Dining in Disney: Stay off the Junk Food Rollercoaster
Planning a spring break or summer trip to Disney? A weekend at the amusement park? Or just stopping by a local county fair? The rides and sights are great, but the food choices aren’t always so thrilling. What can you do to stay off the junk food rollercoaster? First of all, walk as much of the park or fairgrounds and check out all the options before making a decision (and you are burning calories as you walk, so double the benefit!) You may not realize a healthier option is just right around the corner unless you look. Secondly, choose small portions when possible, or share your treat with a friend or two. Next, try to balance your high fat favorites – for one high fat treat consumed, enjoy two to three healthy, or healthier, foods throughout the day before you consider purchasing another high fat treat. Finally, sit down when you eat, for mealtimes AND for snacks. When sitting and concentrating on what you are eating, you will know when you are satisfied and stop before you eat more than your body really needs.
What are some healthy choices? Try a roasted corn on the cob (skip the butter) instead of fries. How about a frozen chocolate dipped banana instead of a double dipper ice cream cone? You can’t go wrong with a grilled chicken sandwich. And peanuts or roasted pecans to share with a friend are a better bet than a big plate of funnel cake. Can’t resist that funnel cake? Feel it’s just not a county fair or a theme park without one? Then don’t try to avoid it if you are going to feel deprived and end up eating too many other things in your effort to resist it. Instead, plan ahead. Purchase it, and share it with several friends while you sit down and watch the parade of people go by. Eat every bite slowly so you don’t miss the experience – but when you and your friends are done, get back up and get on the move again! And don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It is easy to get dehydrated in the summer sun, and theme park and fair foods are usually higher in salt – two reasons why your body will get thirsty more quickly. And thirst is easily misread as hunger, so a calorie-free cool glass of water instead of another chocolate chip cookie may be just the theme park ticket your body needs!