Conniving. Manipulative. Scheming. I'm not talking about your ex; I'm talking about your grocery store. On your next trip, be prepared to fight back against the tactics most supermarket chains use to get you to spend more money on "extras" that you don't really need-tactics that affect your wallet and your health.
You're on your weekly grocery trip. You've got your list in hand, and you're ready to purchase the items you need for your healthy, preplanned meals. You walk through the supermarket doors and?oh! Look at the Fourth of July decorations! Visions of cookouts, party favors and kids with sparklers are now dancing through your head. You hang around the display, pick up a "two-for" deal on red, white and blue wrapped chocolates, and grab streamers and balloons because your sister-in-law might have forgotten supplies to jazz up the kids table for the party next week. 2,549 calories and at least $10 unplanned dollars later, you've been the victim of a grocery store scam.
Distractions at the grocery store happen, and that's no accident. Strategic product placements purposely distract you from your well-intended list and entice you to purchase those little extras. Supermarket chains spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to know exactly how, where, when, and why you shop. They use this information to get you to linger longer, fill your basket-make that your cart-to the brim, and spend more of your hard-earned cash than you intended to spend. But your grocer may be scamming more than just your wallet with these marketing maneuvers.
Let's put on our spy gear and take a mental tour through the supermarket to investigate the nooks and crannies where stores hide their tricks. Take note so the next time you head to the grocery, you'll have a plan of attack.
End the End Cap Enticement
Conveniently placed on the end of every aisle, "end caps" are home to sale items and seasonal kits that may not have been on your list but look oh-so-inviting when you see them. Items for s'mores, pumpkin pie, or green bean casserole are often creativity combined on these aisle ends. Foods on end caps are generally low in nutrients and high in added fat and sugar. Battle plan: If it's on your list for greater health, you just saved a trip down the aisle. If it's not, smile, but keep walking past the pretty display and find your next listed item.
Shelve Your Impulses
Major brands pay grocers to shelve their top-selling items at eye level. They even go so far as to place products geared toward children right within their little paws' reach-cartoon characters, bright colors and all are low to the ground or cart-level for wee ones who sit in the seat of your shopping cart. Battle plan: Make an educated decision. Glance up and down before choosing an item (less inexpensive generic items, often the same nutritionally, might be lower or higher on the shelf than more expensive brand named products). And always check out the nutrition facts label. Also, if you are shopping with the kiddies, ask them to help you find healthful foods in the store. Turn your grocery list into a scavenger hunt checklist to play as you shop.
Show Seasonal Spirit Who's Boss
Memorial Day (Super Bowl Sunday, Thanksgiving, or really, any other holiday) is right around the corner and you can bet your buttons the local grocer won't let you forget it! Decorations, party favors and supplies are mixed in with fat- and sugar-laden desserts and snacks, all in one convenient center aisle display. Grocery stores play on your holiday spirit, enticing you to pick up extra goodies on a whim! These add-ons amp up your bill at the check out and can add loads of calories to your stash very quickly. Battle plan: Plan your celebration, complete with healthy snacks and recipes, and stick to it. Ditch the "we just might need" mentality. Simplicity is best (and healthiest) during these times of year!
Boycott the Bakery
The smell of fresh bread, cinnamon rolls and apple pie is wafting through the baked goods area as you're picking up your whole-grain bread this week. Your senses are begging you to bring some home; it just smells too good! Many grocery stores strategically plan their baking times during the busiest hour of the day. It has been proved that shoppers pick up more items when the luscious smells are present in the store. Battle plan: You've heard this one before. Never shop on an empty stomach. Shopping after a meal can help stave off cravings and keep you focused on the task at hand. Think about the delicious meals you are shopping for and don't let distraction get the best of you. If you must, send in the troops to grab your items and avoid any too-tempting aisles altogether!
Bust by Bargains
You see the signs: 5 for $10! Buy two get one FREE! 2 for the price of 1! These "bargains" can seem like a great idea, but consider the product you're saving on. If it's on your list of super-healthy, nutritious foods, go for it! You've helped your health AND your pocketbook. However, consider the product-healthfulness should trump a bargain every time. Do you really need five rolls of cookie dough or a free box of pastries? It's not likely. Battle plan: If you're only getting it because it's on sale, you probably don't need it. The same rule goes for non-food items like toiletries, cleaning products and household items. No excuses here.
Free Yourself from Free Samples
When you see little carts set up with mini toasters and microwaves handing out bits and pieces of goodies, you've entered the realm of free samples. This tactic is widely implemented by grocers to increase products sales because it works wonderfully. Free sample stations are great ways to demonstrate the versatility of certain products, but how often are the featured foods healthful or nutrient-dense? How often are they full of vitamins, minerals, lean protein, healthy fats and fiber? How often do they feature whole, unprocessed foods that are naturally good for you? The products grocers generally hand out to promote sales are convenience items, ones that shouldn't be on your shopping list if you're trying to eat healthier. Battle plan: If the product is free of trans fats, made with whole grains or free of added sweeteners, enjoy a little nibble. Use your label-reading skills to determine if it's a healthful item you can pick up during your next grocery trip. Look at the amount of protein, calories, fiber, added sugars, salt, and types of fats to assess how healthful the food might be.
Outsmart Checkout Impulses
And the last, but certainly not least dangerous contact point between you and your supermarket's products is the checkout lane. Fully stocked with sugary, salty and saturated fatty snacks, these grab-n-go items can pack a punch when it comes to piling on empty calories. Along with the plethora of candy situated in the checkout aisle are cold sodas, foamy fountain drinks, salty trail mixes and magazines touting the latest weight-loss craze. You can easily add hundreds of calories and a few extra bucks to your bill in the minutes you spend checking out. Battle plan: Flip through a magazine you know you won't buy, chat with the person standing behind you in line, organize your groceries perfectly on the conveyor belt-anything to keep your hand from wandering to those impulse purchases. If you haven't eaten in hours and you don't think you can make it home, plan ahead and purchase an extra piece of fruit to eat on your ride home.
Focus first when it comes to grocery shopping. Be mindful and make your moves with intention to keep impulses at bay. Many times, our habits drive our purchase decisions and "wants" trump "needs." Making a list, sticking to it, and questioning yourself each time an "extra" almost lands in your cart will not only save you a pretty penny, but will also keep your healthy living habits on track.
Give a whole new meaning to your “weekend warrior workout”.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Coach Patty Hartong and the CSD Park and Recreations Department are proud to offer (Fitness Boot Camp) a new and fun exercise class that generates amazing results.
Fitness Boot Camp
Saturdays @ 9: 00am
Starts May 5th
A Boot camp class is a great way to add variety, style and intensity to your workout schedule, while keeping the workouts fun, motivating and challenging. A boot camp workout can burn as much as 850 calories.
Fitness Boot Camp - Sign up NOW!!! Call or email Patty to sign up today. 760-951-3508 – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boot Camp is an 8 week Fitness Program and because it is a Community Event - the cost is affordable.
Saturday 9am - Cost: $40 for 8 weeks (which turns out to be only $5 a class).
Classes run anywhere from 60-90 min depending on your fitness level..... And "for now" Saturdays only.
To start - classes will be held indoors at the new CSD Community Center (next to the thrift store on Visata Rd), but will include both indoor and outdoor sessions in the near future.
Start date – May 5th
What is a Boot camp?
“Fitness Boot Camp” is a type of indoor/*outdoor group exercise class that mixes traditional calisthenics and body weight exercises with interval, and strength training.
Fitness boot camps are designed in a way to push participants harder than they'd push themselves for amazing results. (* outdoor workouts when weather permits).
What exercises are included in the program? We do everything from running/walking (less than 1 mile), weight training (upper and lower body), core conditioning, abdominal work, calisthenics, plyometrics, circuit training and more! Every class is a little different from the day before and you will get a “SAFE” full body workout every week!
**Example Exercises include: pushups, shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, squat thrusts (burpees), Mt Climbers, lunges, squats, crunches, plank, star jumpers and So much more...
** Modifications are given allowing for everyone to participate, no matter what your current fitness level is. The only requirement is the willingness to have fun and work hard.
"I like lunges in theory, but my knees do not agree with them. Any way to work around this,?"
There are indeed work-arounds that will work your lower body, while being kind to your knees. You can try to replace lunges with squats or leg presses on the machine. Some folks find that reverse lunges are gentler on the knee joint so you can experiment with that variation of the move. An alternative that I especially love is Step Ups because they work a lot of the same muscles that lunges would work.
Learn how to do Step Ups.
Here's how you do a Step Up:
- Stand in front of your chair* (make sure it won't slide out from under you) and place your right foot in the center of the seat.
- Step up onto the chair and bring your left knee forward and up.
- Lower yourself back to the floor, with the foot landing quietly.
- This completes one rep. Do 15 reps each leg for two or three sets.
*If a chair feels too high, use a shorter stool or a bottom stair. Make sure your knee never goes to an angle smaller than 90 degrees.
I sure do hope these help. You need to take care of those knees since they are the only ones you got!
An email from my client!!!!
Honestly after 1 week at home (easter break) no running and eating & drinking more than you should have, my first day back & my usual workout (5 miles run) was killing me & so unenjoyable I cut it short! I hate that I gotta get through this tough period before it gets enjoyable again. Maybe this was a bad day will try again tomorrow. Does anyone else find this?
Nutrition Facts panels can be tedious to read—and, frankly, they aren’t nearly as visually appealing as the rest of the food package and the claims on it. Which is why, unless you’re a dedicated, detailed label-reader, you might be surprised to learn that sometimes there are not-so-healthy ingredients hiding in food you’d otherwise think is healthy.
Here are four food categories that, surprisingly, contain not-so-healthy ingredients that you should watch out for:
Trans fats in margarine margarine and buttery spreads. Choosing a butter substitute can help you cut calories, but it’s not necessarily a heart-healthier choice. When it comes to margarine and buttery spreads, you’ll find all sorts of oil-based spreads in this category. "Margarine" is a product that has 80 percent fat, like butter, but because it’s made from vegetable oils, it delivers more "good" fats than butter. Many (but not all) other "soft spreads" or "tub" buttery products have less total fat as well as less saturated fat and/or fewer calories. But not all products are created equal: some contain trans fat, which, like saturated fat, raises your "bad" LDL cholesterol, but possibly even more than saturated fat does, according to research. Trans fat also lowers your "good" HDL cholesterol. Be sure to scan the ingredient list for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated." If the ingredient list includes one of these, then the product is not really trans-fat-free. (The FDA allows manufacturers to round down on the label: when a food has less than 0.5 gram trans fat per serving it can be rounded down to 0 and labeled as trans-fat free.)
Added sugars in dried fruit. Dried fruit is a great snack—delivering fiber and important vitamins and minerals, plus it’s easily packable and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Even better, 1/2 cup of dried fruit counts as one of your daily servings of fruit! But there’s a catch: dried fruit can also deliver unnecessary added sugars (an ingredient that we already overconsume)—and those added sugars can sometimes add an extra 50 calories to 1/2 cup of dried fruit. It’s difficult to know how much added sugar is in most processed foods because food manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the amount of natural versus added sugars in their products on the Nutrition Facts panel—when "sugars" are listed, the total number includes both naturally occurring and added sugars. To find out if there’s added sugar in your foods, look at the ingredient list for sugar and all its aliases: corn sweetener or syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, invert sugar, malt sugar, syrup and sugar molecules ending in "ose" (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).
Oils in packaged foods. Packaged convenience foods that you would assume are healthy, such as commercial salad dressings, crackers, breads, granola bars, etc., often contain palm oil and soybean oils—as well as corn, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils—all of which are rich in omega-6 oils. Why does that matter? Omega-6 fats compete in your body with healthy omega-3 fats, which benefit your heart and may also keep you happy. So look for products that don’t include these oils—or at least contain "high oleic" versions of oils that are rich in omega-6 fats. (These high-oleic oils are produced using plants that have been bred or engineered to have more monounsaturated fats and fewer omega-6 fats.)
Artificial sweeteners in "lower-sugar" and "sugar-free" products. Most of us eat too much sugar. On average, Americans consume 475 calories of added sugars every day (that’s 30 teaspoons), which is three or four times what’s recommended by the American Heart Association. And according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, 16 percent of kids and adolescents’ total daily calories comes from added sugars! To cut back on added sugars, food products labeled "lower sugar" or "sugar-free" may seem like a healthier alternative. But you might be surprised to know that some of these food products—like some lower-sugar instant oatmeals and sugar-free jams and jellies—may be made with artificial sweeteners. If you want to limit your artificial-sweetener consumption, check the ingredient list for these terms: sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, xylitol, erythritol and stevia.
When it comes to belly fat, it’s not about what meets the eye, but what lies beneath that is cause for concern. A visibly protruding belly, also known as a pouch, gut, or spare tire, is unsightly by some standards, but when researchers mention increased risk for chronic diseases, the fat they are referring to is visceral fat. Also called intra-abdominal fat, it lies beneath the abdominal muscle and is not visible. Even people who are not obese by measure of Body Mass Index (BMI) can have too much of it. Visceral fat is deposited around organs in the abdominal cavity. To get rid of visceral fat, you must trim overall body fat with a regular interval training, cardio & strength training regimen. Doing ab & core exercises will not burn fat, but it can help strengthen, tone and shape your abs.
A boot camp is just an exercise class that allows more variety and fun. They are perfect for all levels of fitness. Modifications are given for every exercise. You will work hard, but you will never be asked to do anything beyond your personal fitness level. Boot Camps work when you work them – meaning it is up to you how hard you want to push yourself!!!! Also - I won’t be yelling at you – but I will push you to work outside your comfort zone (which is what we all need in order to get fitter, stronger and lose excess weight…
If you always do what you always did – you’ll always get what you always got! LOL… come by anytime!
It's officially spring and summer is right around the corner. It’s time to get more active. With beautiful weather, longer days and blooming flowers, there is even more incentive to shape up. Call me to set up your One-on-One Personal Training Session to learn the correct way to workout. 760-951-3508
The sooner you sign up - the sooner we start!!!!!
The sooner you sign up - the sooner we start!!!!!