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Try a Snack Before Shopping

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Shopping when you’re hungry may change which foods you choose to put into your cart.

In a new study, researchers Brian Wansink and Aner Tal, from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, found that people who shopped when they were hungry consistently chose foods with more calories (like candy, salty snacks and red meat, versus lower-calorie foods like fruits, veggies and chicken breast) than did shoppers who weren’t hungry.

It’s a small study, but it suggests some thought-provoking conclusions:

  • Shopping when you’re hungry sends your body into “survival mode.” It compensates for a perceived food shortage by driving you to choose higher-calorie foods — which could lead you to eat more (or less healthy food) later on.
  • If you’re not hungry when you go shopping, your body isn’t fighting a shortage — so you can stick to your shopping plan, make your healthiest choices and stay on your budget. Everyone wins!

For Today’s Step, try having a small, healthy snack before you go grocery shopping. Then see how you feel while you’re shopping. Does how you feel change what you buy? Do you have other savvy shopping strategies that help you stay on plan, on budget? Share in Comments below! 

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