What the experts say – The National Institutes of Health has this to say on the subject. Shop smart by planning ahead and asking yourself two key questions. 1) When and where will you be eating over the next week? 2) How much time will you have to cook? Once you have established this, then you should plan your meals for the week before you shop. Make a shopping list from your meal plan and take it with you, promise yourself that you will not purchase items not on the list. Never go food shopping hungry. You will make better choices if you shop after you have had a healthy meal or snack. Avoid buying in bulk and shopping in warehouse type stores. Buying in quantity and getting a good deal can lead to over eating. If you do buy in larger quantities, divide it into smaller sizes and store what you are not going to use immediately.
How I did it – I avoided convenience stores and gas stations like the plague, and when I couldn’t use the pay at the pump option I made sure that I was only going to gas stations where I knew they had a bowl of fruit on the counter. This took an enormous amount of pre thought and planning which is where my lessons on being “present” paid off for me. If I got caught in a store hungry, I immediately started drinking water or if I didn’t have my water I picked up some paid for it and left. After drinking the water if I was still hungry, I had a protein shake. (I kept a tub in the car, in my office and at home) and then went shopping. Like I said, It takes a tremendous amount of effort, and I’m not perfect at it, but once you make it part of your daily routine it gets easier and the best part about it is that when you’ve learned how to refuel the body properly, you won’t be as hungry anyway and these episodes will be few and far between.