Shopping online may help you curb impulsive buying

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 13:01:14-04

This new study from the University of Albany found shopping online may help you curb impulsive buying. 

60 college students were first assessed for levels of impulsiveness and then given an allotted amount of cash to spend on affordable and nutritious products. No matter how impulsive a student was, researchers found no nutritional differences between all of the participant’s online grocery carts.

Past research has found people who are more impulsive may be less healthy and overweight. 

They may be more likely to fall for unhealthy food products in grocery stores. Whereas shopping online, you have to search and enter what items you’re looking for. This could make it easier to resist junk food and stick to a healthier diet. You certainly won’t be standing in the checkout line, staring at a bunch of candy bars.

When it comes to grocery shopping, here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:
1. Plan ahead. Make a list of the foods you need and stick to it.

2. Eat a heathy snack or a meal before grocery shopping. Because if you’re hungry, everything will look delicious and you’ll be more tempted than usual.

3. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. That’s where you’ll typically find healthy food choices like fruit, produce, dairy, meat and fish.

4. If you buy groceries online, fees do vary by region.  And be aware the quality of meat and produce delivered may not necessarily be what you’d choose if you shopped yourself.

There are strategies you can use like advanced planning, being mindful, and giving yourself positive feedback when goals are achieved.  You can try counting to 10 while you walk away from tempting foods. 

You can also substitute a healthier reward like adding a dollar to a piggy bank vacation fund whenever you resist junk food. No matter how old you are, you can improve self-control. 

But you will need to work at it so be patient and don’t give up.