Anyone who has been to a theme park will know that it is one of the hardest experience in the life of living healthy. I went to Six Flags Great Adventure yesterday, and let me tell you: scarier than the rides and roller coasters were the smells that were EVERYWHERE. Each corner you turn gives you the scent of something new, be it pizza, burgers, fried goods or funnel cakes. And don’t forget about the little stalls and vending machines. Even in the areas where you wait in line for the coasters, there are machines chock full of M&Ms, sodas and other snacks. And when your wait can be up to 90 minutes … these little troves of sugar can become pretty irresistible.
Sadly to say, Americans have given in to these theme park temptations. I saw 4 times when an obese person had to be asked to get off the ride because the employees could not lock the harness. And there are many people who let their kids roam around while they sit in place and eat plates of fried potato chips – what has the world come to? 😦
So here are some tips to help you out:
Theme Park Tip #1: PACK YOUR OWN FOOD. This is the most important tip of all. Having a lunchbox full of healthy munchies is the trick to resisting temptation. Most of the time, you are not actually hungry and just want to eat because you are tempted by the sights and smells: having your own nuts, veggies or fruits can stave the craving. Pack sandwiches so you don’t have to buy a high calorie lunch.
Theme Park Tip #2: STAY HYDRATED. Carry a water bottle and take a few sips every 15 minutes. When you’re dehydrated you often mistake it for hunger, causing you to mindlessly munch on things that will derail your diet. Stay fueled on water and you might even feel too full even nibble on the things you brought yourself – it’s amazing what a little H2O can do. And since you are in the sun for long periods of time, drinking lots of water is essential.
Theme Park Tip #3: POSITIVE THOUGHTS. A lot of the time, my own silly nut bars
were not enough to keep me from wanting a huge plate of churros with chocolate sauce. But then I looked at the people eating them, and thought twice. I thought of the obesity in America that was fueled by places just like this. I kept thinking “You are stronger than a plate of junk, you have come this far and you’re having fun anyway, so why waste all that for a few minutes of indulgence?” Keep your eye on the prize!
Theme Park Tip #4: DON’T CARRY MONEY. Just bring enough with you to buy your entrance ticket and maybe play a few games. If you have lots of extra cash on hand, you’ll be far more likely to splurge on the goodies in sight. If you have no money, you can’t afford them anyway!
Theme Park Tip #5: STAY ACTIVE. This is a given when you’re in a theme park, but there are lots of little ways you can burn more calories. Walk across the park instead of taking the cable car and move your legs while you’re waiting in line. Try to avoid sitting around as much as possible, and you’ll realize that you had a healthy day full of exercise.
Staying away from theme park food will make you feel proud of yourself, and will actually keep you up and running longer – a big serving of saturated fats will leave you bloated and lazy. Walking around for hours and enjoying the rides is a lot more exciting anyway. Have a fun time!