If you’re anything like me, you’ve barely made a dent in your holiday shopping list. Now, it’s crunch-time! I’ve been heading to the mall or downtown shopping hubs several times in the past few weeks. Sometimes, I’m “shopping” for hours at a time (I use the term shopping loosely. I tend to wander around overwhelmed and bewildered longer than I actually shop). As you can imagine, I get pretty hungry by day’s end. However, with all the fattening, delectable food choices tempting us throughout the food court, it’s hard to find the healthy choices we know we should be reaching for.
So what’s a shopper to do?
Here are my top tips for maintaining healthy eating while you are on the go this holiday season:
- Eat Before You Go: Before heading out to the mall or shops, eat a filling meal. Eating beforehand will keep you energized for the day ahead, while helping to curb cravings. If you eat a nutritious and filling meal ahead of time, you will be better able to avoid those unhealthy options strategically sprinkled throughout the shopping areas.
- If You’re Hungry, Eat: You’ve been shopping for hours. You are crabby. You are tired. You are famished. Eat and be done with it. Your body needs energy and nutrients to keep going. If you are in between mealtimes, stick with a filling snack that will tide you over until your next meal.
- Hydrate: Staying hydrated is important while you are on the go. Not only is increasing your water intake important all the time, but this also helps curb your appetite. So often, we think we’re hungry, when really, we are just dehydrated. Don’t let the confusion happen to you!
- Preparation is Key: Pack yourself some healthy snacks, like a piece of fruit, whole-grain crackers, or a small bag of nuts (serving size people!). If you have snacks on hand you’ll be more likely to reach for those than a bag of chips or cookie.
- Avoid Temptation: If you are trying to avoid the food court, don’t go near it! Just the smell of Panda Express is enough to complete derail me. If sweets are your weakness, avoid walking past Mrs. Fields.
- Or, Give In: If you plan to eat healthy at the food court, but really, really want that teriyaki chicken, walk past the stand and grab a sample. If you are able to satisfy that craving by having a taste, then by all means, curb that craving! Then, get yourself back on track.
Holidays are stressful enough! Employ some of these ideas to keep the stress-eating to a minimum.