Healthy Eating for Holiday Shopping

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Christmas Gift

Photo by: Ryan McVay ©(c) Ryan McVay

Ryan McVay, (c) Ryan McVay

It's the heart of the holiday shopping season: Malls are flooded, parking lots are jam-packed, and your inbox is overflowing with e-coupons. Whether you’re hitting up the food court or doing your shopping online, keep these tips in mind.

You wouldn't fall for an overpriced sweater deal, so don't fall for these food traps while you're out shopping. Plus, how to keep your appetite at bay while you're bargain-hunting.

Don’t...
  • Munch on free samples. The calories can add up fast.
  • Shop hungry. Eat a sensible meal before you head out to the store or sit at the computer
  • Swig liquid calories. Large sodas and full-fat peppermint lattes can have as many calories as a meal
  • Go overboard on holiday goodies. Just because you can buy a 10-pound bar of chocolate shaped like a Christmas tree doesn’t mean that you should.
Do...
  • Resist the wafting smells from the pretzel and cookie stands. Save those calories for holiday parties.
  • Pack power snacks. Granola bars, fresh fruit, peanut butter crackers, and trail mix are good options
  • Keep your mouth occupied. If you find yourself mindlessly snacking, chew sugarless gum or sip on a  calorie-free drink
  • Wash your hands before you eat. Especially after a day of shopping
Surviving the Food Court

Sometimes eating at the mall is unavoidable – the hardest part is resisting temptation! Stick to the fresher options like soups, salads and sandwiches, and check out what’s available online ahead of time. Use our tips for eating at big chain restaurants.

TELL US: What are your strategies for eating when out shopping?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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