February 1, 2009 -- Question: What does 'shop the perimeter' mean?
Answer: When we talk about shopping the perimeter of a grocery store, what it really means is that as you go into the grocery store, the items that are most conducive to helping you be successful with your weight loss, that's where they are. For instance, you go into a grocery store and usually once you get there it's produce. So, right away, in your basket we're looking for at least one half of that basket with produce and we move around the grocery store.
Oftentimes that's where protein will be, the dairy is there, the meats are there, and there are low fat versions of both of those, they go in. Then we go a little bit further around the grocery store, getting our exercise at the same time, and we will see oftentimes the bread, and there are so many options of whole grain and we can take it one step further, a whole wheat tortilla, or a whole wheat English muffin, or a whole wheat pita if somebody is trying to watch over all the quantity of what they eat.
So the goal is three quarters of our cart filled with items around the perimeter, or the outside part of the store, and then we don't have as much room in the cart to go up and down the aisles which is where those higher calorie items tend to lurk.