Watch your calories when shopping

Richard Bogren, Reames, Elizabeth S.  |  12/8/2009 9:27:23 PM

News Release Distributed 12/08/09

If you’re planning to spend time at the mall this holiday season, LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames offers some tips to help you prevent overeating while you’re out and about.

“Eat a healthy meal or snack before going to the mall,” Reames says. “Shopping on an empty stomach may make you overeat at lunch or sooner.”

She also recommends sharing the holiday spirit – and your food. Sharing a meal or holiday treats with a friend can cut calories.

You also can pack a lunch and healthy snacks to take with you. And buy water or a low-calorie drink at the mall to go with it.

“Many malls offer healthy food selections, such as made‑to‑order sandwiches on whole-grain breads, pizza on whole-wheat crust, grilled chicken, baked potatoes, frozen yogurt, whole fruits – oranges, apples or bananas – bottled water, skim milk and juices,” Reames says.

And when you’re out, the nutritionist suggests a few laps of mall walking. “The average person can burn approximately 220 to 310 calories per hour during brisk walking,” she says. “Some malls have designated walking programs and are open to the public before stores actually open.”

Shopping for an hour will burn only 164 calories, but by taking the stairs instead of the escalator, you’ll burn an extra 90 calories for every 10 minutes going up and 32 calories going down, Reames says. Later, you can burn 50 calories per half hour by wrapping the gifts yourself.

LSU AgCenter nutritionists and agents recommend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid as a guide to healthful eating. More information about MyPyramid is available from the LSU AgCenter office in your parish.

Rick Bogren

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