Christmas Shopping Eating Essentials

Christmas is upon us!  The hustle and bustle of the holidays has begun and will continue for weeks to come. Your evening and weekends will likely be full of lots of shopping, darting here and there and rushing around to get all of those special “somethings” for the people near and dear to your heart! With all the Christmas tunes and holiday rush often comes fast food drive thrus, skipping meals, and sugary sweets to keep your energy levels up.

The truth is that all of this running-around can add to your waistline if you’re not careful! A bite of this and a taste of that accompanied by a shopping break with a white chocolate mocha and gingerbread loaf can do a girl no good real quick! This especially becomes true if shopping is your second job between now and Christmas. So, let’s ring in five eating essentials for your Christmas shopping season!

1. Eat breakfast before take-off: Many of you likely feel like you’re launching off on a mission every Saturday morning between now and Christmas. It is essential that you eat breakfast before take-off as it is the base that jumpstarts your energy. Without a quality breakfast, you are likely to have energy highs and lows all day. So, before you hit the sales, have a protein, fiber-rich breakfast.  Examples include two slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana, yogurt with granola and berries and a hard-boiled egg or even a breakfast smoothie made with Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, fruit and almond butter.

2. Stuff your purse: Samples are everywhere in the mall food court during the holiday season. Bites of cookies, buttery pretzels and chicken nuggets surround you every time you cross the center of the mall. A bite isn’t bad, but when you lap the mall ten times and grab three samples a lap, your likely eating more than you are walking off! So, before you leave your house, stuff your purse with a few nutrient-rich snacks like protein bars, small individual packs of nuts and even beef jerky and a banana. If you are snacking on protein, you are less likely to grab the sugary bites along the way.

3. Watch the clock: Take time for lunch. It may seem like a waste of time amidst your shopping ventures, but stopping for a salad and sandwich to refuel will help keep your energy levels up for the second part of the day. Many Christmas shoppers skip lunch and then get so hungry they stop and binge on the nearest treat. So, stop and have a bite or be sure your came with extra snacks in your purse so you can refuel every 2-3 hours. 

4. Think before your drink: Holiday beverages of all kinds can load you up on calories!  Stopping for a tasty peppermint mocha or grabbing a large soda to quench your thirst can easily tack on 400+ calories to your day. So, bring a bottle of water or Knit with you to sip on while scavenging for deals. In addition, be careful for the happy hours you might partake in to celebrate your finds! All of this can add up to lots of calories and still leave you feeling hungry, so think before you drink!

5. Don’t feel sorry for yourself: Often times when we feel tired and our feet hurt, we feel like we “deserve a treat.” We deserve meeting our family for Mexican food and chowing down on chips, queso and margaritas or we deserve to nibble on the bag of dark chocolate kisses and drink the whole bottle of red wine. Don’t get in the mode of feeling sorry for yourself and over-doing it on the calories. It might feel good in the moment, but you’ll be mad at yourself later!

    So, enjoy some of what you want, but save up as another shopping day is ahead!!!


    Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


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