Did you know companies pay for “real estate” on store shelves? It’s called a “slotting fee.” And while it primarily refers to simply getting their products on the shelf, the fee often includes an option to claim “prime” real estate, meaning those shelves that are right at eye level. Why? We are predictable creatures and will usually choose those items right in front of us or those easiest to see and grab. If this strategy works when our own money is involved and when we have hundreds, if not thousands more options from which to choose, what’s to say it doesn’t work in our own homes, too?!
Research proves it does work, which is why we highly encourage you to consider what you put at eye level and/or make easily accessible in your home. This is a fantastic lifestyle change and an integral part of molding our Take 5 principles to your journey. Let us guide you through some general goals, strategies, and actions to help implement long-term change in your home:
Goal 1 – Clear Your Home of Less-Healthy Food
Rather than keeping the special occasion treats easily accessible, choose to only enjoy them outside the home, or specifically buy them for events and parties (then dispose of them).
Specific actions: Eat a balanced meal before you do a pantry clean-out, the last thing you want is to get the “munchies” while trying to clear out the less nutritious stuff! Take your time to empty EVERYTHING including pantry, cupboards, drawers, and fridge. Separate your items on the counter and strive to cut out 3-5 items that don’t support your journey right now. Quitting everything cold turkey could push you backwards. Slow and sustainable is the goal! Re-evaluate and remove a few more items in two weeks or so.
Goal 2 – Put Healthy Foods in Plain Sight
Specifically food options that would fulfill a “munchie” feeling… Have crunchy veggies cut up and ready to grab and go. Pre-mix a healthy trail mix based on your ingredient preferences and have it handy in the pantry.
Specific actions: While the crisper drawer in your refrigerator can help keep fruits and vegetables ripe, it also keeps them hidden. Keep meal ingredients in the crisper but move your fresh snacks to a shelf that’s eye level. In your pantry, flip your nuts and whole grains to the front of the shelf, or move them to eye-level entirely! Place chips, candy, or cookies in the back or near the bottom.
Goal 3 – Serving Size Control
It can be tempting to grab a large bag of smart pop to have on hand rather than a bulk bag of individual servings as the larger bags or undivided products are usually a bit less expensive. However, if you are one to grab the large bag and eat multiple servings in one sitting, the individual bags may prevent you from buying it as often anyway.
Specific actions: If the bigger unproportioned bags make more sense for your family (and Costco does have some pretty great deals), no problem! Proportion individual servings in little baggies or containers as soon as you get home. Involve your family, make it a learning opportunity for everyone!
Goal 4 – Use Healthier Substitutions
There aren’t always “super” healthy options, but there is always something to help you level up in your journey. Consider using the flavors, textures, smells, and consistencies of fruits, vegetables, milk alternatives, whole grains, and plant-based protein to change up your traditional family recipes.
Specific actions: Rather than going for a version of a former favorite treat that’s “reduced fat” or “sugar free,” choose something different all together. Reduced fat Cheez-Its may be lower in fat, but the nutritional quality is still quite poor. If you want crunch, go for a bag of smart pop or veggies dipped in hummus. Buy whole-grain instead of refined white breads, bagels, or wraps. If you enjoy smoothies for breakfast, substitute your milk base with a milk alternative or greek yogurt. Write down three substitutions that you could make in your routine TODAY. Put it with your grocery list. Believe that small, consistent actions can change your life!
While the choice is ultimately yours, having healthier options from which to choose supports your journey as you create more strength to say “no” when something doesn’t serve you and “yes” to what propels your wellness journey forward. Which of the above strategies seems like it may help you? Contact Balanced Wellness today to discuss your goals and the strategies that can help you create success!!