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NIRERIN Posts: 14,236
8/12/14 8:05 A

one thing that helped me was getting off the instant gratification bandwagon. so when i wanted arby's i didn't go then, i made myself wait until the next day because errand x i needed to run was right beside it. once i got used to that day long delay, i'd bump it up to two days. and then three. and then four. and then a week, and then two weeks. adding in that spacing helped because it was easier to forget about the craving and it kind of helped me realize that most cravings are in your head and not something you really need, right then. that bit's advertising and marketing.

why have you been wanting takeaway? convenience? because you have put in on a pedestal ass a treat? because you really like the flavor? have to deal with the smell? because it's habit? because it's "cheap" [keep in mind that .99 fries are about .19 of ingredients if you think fast food is cheap]? once you know the why, you can address it. so if it's convenient, make it more convenient to eat at home. when you make a meal, make an extra serving or two to pop in the freezer so you have a homemade frozen dinner, ready to heat up. make more time consuming items like sauces or brown rice a day or two out so that all you have to do is reheat. if it's just your ideal way of treating yourself, find a new way. get a spa at home kit, find a really great bubble bath, check out dvds from your local library, buy a really special ingredient to cook with, find an activity to do with a friend/relative you don't see as much as you'd like. redefine your treat. if you like the flavor, search the internet for cheats so you can have it at home for fewer calories and dollars. when you price out fast food versus what it would cost to make it at home, at home almost always wins and you get better ingredients for the price and often a greater volume as well. figure out why fast food is your ideal and you can start to address it.

MARTHA324 Posts: 5,721
8/11/14 9:55 P

I stay away from fast food/takeaway food for the most part for many reasons:
health and cost being the two most important. It is better and cheaper to make your own food and if you start doing that you'll soon find that fast food loses it's appeal. Or at least it did for me

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (192,176)
Fitness Minutes: (187,270)
Posts: 15,784
8/11/14 5:01 P

You will see a pattern here...because 14 years ago, I too, decided that the healthy person I wanted to be did not eat fast food and quit cold turkey..and although I will occasionally eat at one of the chains which actually serves recognizable chicken meat but never ever anywhere else. at my worst, I was a McDonalds for all 3 meals of the day kind of girl.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
8/11/14 1:09 P

I have meals planned for the whole week. I may have take out food once per week for a weekend lunch with my family. I don't stress about having it once in awhile.

I cook. I know that anything I make at home is something I can make healthier and usually tastes better. After eating less fast food, I notice that it isn't that tasty to me anymore. I feel kind of yucky after eating it sometimes.

Cost is pretty motivating. A fast food meal is actually a lot more expensive for the amount of food than if buy ingredients and make it myself.
I can eat a lot more with healthier food and get more nutritional benefit than I could with a fast food meal. It is like throwing your money in the toilet instead of putting it in the bank. You aren't getting much lasting benefit from your money. I can't afford to waste money on things that don't really benefit me.

8/11/14 10:40 A

I find that the for us having meals planned and easy to assemble at home makes eating out less appealing. I don't consider eating out as a treat, it is something that happens when I don't have a planned meal. What are you ordering? Can you make those foods at home? Have you looked at the nutrition of what you are ordering? Are you eating out because you are too busy or because you enjoy the salt, sugar and fat?

KASTRA Posts: 369
8/7/14 12:00 P

We used to eat a lot of takeout also, so I come at it from the financial angle. We very carefully budget our finances because we have a lot of home improvement and savings goals we want to meet. Restaurants have the tiniest budget of all our finance "pools" so we can only spend what's available in that budget. That means we can have one sit-down restaurant meal one every two weeks, or two takeouts every two weeks (i.e., once a week).

Since we limited our finances and restaurant visits, we save a LOT of cash. Our grocery bill went up, but not nearly the same amount as we previously spent for junk food.

As for the cravings... Yes, we get urges as well, but I only indulge the ones that hang around. When I want Chinese food, I make a stirfry, usually chicken, broccoli, and a garlic sauce recipe I found online that is absolutely yummy. When I want pizza, I make my own on unsliced pita pockets. When I want Italian, I make spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmesan. When I want Mexican, I make homemade pico de gallo (great recipe in Sparkrecipes) and we make taco salads, burritos, tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas depending on what we are in the mood to eat. When I want burgers, we make burgers at home. Generally, my homemade version is far yummier than the restaurant version. Sometimes, the crave for a restaurant hangs around so those are the ones we indulge with our little restaurant budget.

Also, if you're honest with yourself on the time investment, takeout does not save that much (or any, in some cases) time. If I've already got pico de gallo made up, stopping at Taco Bell is a ten minute drive each way, plus the five or more minutes to order and get my food. That's about half an hour. I can brown ground beef, dice my veggies, and bake a corn tortilla in that amount of time, and I'm not wasting gas or dealing with traffic to do it. The same applies to most other restaurant options.

PIAQUA Posts: 753
8/7/14 11:56 A

I didn't have this issue with fast food, but rather with soda (regular Pepsi - I used to down the stuff basically like it was water). I tried cutting back so many times, but I always found my consumption creeping back up. I'd start with a great goal like 1 per week or even 1 per day, and found that I'd be telling myself, well an extra one today won't do much harm. Then that occasional extra one became an extra one every day, and soon I was back where I started.

What worked was going cold turkey. It was hard, especially because I got terrible withdrawal headaches, but after maybe 2 weeks it wasn't so bad, and then after a month, I didn't even care at all. Soda just wasn't on my radar. I haven't had a single pepsi in years now (I think 4 - I've lost count because it's such a non issue for me at this point emoticon ). I had always thought that just giving something up would be extremely hard for me, and it was, for just a moment. Then it became exponentially easier than limiting it ever was. Maybe this won't work for you and your lifestyle, but it may be worth a shot if you find that you have trouble keeping the occasional fast food treat truly occasional.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
8/7/14 11:47 A

Like Bunnykicks, at one point I just said "nope". I want/wanted to be healthy and I couldn't kid myself anymore. The healthy, normal weight people I know don't eat fast food. Maybe (maybe) they might wind up there once a month, or four or five times a year, but as a habit? No. They do other things when they're hungry. I decided I was going to eat like they did, sort of fake-it-til-you-make-it mentality, and I did that. In the end it was so much easier than I could have guessed, and brought benefits I wasn't anticipating, either.

I will eat fast food now -- on that once a month at most sort of schedule -- because I'm just inherently not a purist about anything and I don't plan very well to boot. But I don't crave it and it don't usually enjoy it much either. It's just something to put in my mouth if I'm almost literally out of other options. But it took that firm "Nope. This is not who I am anymore," and some distance in time, to get to that place.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/7/14 11:31 A

You can make the same 'take out' food at home - for fewer calories because you control the ingredients. Google 'fast food recipes' and you will find out how to make your own 'tastes the same' stuff in your kitchen. However... there's that convenience factor. It's so easy to have someone else make it, no clean up, they make it flawlessly, it tastes absolutely delicious!

Sometimes you can avoid temptation just by structuring your time. I had a once-a-week treat on nights when I went to a class at a nearby university. Big Mac and fries - it was great.

Unfortunately, that class has ended and I no longer have that routine! If you can think of creative ways to 'fit it in,' fast food can be a seldom-type-thing. Only you know what works for you - sometimes, it is worth making a Big Mac in your kitchen. Or it could be just not worth the hassle.

8/7/14 10:35 A

Do you like to cook? Maybe you could try a cooking class for recipe ideas?

The more I eat delicious, healthy foods made at home, the less I want or enjoy take out.

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 8/7/2014 (10:36)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
8/7/14 9:52 A

Fast food/takeaway was the biggest contributing factor to me being 100# overweight.

For me, I just said NO to it, one day, just no more.

The trick, for me, was to invest a lot of time and effort in preparing myself foods that I liked just as much (or better) than the fast-food I was "giving up." It's really hard to stay away from the delicious-greasy-salty-junk when you've packed an alternative lunch of limp celery and zero-fat cottage cheese (shudder). I find it's really important to ENJOY what I eat. When the food I make is good, the fast-food suddenly doesn't seem so compelling.

You can even learn to make healthier versions of fast-food-tasting items. Whenever I really got it in my head that I wanted "drive-thru flavour" i would make a homemade egg mcmuffin. Whole yolk and everything. A slice of processed cheese, a piece of pre-cooked bacon, yummmmyy! Or i have a great recipe for spaghetti squash made with cheese sauce, kinda like macaroni-and-cheese only with squash. My husband and son are not fooled ha ha, but for me, it hits that "comfort food of childhood" nerve.

Short version; make sure the food you are feeding yourself is equally appealing to you as the "fast food" is. Invest the time in shopping, cooking, researching recipes etc. as it is really worth it in the long run. You have to like what you eat...

THEENFP SparkPoints: (2,382)
Fitness Minutes: (210)
Posts: 93
8/7/14 9:32 A

I've been wanting takeaways and fast foods most days for the last week or so. How can I curb these desires? I've treated myself a few times, but more than once a week is a tad excessive.

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