Shop Like A Food Lover; Don't Gain A Pound
Our expert: Connie Guttersen, Ph.D., R.D., author of the best-selling Sonoma Diet and Sonoma Diet Cookbook and a consultant to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa, California
Every time you've tried to lose weight, you've probably cleared your kitchen of junk food and then hit the supermarket to buy "diet" food (reduced-carb bread, fat-free salad dressing, light ice cream). Bad idea, says Guttersen. A handful of foods you consider as junk--dark chocolate, nuts, or even pizza and chips--could be healthy indulgences when eaten in moderation. Worse, filling your cart with fare marketed to dieters can make you feel resentful, she says. "Chances are you won't like how the food tastes. And if you're not satisfied with your meals, you'll crave a slice of chocolate cake afterward or dig into a bag of chips an hour later." In fact, preliminary research from Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab found that women who rated their lunch highly enjoyable said they plan to eat less the rest of the day than did those who weren't as satisfied.
Follow Guttersen's guide to grocery shopping here and you'll think like a weight-loss expert but eat like a foodie.
Match your cart to your diet. Guttersen's rule of thumb for maximum taste and weight loss? Half your cart should be filled with produce and whole grains (with a 50-50 split between the two); the other half should be equally divided among lean protein (like chicken and fish), healthy fats (olive oil and nuts), and dairy (lowfat or nonfat milk, yogurt, and cheese). What are the good snack options? Popcorn (pre-popped or microwave trans-fat-free varieties count as a whole grain), sweet potato or other veggie chips (you can consider them a produce and healthy-fat combo), and even dark chocolate.