The Mindful Grocery Shopping Experience: Choosing Foods with Intention

Make your grocery shopping experience a mindful one and learn how to choose foods with intention and alignment with your goals.

Practicing mindfulness during daily activities is an important step towards health and happiness. Make your grocery shopping experience a mindful one and learn how to choose foods with intention and alignment with your goals.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment. It includes awareness of both internal feelings, such as worry about what food to eat, and external influences, such as people bumping into your shopping cart. However, a key factor is not having judgment of sensations, emotions, or thoughts that arise and rather thinking of them as just experiences (1). 

Mindfulness is a quality we’re born with, but overtime it may be blunted with the overwhelm and stress of life. It’s not something that has to be recreated, rather accessed. It can be incorporated in any aspect of your life including daily tasks such as grocery shopping and eating. 

Mindful eating is paying attention to what we consume, with respect to our innate hunger and fullness cues (2). Although the goal of mindful eating isn’t to lose weight, it can improve health and help manage weight. This includes making more intentional choices about preparing and shopping for food.

Mindful eating principles 

Mindful eating includes being aware of choices of what to eat, focusing on your senses while eating, and checking in with your body after you eat. Some of the main principles of mindful eating include:

  • Beginner’s mind: Explore the shopping or eating experiences like a beginner, or as if it's the very first time you’re doing it. For instance, taste a food with a child-like curiosity or look at a food product ingredient list as if you’re a scientist.
  • Nonstriving: Rather than focusing on eating for a future you, focus on the way food choices make you feel in the moment. When shopping, pick a product that’s more nutritious and give you a boost of healthy self esteem. 
  • Not judging: If you do want an occasional treat, go for it but do so with purpose and without judging yourself (3). 

How to shop with intention 

Plan meals before you go 

Meal planning is associated with healthier eating and weight (4). Outlining your meals before you go to the grocery store can make it a lot easier to shop with intention. Use a meal planning app like Lifesum and your list will be generated for you! Not only will it help you stick to your goals and be more efficient when you shop, but also help you save money by avoiding those impulse purchases.

Check in with hunger 

A mindful grocery shopping experience includes honoring your body’s needs. If you’ve ever showed up at the store starving, you’ll likely know first hand how hunger trumps healthy intentions – hello candy aisle. If it’s been a while since your last meal or snack, grab a healthy one before heading to the store.  

Take deep breaths 

Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming experience, from fighting for a parking spot to trying to reach for your ingredients over people and carts. To make it more mindful and less stressful, start by taking a few deep breaths (5). Before you enter, simply focus your attention on the way each inhale and exhale feels going into your lungs. Continue to do so as you shop and try focusing on your sensations.

Use Lifesum barcode scanner 

Lifesum understands the thought and energy that goes into grocery shopping. Simplifying meal planning for busy individuals is one of our main goals. This includes intention boosting features such as the barcode scanner

To have a more mindful, and peaceful, shopping experience, The Barcode Comparison Scanner will interpret the nutrition information for you, with consideration of vitamins, percentages of macros, and other ingredients. Simply scan your foods and the calculations and comparisons will be done for you.

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All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.