5 Tips for Healthier Holiday Shopping

With the countdown to the holidays in full swing, chances are you’re logging more time at the shopping mall. As you brave the crowds — and make a concerted effort to ignore the tempting aromas from the food court — keep in mind there are many ways you can turn your shopping experience into a healthy outing. Think of these tips the next time you’re mall bound:

  1. Plan ahead. Have a South Beach Diet–friendly meal before you hit the mall so you’re not tempted to indulge in the unhealthy choices at the food court. Also, pack easy, portable snacks (such as nuts or some reduced-fat string cheese, if you’re on Phase 1; or a few dried apricots, a piece of fresh fruit, or a small bag of air-popped popcorn, if you’re on Phase 2) to munch on midmorning or midafternoon. If your schedule is packed and you don’t have time to prepare something at home, our South Beach Diet 100-Calorie Snack Bars, Protein Fit Bars, or Good to Go Cereal Bars are convenient and healthy on-the-go options.

  2. Shop early. Hit the mall early in the morning. Not only will it be less crowded, but you’ll be out of there before lunchtime.

  3. Work in extra walking. You may have heard this from us before, but we’ll remind you again: Parking in a spot that’s farthest from the mall entrance is a great way to log in extra steps. (Just make sure the lot is well lit if you’ll be heading home after dark.) And whenever you can, skip the escalator and elevator in favor of the stairs. Carrying all your packages a bit further can’t hurt either.

  4. Do intervals while you shop. Before you begin shopping or while you’re going from store to store, squeeze in a few intervals of really fast walking, alternating with some slow recovery walking in between. In addition to getting your heart pumping, this will clear your head before diving into the in-store fray.

  5. Boost your self-esteem. Most likely your focus is on finding gifts for friends and family, but if you pass a great outfit, why not try it on in your new smaller size to see just how far you've come on your weight-loss journey? This will not only boost your self-esteem but also your commitment to the South Beach Diet as you face the excitement and challenges of the holidays and New Year ahead.

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