The weather's getting nicer, but there's one indoor place you can't resist going to, sometimes on even the sunniest days: the mall. And whether you blame stress, shopping fatigue, or the irresistible smell of food-court treats slamming your senses from the minute you walk in the door, you'll probably end up chowing down at the mall during your shopping trip.
Here's the danger: Studies have shown that the more temptation people resist, the harder it becomes to continue resisting. That means after hours of being surrounded by tempting sales, special offers, and life-changing, one-time deals, your ability to resist the enticing edibles of the food court may be severely compromised.
And considering the industrial strength calorie bombs we uncovered while researching the Eat This, Not That! series, a lack of willpower in the presence of mall eateries can be a very dangerous thing.
Fortunately, we've developed a guide to help you navigate the nutritional pitfalls that pollute nearly every mall food court in America. What follows is a list of the worst foods we discovered in our scramble to save shoppers serious calories. Proceed with caution.
More from Men's Health:
Regular Caramel Pecanbun
56 g fat (10 g saturated, 5 g trans)
141 g carbs
47 g sugars
FAT EQUIVALENT: 8 White Castle Hamburgers
Cinnabon and malls are inseparable. But just because Cinnabon might be good for the Gap doesn't mean it's at all good for you. This dangerously bloated bun -- among these Fattiest Foods in America -- contains nearly an entire day's worth of fat and more than half of your daily allotment of calories. Reconsider your breakfast or snack options, but if you absolutely must eat something, make it Stix.
Eat This Instead:
21 g fat (6 g saturated, 4 g trans)
41 g carbs
14 g sugars
Grape Expectations II (40 oz)
0 g fat (0 g saturated)
266 g carbs
250 g sugars
SUGAR EQUIVALENT: 13 Dunkin' Donuts Chocolate Frosted Donuts
Smoothie King calls this a way to "snack right"; we call it one of the quickest ways to pack on extra pounds. Even if most of the sugar comes from some form of fruit or fruit juice (in this case, ultra-sweet grape juice), the resulting blood-sugar surge (and inevitable energy crash) from this much sweetness may leave you struggling to find that perfect gift for your friend's birthday.
Drink This Instead:
Slim-N-Trim Orange-Vanilla 20 oz
1 g fat (0 g saturated)
46 g carbs
38 g sugars
More from Men's Health:
Au Bon Pain
Large Macaroni and Cheese Stew with Bread Bowl
42 g fat (19 g saturated, 1 g trans)
3,070 mg sodium
157 g carbs
SODIUM EQUIVALENT: 22 small orders of McDonald's French Fries!