I recently agreed to help a friend with a weight loss program. The Functional Fitness piece was easy, as I’ve been sharing that with others for years. I’m not a certified nutritionist, but I realized I have been making choices and improving my eating habits bit by bit for many years now, and have learned a trick or two.
This latest conversation was unique because this person made it clear they were not going to stop going to fast food restaurants. Typically an easy answer there would be to avoid fast food, but what do you do when that is not an option for time or other reasons?
The best answer would be to help the person create fast, healthy options to avoid the restaurants, but again that was not an option. So, what do you do to improve how you eat at fast food places? I came up with a couple ideas to offer and so I thought I’d share them with others who find themselves in the drive thru.
#1: There are more and more healthy choices on fast food menus these days. Those salads at McDonalds are quite yummy. Try ’em out. Yogurt parfaits are also scrumptious.
#2: Avoid french fries like the plague. If you can’t live with the healthy side choices (like me because an apple as compared to fries is too difficult a choice) then try this idea. It isn’t as cheap, but buy your burger and then buy another small burger instead of fries. Burgers are a poor choice for carbs, proteins, and fats, but they are balanced between the three. In contrast, fries offer nothing but taste (and a bazillion calories!).
#3: If you eat at fast food 4 times a week, make 2 of them Subway and eat a healthy sub there.
#4: Don’t have time for subway? First off…really? Anyway, if not then at least make 3 of the 4 days a day where you get that salad or the healthy side. You get the point. Any healthier choice is a step in the right direction. Think baby steps.
#5: Going along with that last point, try to cut out just 1 day a week where you hit the drive thru. Plan ahead and pack a lunch or pack a snack that can buy you time to make a dinner at home.
Remember, I’m not suggesting you ever get fast food, but some people just can’t (or won’t) avoid it. If that is you, then just try one of the tips above and make a small change for the better.
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That burger and fries in the photo looks really good! My complaint with fast food places is they don’t serve alcohol. That would make my life so much easier. Skip the fries but add the Manhattan.
Less calories and way more enjoyable. I think you are on to something here!
Also try to avoid mayonaise and go light on the dressing. Mustard is a much better option on a sandwich. Try a leaving off the cheese too. I love the Santa Fe salad with grilled chicken and the yogurt parfaits at McDonalds. Skip the flavored coffees too. I can enjoy a glass of wine for 100 calories versus a flavored coffee for over 500 calories.
But the pies are two for a dollar. TWO!!!
eating healthy isn’t cheap my friend 🙂