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Your Supermarket Strategy for Healthier Eating This Year

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If you're pledging to eat healthier this new year, take a closer look at what’s in your grocery cart. When researchers at the University of Vermont tracked people’s purchases from September to March, they found (no surprise) that people made less healthy buys during the holiday season, starting the week before Thanksgiving.

But after New Year’s, when people are resolution-happy, the study found that people don’t necessarily stop buying junk, even if they start buying more healthy food, too. In fact, the study participants purchased 9 percent more calories after January 1st than they did during the height of cookie season. The explanation: Shoppers keep buying the high-cal stuff they got in the habit of bringing home over the holidays, plus the healthier items they’re intending to eat to get back in shape. But keeping junk in the house just makes it more difficult to eat healthily. (Here, 11 Ways to Fat-Proof Your Home.)

So when you hit the grocery store this weekend, make a conscious decision to swap in healthy foods for junky ones, instead of just adding them to a less-than-ideal haul. Need some planning help? This list will help you Shop Once, Eat All Week. And to save cash while eating well, find out How to Save Money on Healthy Foods.

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