No matter what time of year you go shopping it presents itself with roadblocks to being healthy. But, the holidays are especially intimidating. Did you know that shopping centers, even outdoor areas, pump smell into the air to tempt you into buying food? They do this at amusement parks and movie theaters too. This should help you understand why you’re so tempted.

  • Eat Before Shopping – When you know you’re going to spend the day shopping, eat a healthy and filling meal before you go. Even if you’re going to stop to eat at some point, starting out full is the best way to stay in control.
  • Take Water – It’s important to stay hydrated when shopping so you can keep your stamina up. Many times, people think they’re hungry when they’re just thirsty. Keep drinking your 64 ounces of water per day.
  • Bring Healthy Snacks – Put some healthy snacks in your purse for eating if your blood sugar takes a dive. Shopping is physical work, so a balanced snack with plenty of protein, healthy carbs, and low in unhealthy fat and sugar is your best bet.
  • Dress Comfortably – Dressing comfortably might not seem important when you’re shopping for the holidays, but it is. You’re less likely to feel tired or like you need a break (which means eating) if you’re comfortable.
  • Plan Where to Eat – Part of holiday shopping is going out to eat someplace that you enjoy. So, plan it in advance so that you know where you’re going and what you’re going to eat by checking out the online menu.
  • Eat Sides – If you end up in a place you didn’t plan to go, look at the side menu. Often, they’ll have wonderful steamed veggies for sides that you can make a meal from. Just ask them to prepare them without the oil and butter.
  • Share – More than likely if you’re going shopping with others, they’re not going to have a plan and may stop to get snacks especially caramel covered apples, coated nuts, and other holiday-inspired food. Instead of being a party pooper, offer to share. Then just have a bite or two.
  • Enjoy – Focus on the shopping. It’s a challenge to find just the right thing on your list for each person. Enjoy that process. When you’re actively shopping you’re doing something that’s very healthy because it involves walking, bending, standing, and even using your arms pulling clothes off the racks and putting them back.

Shopping is a fun activity that can be healthy if you plan what you’ll eat and where you’ll eat it. Keep focused on the people with you and the task at hand to avoid feeling as if you’re missing out. The truth is, the healthier you make your life every day, the longer you’re going to feel like going shopping in the first place.