OH GOD! Check out the first post on my blog, It's titled "Hi I'm Ladii and I'm Addicted to Fast Food" I'm REALLY bad with fast foods. I'm trying to do much better but it;s hard to do so. What helps me is knowing how many calories are in these items and then thinking about how long it would take me to burn off those calories in the gym. And just for the record the salads at fast food places have just as much calories as the burgers...... It's a constant struggle but I just hope that I will break out of this addiction. I'm sure it's the MSG that has us addicted. Good luck, stay strong....
7/7/12 10:45 P
We are creatures of habit. One of your habits is fast food. You didn't mention when you go to these restaurants. If it's lunch while at work, prepare your lunch at home. If it's on the way home from work, take a different route. It takes about 30 days to form new habits. Soon you won't want fast food.
My husband and I quit fast foods cold turkey about 20 years ago. A few months ago we went to McDonald's with friends. We stood back to look at the menu. A guy walking past us said to his friend, "They are high. They're looking at that menu as if they've never seen it before!" The salads were tasty and healthy, but it will be another few years before we return.
Edited by: DIANE7786 at: 7/7/2012 (23:09)
Fitness Minutes: (8,777)
60 7/7/12 8:59 P
You don't have to completely cut out all fast food. But once you start reducing your intake of fast food, you should start to notice a decrease in your cravings. I never feel the need to stop at McDonalds or Burger King or Taco Bell. I've gotten used to so much better healthier food that doesn't take up such a big chunk of my calories. But occasionally I will get a craving for Arby's, which is probably my favorite fast food place. And once in a while, I'll give in. Because, it's all about the big picture. I'm eating healthy most of the time. I work across the street from a Dairy Queen. Literally, I can stare at it from my seat all day. And I can count the number of times i've been there on one hand in the 14 months i've worked there.
However, I have other demons that I'm working on, such as my sweets addiction, so i'm trying to take my own advice in that area.
So, it can be done. And you're off to a good start by choosing the more healthier options, but remember, even some of the "salads" can be loaded with fat and calories. They sneak that on you. I like the idea that someone mentioned of keeping track of how often you go one month and then reducing it the next month and the next. Replace it with healthier foods you cook at home. Soon, you'll notice you wont even be thinking of fast food very much anymore!
I just won't go to them period... If you don't buy anything from them then you don't have to worry about bad options. Even their "healthy" options aren't worth going in there for. Giving up a food group is hard (like carbs or fat) but giving up driving to all fast food isn't that bad. Keep like subway or something like that without really bad options to even be had. Plus, when I tell people I won't eat there, naturally those around me stop eating there or at least won't suggest it when I'm around.
7/5/12 6:05 P
Where are you going for fast food? I personally cannot stand the taste of fast food. Is it a craving issue or no time to cook issue? If it is a no time to cook issue maybe you can try making your own salads to go at the grocery store or Subway has healthier options than most fast food places. McDonalds oatmeal and fruit/yogurt combos aren't too bad either. I used to get plain baked potatoes at Wendy's with broccoli and fat free dressing, not sure if they still offer that.
Maybe if you track the time spent driving to a fast food place, waiting in line, then calories and fat each time you go it will be less appealing, then use the extra time to prepare healthy snacks. If you're craving fries try slicing a sweet potato and baking it with a little olive oil spray and light salt or fish sandwich substitute with homemade fat free tarter sauce, or turkey burgers with low fat cheese, just get creative I KNOW you can cook better than any fast food place.
I really liked the idea about saving money. the concern about the budget is one of the reason I stopped my lunches out. Occasionally, due to time, I will do drive thru,and try to track it all. Meal planning, budgeting, the want of a cleaner car, and the health reason are all good reasons to quit, but the underlying addiction is so right on. I find that when I eat fast food, or processed food, I crave more . I try not to do a good food bad food dichotomy but there are some really bad for you food!
Fitness Minutes: (2,813)
638 7/5/12 4:32 P
Two thumbs up for The End to Overeating! I was just going to recommend it myself! Note that Kessler isn't some guy off the street, he is the former head of the FDA. He knows for for a fact (from personal experience with the food companies) that food manufacturers develop food that is addictive: that is how they make money. It really is a good read. He talks about his own struggle with certain fast foods (a particular restaurant in an airport he has to travel through quite a lot).
I don't know about you, but one thing that drives it all home for me is money. Why not sit down and calculate how much you spend in a week (or in a month) on fast food. Be honest about it. If you spent only $4 a day at a fast food restaurants, that is $120 in a month and $1460 a year. Yikes! You could go on an all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii for that!
Why not think of something you really want to buy (or a place you really want to go) and for every day you DON'T go to a fast food restaurant, you put aside $4 (or your normal fast food spend) so that you can buy it. It can be your reward for kicking this habit. The added bonus is that it makes your goal tangible. When you are just about to cave into the urge to buy fast food, you can picture your reward (imagine yourself in Hawaii!) and use it as motivation to leave!
Edited by: RADIOTIKSPARK1 at: 7/5/2012 (16:33)
Fitness Minutes: (301,028)
7/5/12 12:04 P
As others have already noted, fast food can be very addictive. When you get a chance, I highly recommend that you read this book. It's called the End of Overeating by Kessler. You can read more in this great Daily Spark Blog.
To summarize the book, he says the reason people tend to overeat fast food is because food manufacturers make the food more ENTICING to eat by adding more fat, sugar and salt. Our bodies need those three things to be healthy. Unfortunately, the problem is that today's food is loaded with too much fat, sugar and salt.
Also, while I do love eating a salad regularly, you don't have to eat a salad every day to be healthy. Try increasing the amount of fresh fruit and veggies you eat. Have a piece of fruit for snack. eat some spinach at dinner. If I were to eat a salad all the time, I might find it tedious too.
I'm going to recommend one more book for you to get at the library or your local bookstore. It's called EAT THIS, NOT THAT. it's a great book for people who like to eat at fast food chains. the book has all sorts of photos of food swaps. Don't eat this, when you can eat that. It's a way to make "better" choices at fast food places. You don't have to entirely give up fast food to be healthy, but you should cut back on it.
Reading those two books will be helpful. The more you learn about why you eat, the more likely you will be to change your habits. Gotta tell you, the End of Overeating as well as another book called Mindless Eating were very eyeopening.
Fast food can be addicting! I kept track of how many times I had fast food in January, then tried to eat fast food less in each subsequent month. You could try doing this too, maybe on a weekly basis? If you reduce the number of times you eat fast food every week, soon you will be not eating fast food at all, and you won't even think twice about it!
Fitness Minutes: (197,566)
7/4/12 7:33 P
I used to sometimes eat fast food for all 3 meals of the day.
I quit cold turkey 10 years ago.
Fitness Minutes: (25,596)
2,370 7/4/12 6:51 P
It sounds like you made a good start to it by reducing what you get. Do you plan your meals out at all? I found the days I am all planned I am much less likely to hit a drive through.
You can do it! I too was once very "addicted" to fast food. I would have it about 3 meals a day 3-5 days a week. I started small, no fries, or if I wanted fries, I'd get the kid's meals. They're smaller, and still satisfy me. You can do it! just take it one small step at a time, one day at a time!
NO matter how much I say I am not doing fastfood I end up right back at it. I have stopped getting the whole meal deals and just do a salad and tea or just a sandwhich. I have a craving once in a while for the burgers and no fries so thats good. Working on getting out of the burgers though and stick with salads!