Read about how supermarkets influence your shopping decisions in this blog.
Healthy eating is important. We know the importance of eating well, of staying away from processed foods high in sugars and bad fats. And yet, it can be so easy to come home, unpack the shopping and discover that a large portion of your weekly shop doesn’t look like fresh produce.
What most people don’t realise is how our eating habits are influenced by our environment without even noticing it. So to help encourage mindful eating and shopping, we thought we’d go through a few supermarket design secrets and tips to overcome them!
Our shopping behaviour is influenced the moment we step into a supermarket. From general supermarket layout to shelf position, the most popular items are strategically placed.
Our eyes naturally look at what’s straight ahead. This means we’re more likely to go for the item at eye level than to look at the shelves above or below. This is the reason so many snack foods are placed on the lower half of the shelves as the items are within reach for kids!
One thing that supermarkets have been good about is ensuring that fresh produce usually appears as soon as you walk in the doors, before your trolley is full. However, if a supermarket is cleverly designed, you’ll still be encouraged to wander through each and every isle, distracted by impulse items you really didn’t need. Similarly, it’s quite common for junk food to appear in the isle right next to the fruit and veggies. This is because there’s a common spill-over effect or story many people tell themselves that means that once you’ve added healthy foods, it’s easier to justify reaching for the chocolate bar you wouldn’t otherwise select.
When you consider how many different types of cereal or bread are sold in supermarkets, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choice. One way we overcome this challenge is by looking for a feature that stands out. By making items specialsor offering discounts/sales, it encourages us to choose that item over others. The trap here is that often the discount is for when you buy a few of the item which can take up precious space in your trolley!
We eat using all senses and so, how food looks has a great impact on whether we want to buy it. If there’s natural lighting, colourful displays or bright and cheerful visuals, we’re more likely to hover and take something. However, if the colours are drab, lighting an unpleasant fluorescent colour and the display uninviting, you’re guaranteed to stay away.
As with lighting, smells can be addictive which is why the bread isle is one of the most dangerous. The smell of baked goods is often enough to make mouths water and to tempt us to add that fruit loaf or cake to the trolley. In the same way, if ever you see people offering samples, think twice before approaching as it’s a very easy way to convince you to add unwanted items to your basket.
As you can see, we’re at a bit of a disadvantage the moment we step foot in the supermarket. So what can you do to limit the amount of unhealthy foods you buy?
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but try to avoid shopping when hungry! Unfortunately, when we’re hungry, our rational mind seems to disappear and we seem to act in a more primal state of survival and foods. This means that foods which smell delicious (ie bread, chips, chocolate) become far more tempting than they otherwise might!
One of my favourite things to do on a Saturday morning is to go to a farmer’s market. Not only do you support local farmers but your shop is free of the temptations of processed, sugary foods and you’re much more likely to stock up on great, healthy produce at a reasonable price!
Being prepared can make a world of difference. One tip to stop you from buying a bunch of things you don’t need (and from forgetting the things you do) is to write a list of the things you need to buy. Another great trick is to in your mind, divide your trolley into sections. Having a section (ideally a large one) exclusively for fresh produce and healthy foods can limit the amount of bad foods you buy and make you consciously focus on the healthy foods you want to bring home.
Wishing you great health,
PS. You are welcome to share this with friends and family
About Dr Pete
Dr Peter Holsman is a qualified Medical Practitioner, Naturopath and Professional Speaker based in Melbourne. An expert in his field with over 30 years experience, he specialises in treating people with fatigue related illnesses including stress, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid and adrenal hormone problems.
Gut problems are common. Read on to find out more....Read More
Read about how supermarkets influence your shopping decisions in this blog.Read More
There are some foods that can help boost your mood. There are also other foods that can trigger anxiety,sadness and depression. Read more in this blog...Read More
Presentation, mindfullness and mood influence eating.Read More
Is MSG bad for your health?Read More
This blog introduces some benefits of the popular Paleo Diet. Read more below...Read More
Parrots thrive by eating clay. This blog discusses how people can also benefit from clay. Click below to read more.Read More
Health problems often start in your digestive system. Read about leaky gut in this blog post by clicking below.Read More
Do you craves sweets or chocolate? Click below to find out more.Read More
This blog discusses 7 warning signs of dehydration and 3 benefits of drinking water. Click below to read more.Read More
Bloating is a common problem. Click below to find out moreRead More
How to create the perfect paleo shopping list. The paleo diet focuses on everything natural which means that it logically includes some fruit., vegetables, meat and protein, herbs and spices.Read More
Green smoothies in moderation can be a great way to get extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But, excessive intake of green smoothies may increase your levels of oxalic acid and this can lead to aching muscles and joints, gout, kidney stones and other health problems.Read More
Gallbladder problems are common and gallstones affect 15 per cent of adults over the age of fifty. So how do you know if you might have gallstones, why do some people get gallstones, what does your gallbladder do, and what can you do to improve gallbladder function?Read More
Winter is a challenging time for health and often results in winter flus and colds. But, before you pop into the chemist to stock up on cold and flu tablets or to book in for a flu shot, did you know that there are natural remedies to keep you healthy during the colder months? Here are some of the best herbs and spices to throw into your diet which can help boost your immune system and lessen any symptoms of colds:Read More