8th January 2024

Secrets to improve your supermarket shop

What we eat starts at the supermarket and unfortunately, they have become a modern minefield of ultra-processed foods and temptation. Whether you’re a sucker for the snack aisle, get carried away with convenience foods or if you’re a fiend for a last-minute check-out bargain, it can be difficult to stick to healthy whole foods when surrounded by misleading packaging and immense variety. So, we thought it was about time to share the secrets to improve your supermarket shop

In Dr Michael Mosley’s new Channel 4 show, Undercover Doctor: The Secrets Of Your Big Shop, we watch as he goes incognito in supermarkets to see where people might be going wrong in their food shops. He meets with families who thought they were eating healthy, balanced diets but are experiencing some very unhealthy symptoms, from fatigue to bloating to irritable bowel syndrome. If this sounds like you, it might be time to improve your supermarket shop:

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Make a shopping list, and stick to it:

Making a shopping list of what you need to replenish in your stores at home, or what you need to buy for your planned weekly meals ahead will help you avoid impulse purchases and improve your supermarket shop experience. When eating healthily, it’s important to stick to a list of ingredients you need to limit waste and avoid the temptation of buying unhealthy snacks or foods. Our Programme comes with convenient weekly shopping lists based on your choice of weekly meals. We take care of the organisation so you can just grab what you need, and enjoy the experience stress-free.

It’s completely normal to selectively remember the good stuff and discount the bad  — and that is especially true when it comes to what we eat. One way to keep track might be to use an app or notebook to accurately record everything you eat and drink over the course of a week — and be brutally honest.

– Dr Michael Mosley

Avoid the snack aisles:

As tempting as it might be to take a peek, avoiding the aisles filled with sugary snacks and ultra-processed foods will help you leave them on the shelves and not impulsively pop them in your basket. You’ll find your supermarket experience is improved if you avoid the feelings of frustration or temptation altogether and stick to the aisles abundant with whole foods and fruits and veggies.

Choose full fat over low fat:

After years of false myths that low-fat helps you lose weight, it might be surprising to learn that choosing full-fat products is better for weight loss. The healthy fats in Greek yoghurt, milk and olive oil help to keep you fuller for longer and avoid overeating later in the day, so we advise eating plenty of healthy fats as part of a balanced Mediterranean-style diet. Just this simple shopping switch will help to drastically improve your supermarket shop, and your meals will taste better too. Win-win!

Add more fruit and vegetables:

Improve your supermarket shop by starting your food shop in the fruit and vegetable aisles. Fill up your basket with a variety of plant foods to help diversify your microbiome, support a healthy gut and provide you with a daily boost of vitamins and minerals. Whether you opt for fresh, or frozen (which is also a great, more affordable option to extend their longevity at home), buying plenty of fruits and veggies will mean you’re more likely to reach for them when preparing food at home, so make sure to stock up next time you’re at the shops.

Cut back on takeaways and ultra-processed ready meals:

While takeaways or supermarket ready meals can seem like a convenient option for busy days, try batch cooking your own healthy ‘ready’ meals for later in the week instead. If you do enjoy takeaways, try making them yourself at home using whole ingredients from the supermarket. Having your meals planned, ingredients bought in ready to go, or batch-cooked healthy meals will mean you won’t have a spare day to fall into the takeaway trap. You’ll find plenty of “fakeaway” recipes from various cuisines in our recipe library on the Programme when you get started.

So, next time you’re topping up, try these secrets to improve your supermarket shop. You may also like to sign up for your 7-day free trial of The Fast 800 Programme before your next food shop so you too can make use of tools like our helpful shopping lists, meal plans, and range of delicious, healthy recipes. Ready, steady, shop! 

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