Retail Therapy for Weight Loss 03.03.2016

shopping therapy

Shop till you drop, goes the saying. And we recommend you take it literally. If shopping is your favorite pastime and being laden with shopping bags is your idea of fun, then you are in luck. While science has already established that retail therapy has emotional benefits what very few will tell you is that shopping can help you lose weight too. Shopping is a great calorie burner!

Don’t believe us, here is the math – Research shows that on an average women burn around 50,000 calories shopping every year (around to 160 calories per hour shopping). And there is more, one shopping spree amounts to 7000+ steps on an average, i.e. around 6 kms of walking (brisk walking if you hurry from one store to another) per trip and 250 kms a year!

While it is not a substitute for your daily dose of exercise, there are a few ways you can optimize your shopping trips. Seemingly simple things like where to park your car or whether or not to maintain a shopping list make a whole lot of difference.

Don’t forget a shopping list

There is evidence, for instance the research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, that people who shop with a list weigh less and lose more weight. 76% of the people make decisions in store, making impulse (read unhealthy or unnecessary) purchases more likely. Making and following the shopping list is the easiest way to stick to your diet/ healthy eating, lessen mindless browsing and search for items you need.

Avoid the Big Weekly shopping routine

A weekly shopping day is a bad idea for so many reasons. One; a new study points out that we binge when we buy in bulk. Buying in larger quantities makes us eat more, and the knowledge that our shelves will be deprived of new stock for a week makes us splurge on items we don’t need. So shop more often, eat right. Point two; remember the math we spoke about at the starting of this article? The more you shop, the more calories you burn. So by simply breaking down your weekly shopping routine in to frequent shopping trips you will get much more exercise. Prioritize your shopping list, put down a date as per immediacy and each time bring home only that which is immediate. Make separate trips to the mall for your dress and shoes.

Don’t follow the order

retail therapy

Now this is something you have to consciously train yourself to do. Whether in the supermarket or at the mall, don’t make purchases in the order they are placed – give yourself an excuse to walk more, pick items haphazardly as long as they are on your shopping list. Walk back and forth through the aisles, or through the corridor in a mall thus adding up more steps to your shopping work out.

Fight for the furthest parking lot

Or better yet, walk to the mall. Not only does this force you to walk more, but on your way back you will be carrying your shopping bags further along, hence more calories burnt. Also, since you will be conscious of the weight of the shopping bags you have to lug back with you, you will refrain from making bulk purchases. (P.S: that is of course if you don’t push your shopping cart all the way to your car!)

Carry a snack

Bring along a snack you like so you won’t be tempted to gratify yourself at the food court or snack while you shop at the supermarket. Carrying your snack along is insurance that you will eat healthy and look away from the sugary, fat filled comfort foods.


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