My weight has been slowly ticking-up these days so I wanted to figure out why. Fortunately I’ve never had to enter into a full-blown weight loss program but it’s been getting harder to maintain status quo.
Looking back over the past few months not much has changed. I eat pretty healthy and exercise regularly. I thought about just ignoring the slight up-tick on the scale and label it as “part of getting older” but it was really starting to bug me!
Finally, I figured it all out after a grocery run a few weeks ago. My problem was Cart Creep! Yes, I made that up but it should be in the dictionary.
Cart Creep – The incremental increase of unhealthy, processed, little to no nutritional value foods that make their way into a person’s grocery cart when they’re not paying attention.
How I realized I was suffering from cart creep.
After that grocery run I suddenly realized how much junk and processed food I had bought that week! It was all there looking at me on my kitchen counter waiting to be put away. And previous weeks were about the same.
Why didn’t I notice this before you might ask? Well, I had two problems going on. One, I’m not always good at sticking to my shopping list and two, I do buy lots of good stuff like kale, carrots and lean meats that tend to cloak the bad stuff. Long story short, it was time to do better.
My Solution to End Cart Creep…
I don’t know why I never thought to do this before but here’s what I’ve been doing every grocery shopping trip since:
Putting all snacks, processed foods and all the not-so-healthy stuff in the front seat of the cart where I can see it!
This simple little trick helps me monitor my cart better and gives me flexibility for those times I want to buy something that may not be on my list. I can see at a glance the good, the bad and the ugly before heading to the checkout.
Maybe you already do this and you’re thinking Duh! Or you have it all under control to begin with. But if you struggle like I do, give the front seat of the cart thing a try (unless you have a kid in the front of the cart, then maybe use one of those shopping baskets in the main part of the cart).
I do have a few grocery store rules though. Everything helps right?
- I never buy soda (or pop if you’re from the South) or sugary fruit juices. They’re bad for you and bad for weight loss.
- I don’t try to fill the front basket to the top! A couple of treats for the week, like cookies or a bag of chips (if sharing with a big family) is enough and when it’s gone it’s gone.
- I’ve been more diligent about reading labels to uncover unhealthy foods packaged as “healthy”. Things like granola bars or jarred sauces are loaded with sugar. I’ve also been comparing canned soups. There’s a ton of sodium in them so I’ve cut down on buying them and just make my own on the weekends.
- I shop as much as I can on the outer edges of the store where the whole foods are like fruits, veggies, dairy and lean meats.
Cooking and meal-prep tips
Buying real “whole” foods does mean a little more cooking. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on cooking and prep time in the kitchen, here’s a few things I do to get healthy meals on the table in short order:
– Make larger batches to have leftovers for the next day.
– Freeze chopped veggies (like peppers and onions) to make meal-prep easier.
– Have a few one-skillet and easy-to-make recipes on-hand for busy evenings. Pinterest is a wealth of information when it comes to finding recipes. By the way, one of my family’s favorite meals is 3-Ingredient Salsa Chicken if you want to give that one a try.
A step in the right direction
I hope you found this post helpful. We’re eating much healthier these days and my clothes are fitting better. Small steps in the right direction 🙂