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GOLFTEE3 SparkPoints: (6,018)
Fitness Minutes: (2,340)
Posts: 44
8/21/13 2:00 P

The food court at the mall near me has it's own little wing so I don't need to even walk through it. It's the Auntie Anne's that calls to me like a siren!

Edited by: GOLFTEE3 at: 8/21/2013 (14:01)
SIMPLYME80 Posts: 406
8/21/13 12:17 P

I avoid the food court, but if I am really hungry, I'll choose something from the childrens menu. I'll enjoy a small amount of the food I enjoy without the supersize guilt.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,746
8/21/13 12:14 P

Most food courts have some healthy fare. Even a chinese or japanese lunch can be healthy if you choose wisely. Choose a non-fried protein, lots of veggies and brown rice. There is usually a salad place around as well.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
Posts: 337
8/21/13 11:43 A

I have my will power to Not go near them.. If I have to go to mall, I eat a healthy lunch before. Cinnabon, Panda Express, Pizza, KFC, etc. Are Not a good choice for me. Carry healthy snacks, and water.

ANNA19821982 SparkPoints: (1,007)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/21/13 11:32 A

I walk by the food court...

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (275,098)
Fitness Minutes: (135,737)
Posts: 13,362
8/21/13 11:31 A

walk by

8/21/13 9:39 A

I rarely go to the mall and NEVER go to the food court when I do.

MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (228,267)
Fitness Minutes: (210,762)
Posts: 4,388
8/21/13 9:28 A

stay away from it!

8/21/13 8:50 A

Subway sandwich or salad, or McDonalds fruit and yogurt parfait and side salad/french fries/snack wrap.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
8/21/13 8:40 A

it's been a long time since I was in a mall with a food court, but even then, I either joined the rest of them by having a beverage or something light - even a bowl of soup; or I tried to make as healthy a choice as possible.

HMILLY2020 Posts: 587
8/21/13 7:30 A

Get a child sized version for yourself. That way you can still have what you are craving but its a small portion which usually means less calories and fat. You can be satisified without the guilt. Just remember to eat slowly and savor your food because some of those kid meals are tiny that you can go thru them quickly and still be hungry!

HEALTHYJ29 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,307
8/21/13 1:29 A

Most food courts would have similar options as any chain or family style restaurant. You can often ask for your meal to be made in a certain way. I see no reason a person could not find a balance meal that fits into their calorie needs. Most offer grilled chicken sandwiches or salads that you can ask for no dressing or on the side. A slice of pizza with a salad and dressing on the side. If you want a burger get a plain one. Just like at a regular restaurant watching portion sizes, sauces, and fried foods is important

SCRIMP1 Posts: 651
8/20/13 6:07 P

I understand where some of you are coming from regarding avoiding the Food Court. I absolutely do not stop there everytime I am at the mall. If for whatever reason I need to stop there, was looking for suggestions and I received several great ones. No one can make me go off my plan but ME.

I am not fooling myself or blaming it on other people. I have very strong willpower, although I can liken going to a food court the same as an alcoholic going to a bar. Heck if I was not dead serious I would not have lost 28 pounds since July 9.

You guys give great support and I appreciate the different perspectives.

GOODLANDGAL3 Posts: 8,028
8/20/13 5:40 P

Don't do it.

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
8/20/13 5:02 P

If THEY are hungry, but you aren't, you don't have to partake! If my friends wanted to stop for a cheeseburger and I wasn't hungry, I would get out my knitting or Kindle, or say "I'll meet up with you guys in 20 minutes - I really want to check out that one shop". If I WAS hungry and it wasn't just them, I may suggest going to X Y or Z restaurant that has healthy options, or the above mentioned healthy options found in a food court.

Eating at a food court absolutely can be avoided (unless like some said you work in a mall and get a super short lunch), but like anything else you have to make a choice to avoid it or not.

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
Fitness Minutes: (39,981)
Posts: 2,322
8/20/13 3:39 P

Just like any other restaurant, you make a plan for it and try to find something relatively healthy.

AZDGIRO Posts: 457
8/20/13 2:59 P

I tend to agree with GPHOENIX's advice - eat before you go. As you pass by the food court, make a mental note to be proud of yourself as you walk by because you had a healthy meal beforehand and have no need of its services. You'll still have that cash in your pocket, too!

ANNA19821982 SparkPoints: (1,007)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/20/13 11:43 A

Go to leaf orange in sweasea... its frozen yogurt.. its low fat, less, less calories, has lotss of flavors u can choose from.... & there do have topping u can choose from there's fruits there, I go there once a week.. I'll go there than go to eat a ice cream at mall

CEDARBARK1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 996
8/20/13 9:37 A

I probably eat at the mall about twice a year. We have a small local chain of Mexican eateries, and one of these is located at our mall. I order the taco salad with shrimp -- it comes in a taco "bowl", of which I eat very little, but I eat down the salad -- lots of lettuce, veggies and shrimp -- inside. You can get the dressing on the side. And it tastes great! (You can also get this with chicken or steak, but I stick with the shrimp.)

I gotta admit, nothing else at our mall food court remotely appeals to me, either nutritionally or taste-wise. I suppose I could do one scoop of ice cream if this isn't a frequent destination (and it isn't), and if I really am in the mood.

(PS, I probably GO to the mall about 4 times a year, if that. My dining out there this last couple of years has been with our local book club, which changes venue a lot, and usually finds healthier ones, but sometimes we feel like being on a budget.)

AMANDANCES Posts: 2,048
8/20/13 9:27 A

If you work at the mall, I can see having to eat there. I worked at a chain jewelry store for a couple of years while I was in school, and we only had 30 minutes for lunch. No fridge meant either bringing room-temp food, or hitting the food court. Fortunately ours had a Subway, and I spent most lunches eating Sub salads.

Here are some articles with suggestions:

Above all, avoid soft drinks and coffee drinks!!! I could drink my entire day's calorie allotment at Starbucks during one 8-hour shift. Stick with water.

Try to brown bag it as much as you can. Soups stay warm in a thermos, and I've been known to chop up homemade lasagna and casseroles and stick the pieces in a thermos. BLTs taste great at room temp. (Don't refrigerate the tomatoes first -- doing so changed their flavor.) Fruits like oranges and cherries and blueberries don't have to stay refrigerated, and you can always throw an ice pack in your lunchbox for string cheese, boiled eggs, or anything else that needs a chill.

LEANJEAN6 Posts: 17,942
8/20/13 6:33 A

keep on walking

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/20/13 1:17 A

Some people work very hard to make up excuses to eat bad food. No one really cares if you want to eat at a mall food court, but using your friends , or the need to shop for 4 hours as an excuse is not a reason, or an excuse. First of all, no one needs to be at the mall for 4 hours, and most people can wait for 4 hours to eat again, especially if they know they are going to the mall, and there will be garbage they are tempted to eat. No one just ends up there, trapped, and forced to eat this garbage, unless you are kidnapped by someone in the food court. If your supposed friends know you have issues with weight, or health, and still want to sabotage you by suggesting you eat garbage, then they don't give a $**+ about you, and aren't really your friend. Friends actually care about things like that. For every lame excuse presented there is a simple solution. You are not looking for solutions, but reasons why you can eat at the food court.

You are allowed to eat at the food court, and no one is saying you can't, but spare us the lecture about how you are a victim of circumstance, and HAVE to eat there sometimes. You may not like the truth, but you are just trying to justify eating poorly. The only reason you would ever have to eat at the food court, is if you want to eat off plan, and worked hard to make sure you had to. Go enjoy it. Don't blame your friends, or your granddaughter.

There are obvious " better " choices in the food court, and I think you have been given good advice on those better options. My only issue was with idea that you couldn't avoid the food court at the mall. If that makes me holier-than thou, I really don't care.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 8/20/2013 (07:44)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,142)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,764
8/19/13 11:05 P

I agree HSHEA.

8/19/13 9:18 P

I prefer to splurge on a small Pinkberry with fresh fruit for toppings :-)

GPHOENIX Posts: 2,839
8/19/13 9:12 P

I try really hard to eat before I go to the Mall. If I am with people who are hungry then I try very hard to make healthy choices, cut the meal in half (take the rest home)

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
8/19/13 8:46 P

No, you do not ever HAVE to eat at a food court, even if you are with people who want to do so.

It is possible to have a conversation with people who are eating while you are not. It is also possible to suggest a different alternative, to get a glass of cold water or to order a cup of tea with some Splenda or no sweetener at all. It is also possible to plan ahead and choose to go at a non-meal time or to bring your own snack.

It's a choice--and it is fine to choose that if it is what you want from time to time, but it's also helpful to be honest with yourself about such things.

SCRIMP1 Posts: 651
8/19/13 5:30 P

HSHEAJ5--I agree its all about a lifestyle change and not feeling deprived. If I am at the mall to shop I could easily be there 4 hours or more if I have to go to several stores.

It is not realistic to get new friends or a new granddaughter that doesn't want to stop for French Fries cause she smells the food court after refusing food at home. Shopping at the mall is a social activity sometimes and I need to have strategies for these occasions.

Taking a snack with me is also a good idea. Thanks to all who suggested options.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
8/19/13 4:18 P

One slice of pizza. Makes me happy, and the calories are halfway reasonable for a meal (even if the level of nutrition isn't), unlike many of the superficially healthier options. Predictable, too, which is nice, and filling. I'm not "out" like that often enough for it to make a whit of difference to my overall lifestyle. If we're there around dinner, though, we usually go to a stir-fry place where there a couple of pretty nice meals available for 400-600 calories. Another nice option (when out somewhere else, not at the mall) is the health food store -- most have ready-to-eat hot food -- though god knows what the calories are on most of their stuff. At least they do have some truly healthy stuff, though, not just fake-healthy.

ANNA19821982 SparkPoints: (1,007)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/19/13 1:08 P

I rather go to gnc buy a lean bar from food from the court

GIPPER1961 Posts: 763
8/19/13 1:08 P

I think the answer to this and many questions depends on your story. Spark people has many stories. We have people that want to lose 20 pounds to be at a perfect weight but we also have people that will die if they don't find a way to eat healthy. A trip to a mall food court for the person may just be a never ever proposition. For someone looking to lose that last 20 pounds a chicken sandwich instead of McDonalds is fine trade off.

As someone who has binged for 45 years and lost and regained massive amounts of weight over those 45 years I can say I will avoid fast food and food courts as much as humanly possible. If I must eat there I will pick the closest to real food as I can find there, either a salad (which I personally find very boring) or some grilled veggies and meat

ROXIELU0422 Posts: 317
8/19/13 12:10 P

It's hard to walk by a food court with all the smells, especially if you are hungry. If you end up at Panda Express or a chinese place, get a bowl, and get brown rice, if htey have it. I know Panda Express has started having brown rice as an option. Better than the white, fried and the chow mein.

if you just want a snack, go to a pretzel place and ask for it without butter or salt. Get some cheese dip with it and eat that. It's actually a better choice, since they are baked and not fried. If your mall has a subway or something like that, get a salad or lower fat sandwiches. It can be done.

LULUCALLY SparkPoints: (18,434)
Fitness Minutes: (17,219)
Posts: 833
8/19/13 11:58 A

I am with LILLIPUTIANNA, I walk right by.

ANNA19821982 SparkPoints: (1,007)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/19/13 11:08 A

Fried food is very bad... I was 177lbs,. Now I weigh 169 when I go to the mall with my fiance I walk by the food court, I dont eat that nasty junk food.. ill go to gnc to get a protein bar like a lean bar... with water to drink...

8/19/13 10:57 A

awesome response

HSHEAJ5 Posts: 3,133
8/19/13 10:53 A

I'm laughing at these holier-than-thou responses... especially the guy implying that your friends aren't truly your friends for eating out. Just because you/we are trying to lose weight doesn't mean that you can never eat out again. The whole spark "thing" is making a lifestyle change rather than dieting, so try to find a healthier option wherever you do eat. Grilled chicken sandwich instead of the burger, side salad instead of the fries, teriyaki chicken instead of the breaded sesame chicken, veggies instead of the lo mein or fried rice... you get the idea. One meal isn't going to wreck all of your efforts, and you shouldn't feel bad about that (or have to get new friends because of it either). :)

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (275,098)
Fitness Minutes: (135,737)
Posts: 13,362
8/19/13 10:10 A

walk by

ANNA19821982 SparkPoints: (1,007)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 79
8/19/13 9:47 A

Hi everyone doing...

I dont eat anything when I do go to the mall, probably I eat a salad & I drink water.. when it comes to junk food I dont eat it. I try really hard not to look at that.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/19/13 9:23 A

A mall visit cannot be more than a few hours, so you should be able to avoid the need for a break, or to eat.

I think the idea of you wanting to take a break/eat is the real truth here. The truth is, it is all horrible food. Not just bad.. HORRIBLE. If you choose to eat there, it is a choice. No one ever has to eat at the mall. Plan your trips, so you spend less than an hour there, and eat beforehand. If your friends choose to eat there, let them. It isn't a requirement that you join in.

I would personally tell my friends that I did not want to be at the food court, watching them eat, and if they wanted to eat, they could come over to my house, and I would cook them lunch, and then we could go to the mall for an hour or 2 . That way, my after lunch stroll/ power shopping could be counted as I doubt anyone is going to turn down a good home cooked meal, so they can go eat garbage, and if they do, and you end up sitting there watching them eat, you might want to find " friends " who aren't so rude, and think about your feelings more.

KPA1B2 Posts: 785
8/18/13 8:04 P

The mall I frequent doesn't have a food court, just a couple of cookie places. I don't shop over the lunch or dinner hour. Eat a snack or bring one with you.

SCRIMP1 Posts: 651
8/18/13 5:05 P

There are plenty of times I don't stop at food courts. But sometimes it cannot be avoided. For example, when you are with other people shopping, like a child or friend, and they/me want/need to take a break or are hungry.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
8/18/13 4:46 P

I can't see a reason why anyone would ever *need* to eat at a mall food court.

Unless you are a teenager and you have social reasons to be there from time to time...well, just don't go near it!

BITTERQUILL Posts: 1,639
8/18/13 4:39 P

I worked in a mall a few years ago. I had no access to a refrigerator and sometimes I got tired of the non-perishable lunches I usually packed, but thankfully I lived in a pretty health conscious area so the food court options were *slightly* better than they are in some areas.

Most restaurants in malls are chains, which means that more often than not you can check nutrition facts online. I did a little research ahead of time and I had one or two healthier options lined up at each place for those times when I knew I might want to buy something. It still wasn't usually as good for me as what I would have packed, but since I didn't do it too often it was alright. It's the same practice I have for eating at any restaurant: plan ahead, don't wait until you're too hungry to resist temptations that don't meet your nutritional needs, etc.

Now, ideally, I'll eat before I leave or after I get home. I almost never spend enough time at the mall that I *need* to stop for food, and if I don't need it I usually don't eat it. When I do spend longer days out shopping and will need to eat at some point, we're usually going from store to store *outside* of a mall, so there are a wider variety of places where we can stop.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 8/18/2013 (16:39)
8/18/13 4:23 P

"How do you Deal with the Mall Food Court?"

I walk past it...and I keep walking.

SONICB Posts: 4,378
8/18/13 4:15 P

I like to order bowls from Panda Express. :) The mixed veggies are quite tasty, and I usually get a small portion of a chicken entree (with vegetables).

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,142)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,764
8/18/13 3:27 P

Commonly found menu items I tend to mix and match:
grilled shrimp
chicken wings
bunless burger
grilled chicken (bunless sandwich)
steamed veggies
veggie soup
pizza toppings on a salad

I always have found something.

SCRIMP1 Posts: 651
8/18/13 2:41 P

I used to just collapse and eat off plan because I did not want to order salads......and they never have really low fat dressing. I have trouble controlling myself when outside of my kitchen.

I like those Teriyaki Chicken places (with the sauted meats and a huge mound of fried rice, served with steamed cabbage or some other veggie).

Now I order the Teriyaki Shrimp, with the cabbage on the side, and ask for white rice. I figure out 1/2 c of rice and leave the rest of the rice behind, and eat the shrimp and cabbage.

What do you order and you are trying to stick to plan?

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