Ten Tips for a Healthy Black Friday

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Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season and is one of the largest shopping days in the United States. While still being in tough economic times, the Black Friday 2010 website estimates the number of shoppers to increase 5 million more than last year. This event draws in shoppers to malls and department stores all over and while many plan ahead for the sales, they aren’t planning ahead for staying healthy. Here are ten tips for staying healthy for this year’s Black Friday shopping spree.

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1. Drink a full glass of water before eating breakfast.  This Oregon Health and Science University article reveals a report that says middle-aged adults who drank two cups of water before eating consumed less calories. This will help you stay fuller throughout the day.

2. Take advantage of the extra exercise you will get from walking all day with full bags on each arm. Don’t let yourself justify a giant cookie just because you have been walking all day.

3. Eat slowly.  Discovery Health says when eating, your brain gets signals from your stomach and intestines you are full—but it takes about 20 minutes for those signals to get there.  By eating slowly, you give those signals a chance to register.

4. Fight cravings and temptations by chewing a piece of gum.  This Livestrong article shows chewing a piece of gum can decrease cravings or can at least be an occasional substitute for unhealthy snacks—which you will be tempted with all day.

5. You may have heard eating several small meals during the day will help you lose weight. While it is true, there are many “small” food items that are anything but small when it comes to nutritional value.  Don’t be fooled by something’s size. For example, some muffins can have 500 calories! Be prepared and bring a few healthy snacks for the day instead.

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6. When hitting up a coffee shop, steer clear from the high calorie drinks. Skip the whipped cream and go for the skim milk instead of whole milk.  This Suite 101 article includes many great tips for making healthy choices at Starbucks that can be applied to any coffee shop.

7. There are candy bars and chips at the check-out. Pretty convenient, right? Well the store strategically placed them there because they know you will throw it in during checkout. Don’t let an impulse buy ruin your progress!

8. Chinese and pizza are food court favorites but can be a nightmare to eating healthy. It is possible to eat healthy in the food court, but it doesn’t involve a full container of orange chicken and fried rice. This blog by Kristie Leong gives excellent tips for not letting your food court lunch be a disaster to your diet.

9. Do eat. It can be easy to forget about food when you hit the ground running for all the great sales. But if you don’t eat, hours later you’re going to run out of energy.  Not feeling well could put a damper on your shopping trip

10. Plan. You probably planned your trip—which stores to visit, what’s on sale, coupons, etc. Take a few minutes to plan the food involved in your day.

Happy shopping!

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