grocery store.

Grocery shopping when
hungry can be fattening

Cornell Chronicle, May 6, 2013: Skipping meals can sabotage your shopping – and your diet, according to a new Cornell study.

Even short-term food deprivation not only increases overall grocery shopping, but also leads shoppers to buy 31 percent more high-calorie foods, according to a paper published online in JAMA Internal Medicine May 6.

In one study, 68 meal skippers were either given food (wheat crackers) to reduce their hunger or not given any food following a five-hour fast, and then asked to make purchases at a simulated grocery store. The hungry shoppers who did not eat the crackers bought almost 19 percent more food, including 31 percent more high-calorie snacks.

At a follow-up study, researchers observed 82 late afternoon shoppers at an actual grocery store during the hours between lunch and dinner, when people tend to be hungry, and the hours just after lunch, when people tend to be satiated. Late-afternoon shoppers purchased fewer low-calorie foods proportionate to their overall purchases than those shopping after lunch.

“People skip meals for all sorts of reasons – dieting, fasting, insane schedules that make you forget to eat,” said lead author Aner Tal, a postdoctoral researcher in the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. “But it doesn’t matter why you skipped a meal, it can still make your nutritionist cry, making you buy more potato chips and ice cream, and less baby carrots and skim milk.”

Read Grocery shopping when hungry can be fattening

One of the ways that I set myself up for success is to wash a full bag of carrots or the whole bunch of grapes at once. I then divvy them up into small baggies and put them into the refrigerator. I know that if they are ready to go as I run out the door, I will take  some with me. If I have to stop and get the snack prepared – it won’t happen. Remember that hunger is a good thing. It means it’s time to eat. Starving is a set up for failure. Set yourself up for success.

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