Instead of wandering up and down the aisles on an empty stomach, eat before you go to the grocery store and once you're there, purchase only the items on your list, suggests Joy Dubost, RD, PhD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That way the only step left is deciding which brand or type of product to purchase. Dubost makes these suggestions: Reach for 1% or skim milk instead of 2% or whole milk; grab whole grain pasta, rice, and bread instead of white varieties; load sparkling water instead of soda into your cart; choose whole fruits or 100% juice over fruit-flavored drinks; and if you have a tendency to overeat straight from the package, pick preportioned sizes instead.
More: Your Guide to Perfectly Cooked Whole Grains
If you're not the type to tote almonds and apple slices in your laptop bag, you're likely on the lookout for a satisfying snack at the coffee shop, corner store, or vending machine come late afternoon. "Convenience food doesn't have to mean junk food," says Dobbins, who suggests keeping your eye out for prepackaged foods that are sold in their original form. Examples include whole or precut fruits and veggies, hard-boiled eggs, and cups of yogurt. If you're trying to save money and don't mind planning in advance, make your own snack packs at the start of the week. "As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I wash and cut up cauliflower, broccoli, and celery, making it handy to grab," says Clark. "If I didn't, I'd never eat it."
More: 15 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks
If you're going to a party, carry a clutch instead of a hobo or shoulder bag, says Marisa Moore, RD, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. It keeps your hands full, making it more difficult to hold both a drink and a plate.