Using Online Grocery Services for Weight Loss

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Online Grocery shopping is a convenient and modern way to shop for groceries. I use Walmart Grocery and I will write this article from my experience with their service. The price for items is identical to those inside the store, the service is free for orders over $30, and the app is friendly and easy to use. For those who are committed to a low-calorie lifestyle, online groceries offer ways to help you resist impulsive buying decisions of high-calorie junk foods and you may even save money! Remember, low-calorie meals plus food tracking results in weight loss.

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A few weeks ago, I made a rare trip into my local grocery store. I just needed a couple of items and my goal was to run in and run out with just those few necessities. As I approached the end cap of an aisle, I spotted the new Cinnamon Bun Oreos which were strategically placed so I would have to pass by them. Oh… Oreos. And in a moment of lost impulse control, they were placed in my basket for me to consume later.

Grocery stores are counting on all of us to make impulsive purchases. It’s big business and it not only impacts our wallet, but it impacts our weight loss and weight control strategies. As the Food Tracking Momma, I am here to help you lose weight by counting calories and logging them in a food diary. One way to lose weight is to limit the junk and high-calorie foods that you purchase.

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I have been using Walmart’s Online Grocery and pickup for six months now. You will find many positives to online groceries, but the one I want to emphasize most in this article is your ability to limit impulse buying of processed/high-calorie foods.

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Impulse Buying Equals More Calories

According to a CNBC report, consumers pay an additional $5400 a year on impulse purchases. In the survey, 70.5 percent of respondents identify food as their biggest impulse purchase. That is a lot of money a year. But how many additional calories does this represent? That is the problem for all of us living a food tracking lifestyle. Impulse purchases equal extra (and unnecessary) calories.

The physical layout of a grocery store is designed for impulse buying! One way to combat this is to go in with a grocery list and have a ton of willpower so that you do not deviate at all from that list. Oh, and leave your husband and toddler at home because you can guarantee there will be many extra items if you bring them along.

When you walk in the store, you smell the bread and cookies. You see the enticing products strategically placed on the end caps of the aisles (Oreo cookies anyone?) The meat and dairy are placed in the back to force you to walk through the store to obtain those essential items. Even the music played in the background has been researched to influence you to buy more items! For more information into the science of grocery shopping, please reference this link.

Positive Aspects to Online Grocery Services

There are many positive aspects to using an online grocery service. Let me summarize my favorites:

Little to no impulse buying
I summarized above the tactics grocery stores employ to entice you to make impulsive purchases. By never entering the store, you completely remove most of the marketing tactics that influence you to make an unplanned purchase. At the time of writing this article, the Walmart app does offer product suggestions when you are ready to close out your order, but they are based on previous purchases, not random advertisements of junk food.

It is convenient to input a grocery list into the easy to use Walmart Grocery app, pay electronically, and then about six hours later go pick up the bagged and completed groceries. If it’s raining you don’t have to get wet. You don’t have to take grumpy children into the store. If you are limited on time, you only expend the time it takes to input your items into the app and then drive to the pickup area. It is a modern way to grocery shop and it is an epitome of convenience.

Adding needed items as you go
As I type this article, I know that I just ran out of eggs and brown sugar. In the past, I would keep a separate list to track the kitchen items I need. Now all I do is open my online grocery app and quickly add the items as they run out. This way I don’t worry about keeping multiple lists, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting to add any essential items. The Walmart app allows you to track your needed grocery items throughout the week.

I love my little guy. He brings joy to my life. And he is just shy of three years old and is asserting his new found will, usually in the form of a screaming fit. God bless him! So, the thought of taking him into the grocery store makes me a little queasy right now. Don’t worry, we are working on this and he is improving, but to make life simpler on this stay-at-home mom, I love that I can complete my grocery shopping without ever taking the little guy into the store. Thank you online grocery! Your other customers who don’t have to observe a toddler fit thank you also.

Limiting impulsive purchases
If you don’t go into the store, you don’t smell the bakery goods (donuts!) and you aren’t tempted with the newest junk foods. Using Walmart Grocery reduces impulsive purchases that costs money and adds unnecessary calories.

Meal Planning
Meal planning is having a menu (low calorie and healthy, of course) for however many days you are buying for and creating a grocery list based on that menu. I encourage you to meal plan before you grocery shop. This way you can plan out your low-calorie meals and shop only for the ingredients needed for your menus. Once you have your meal plan completed, then simply open your grocery app and quickly input the ingredients. This is convenient and supports a low-calorie lifestyle. Do you need some low-calorie meal options? I recommend Instant Pot Chili con Carne and Slow Cooker Tangy Beef Stew. Yes, you can eat beef as part of a low-calorie lifestyle.

Negatives to online grocery services

So, I’ve mentioned the positives, are there any negatives? I can only assess Walmart Online Grocery but for me, the negatives are far less than the positives. First, there is a $30 minimum purchase. I completely understand this restriction. It would drive them nuts to have to shop every time someone needed a cup of sugar. Another problem I’ve experienced is that their app lists an item in inventory, but it runs out before the associate can shop for it. You can help negate this problem by allowing substitutions, but even then, sometimes they just don’t have an item that you’ve purchased (you will be refunded the cost of the item but now you must run to another store if the item is essential). This is an error between their app and their live inventory software. Hopefully in the future they will include a warning that the item is low in stock, so you can choose something else. The final negative is, you are allowing someone else to make subjective choices for you. If you are a control freak, this may not work for you. For me, I’ve been satisfied, and I think they put much time and effort into making great choices.

Online grocery services have many positive aspects. As the Food Tracking Momma, I am most grateful for the ability to reduce impulsive purchases of high-calorie junk foods. By only buying the ingredients that support my low-calorie lifestyle, I can lose weight. Therefore I recommend using an online grocery service to help you lose weight.

If this article was helpful to you, please comment and let me know. I understand that online grocery services are not available everywhere. Hopefully they will come to a location near you soon.

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