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12 Weight Loss Tips To Avoid Weight Gain While Shopping At The Mall

Aug 17, 2007
Let's face it, when you're on a program the mall food court is a minefield. There's no easy way to tiptoe through the sugar, fat and cholesterol that calls out to you in neon letters from every angle.

And it isn't just the Mrs. Fields and Ben & Jerry's of this world that must be treaded upon lightly. Even the chicken and fish sandwiches must be carefully dissected. If they're breaded, deep-fried and slathered with mayonnaise, they could easily hit you with as much fat and calories as those burgers and fries you set out to avoid.

So the big question, is there any way to survive the nutritional onslaught served up by McDonald's, Burger King, Arby's and other fast food chains?

Answer: Yes, but you must be careful. Here are some tips:

1. Start late. Avoid hectic weekend crowds. Take advantage of late weekday holiday hours, after you've had dinner at home.

2. Dress casually. Wear comfortable walking shoes, you won't be as tired--or on the lookout for a snack to revive you.

3. Shop downtown or at an open-air plaza where you can stroll the streets and stop for a healthy bite at a local cafe.

4. Dine first. Instead of waiting until you're crazed with hunger, start your trip energized from a nice lunch at a sit-down restaurant.

5. Stop for a sample of soothing bath lotions, or try out a relaxing massage chair. You'll be less likely to eat from stress.

6. Hit the drugstore. Save calories and money by grabbing a bottled drink and a snack bag of pretzels that you can stow away for later.

7. Indulge--a little. At the candy store, a single, decadent truffle (0.4 oz) is just 60 calories--a perfect low-cal treat.

8. Plan Ahead: No one says you need to eat mall food. If you know you're going to get hungry while shopping, consider packing a bag of carrot sticks and ask for a container of salad dressing to dip them in to satisfy your yen for something salty. Bring along a bag of unsalted nuts, yogurt, boxed juice or string cheese. 'A Clif Bar is better than most muffins; it will save you 150 calories,'and you can always find a fruit basket if you look.'

9. Pick a Smart Sandwich: Order a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with mustard (instead of mayo). Subway has several good sandwich options, Somers says; just avoid the cheese and oil, and toss the top of the bun to the birds.

10. Sample the Salads: Salad is one of the healthier options at the food court, but be wary of the pre-packaged ones topped with croutons and cheese, they can sneak hundreds of hidden calories into your lunch. And don't forget to opt for the fat-free dressing.

11. Just Say No, Thanks: If you can't find anything good to eat at the mall, you might opt not to munch at all. 'If you don't eat at the food court, you'll survive.'

12. Try these vendors:
Guilt-Free Food Court Eats
You won't spoil your figure with any of these treats.

Chick-fil-A: 4 Chick-n-Strips (230 calories)

Smoothie King: Slim & Trim Orange-Vanilla smoothie (20 oz) (200 calories)

Au Bon Pain: English Toffee Cookie (220 calories)

Starbucks: Cappuccino with fat-free milk (16 oz) (110 calories)

Cinnabon: Pack of 5 CinnabonStix (346 calories--perfect for sharing)

Auntie Anne's: 4 Kidstix (227 calories)

By following these helpful tips you won't end up a blimp after doing your shopping at your local mall.
About the Author
Glenn Freiboth is a Certified Health Advisor lives in Illinois and has helped many overweight and obese people lose weight and keep it off. Get weight loss products at http://www.GetYouHealth.com
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