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TODDS973 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/5/12 5:01 P

I am a huge eating out junkie, its just easier with me being a bachelor. I have however found that I am more conscious of what I am ordering now with the help of checking nutritional facts before I head out to the restaurant. Not to mention it makes ordering so much quicker when I get there. :)

CASSIEFLUTE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/5/12 1:38 P

I personally enjoy eating out - but not fast food. I can eat at a nice place once a week rather than at fast food multiple times a week. Saves money, but still lets me get my 'I didn't cook this and it tastes amazing' fix. Went to Wingers last night with my mom and her gal friends. I had 5 wings, unbattered, with the amazing sauce. Then I added an endless salad with ranch, but I dip my fork in the ranch and then to the salad so I don't eat a lot of it. I also avoided the cheese in the salad, keeping it in so I could have one or two shreds, but avoiding most of it. I kept my calories quite low!!

5/5/12 12:45 P

My husband burns calories much quicker than me (for obvious reasons) but he is also six foot seven and he is very active at work. He's the biggest both in height and muscle in his store so he is automatically volunteered for the heavier jobs. With that said, he can handle eating fast food better than I can and because of that he doesn't understand why I struggle so much with it. I have been making a concious effort not to get fast food, but with him sometimes it's very hard because it's obviously tasty- just horrible for ya! It's been six days since I've eaten it in this current anti- fast food kick- my record is a year. I'm hoping to surpass that now. After about two weeks no fast food I'm going to kick soda too.

MEW321 Posts: 40
5/5/12 6:27 A

I try not to totally forbid myself from getting fast food, but I don't really get cravings. If I get anything I'll get Chipotle and make sure its vegan, which really helps keep the calories down.

BATDOG1996 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/12 10:24 P

My husband and I LOVE fast food. We went 6 weeks without it, yesterday we had McDonalds for lunch, it was tasty no doubt about it BUT my meal was 1000 calories, wouldn't even look at my sodium. We had planned the meal so we didn't exceed our caloric intake, but it made for a long evening without my snack time. We agreed that we won't partake unless it is Pre-planned.

We are fortunate to be able to both be home for lunch, that's our big meal of the day. We have a George Foreman grill that we use everyday. My husband loves to cook & try new things so the Spark recipes are a great option for us.

Good luck!!!

-LIFEISGOOD- Posts: 18
5/4/12 8:10 P

Fast food is, for the most part, void of any and all nutritional value. There are some fast foods with a little value, but that is usually negated by the rest of the junk that's in it (i.e. salads with sugary dressings, fried chicken, etc.). I do eat fast food maybe once a week, and I get a burger and small order of fries...if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it my way. However, I find that homemade versions of these foods are even better tasting. Get yourself some grass fed, local beef and make your own burgers with whatever toppings you like. I guarantee you if you do that just once, your desire for a fast food burger will fly out the window. Make your own fries, oven-fried. Anything you can get at a fast food joint, you can make at home without all the added crap.

5/4/12 4:17 P

I used to eat fast food 1-2 times a DAY. I always had stomach aches & felt exhausted. On New Years, my boyfriend gave up smoking for 2012, so I agreed to give up something too, and I decided fast food and soda. I craved it SO BADLY for about a week but now I don't miss it. I have found other guilty pleasures, and if I'm having a really tough day with eating healthy, I will eat a cookie or something, but NEVER fast food. I would easily become addicted again. I hope this helps! Even if you end up eating total junk, try to make it junk from home, because fast food is addicting. :)

ZIMZUMPOGOTWIG SparkPoints: (23,534)
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5/4/12 2:55 P

I had the same problem for ages and still kinda do. I gave up all meat except for seafood and it did help for a while, but then I discovered the fish sandwhich options. They are oh so bad for you too. I still every now and then have the urge to go but then my son wants something and I won't let him eat fast food so it really helps me from not getting it.

KARA2126 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/12 2:33 P

I dont know if my message goes to the whole board or one specific person. But I only allow myself to eat at Chipotle once a month or longer, it doesn't effect my eating lifestyle or weight. The other fast food places never appealed to me, so I wouldn't order much of anything if we were to go there. Although when I started dating my boyfriend, all we did was go out to eat. It was such a waste of money and of our health when meals weren't cooked to your expectations. So we rarely do that anymore because no fast food or resteraunt compares to my parents house always healthy and cooked amazingly. I do have a weakness for Olive Garden's Calamari its like 1000 calories so if I know we are going in advance I'll eat fruit all day or something healthy to tie me over without feeling guilty. I like to enjoy it all because I want to and then wait 4 months or so until we go again. I was 135 lbs 4'9 in height I'm down to 109 lbs so if I do eat out I dont freak out about it like I used to. Just live your life right and if you want to splurge just make sure you have control of the situation dont let the situation control you.

Edited by: KARA2126 at: 5/4/2012 (14:36)
CILER11 Posts: 265
5/4/12 1:14 P

My family and I struggle with this too. When I do stop for fast food I try to stop where I can get something healthy. I have cut McDonalds out of my diet completely (due to a disgusting situation with a chicken nugget) and now the site of those "golden arches" turns my stomach. I have been trying to be more prepared and pack snacks/preplan meals. Also I found that one of the local gas stations has fresh fruit and individually packaged cheese sticks for sale now. emoticon

ROLLSTAR SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/12 12:59 P

There are so many good suggestions in this thread.
I've had to stop going out to fast food, too. It's been hard. I started by only letting myself go to Subway. Now, I rarely go there anymore. It is easy, but even easier is a bowl of cereal and some fruit at home! One big problem that I find is that every time I go out to eat, even if I order from the healthy side, I AM STILL HUNGRY LATER. So even if I stay in my range at the restaurant, I either have to put up with hunger pangs the rest of the night or go over my calories to get full. That's not worth it to me.

I recently saw an awesome quote that I've adopted: "Don't give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW." Don't give up your desire to be healthy and lose weight for a cheeseburger that you want now! And the cravings will fade away eventually, you will just have to fight it for a while.

Edited by: ROLLSTAR at: 5/4/2012 (13:03)
MRSJOCCO SparkPoints: (29,643)
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Posts: 1,562
5/4/12 12:40 P

Watching FOOD, INC. and other processed food documentaries will help (and may even "steer" you to vegetarianism emoticon ).

5/4/12 12:25 P

This is probably one of the hardest challenges right now. I'm working really hard to prepare my meals at home. However, I have adult age children at home who are constantly going to the drive thru because they "just don't feel like" whatever I've made. It's one of those mom guilt trip things but I'm working on preparing food just for ME!

WILEE323 Posts: 703
5/4/12 10:41 A

I seldom eat fast food any more - just can't stand the artificial taste. But, one trick I used in the past at Wendy's was to order the chicken sandwich with no bun and only eat the "perfect" fries. To qualify as a "perfect" fry, it had to be cooked just right, not soggy or overdone. You'd be amazed at how many fries in a carton that rules out!

STARSUB99 SparkPoints: (24,528)
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5/4/12 10:21 A

I love that sweet chili sauce too - we have to get it on the list!!!!

JOYFULME01 Posts: 621
5/4/12 10:17 A

What great posts I'm reading here today. Fast food was a crutch for me. When my kids were small it was easy to run through a drive thru and avoid cooking. As they grew, the cost increased to the point it was becoming a drain on the budget. I found that planning menus and cooking meals for the family became a great experience.

ANNE007 Posts: 153
5/4/12 10:00 A

Try the mental toughness coach,

He really puts things into perspective. I subscribed to the entire (free) fatloser program and the man doesn't mince words...exactly what some people need to hear.

Good luck!

LADYIVY79 Posts: 70
5/4/12 9:26 A

For a while I thought I was addicted to fast food. After a discussion with my husband, it became clear it wasn't the fast food I was addicted to, it was not cooking. We laid out a plan where I would look at the entire week in advance and plan meals. It took about an hour on Sunday and since I was taking the extra time to plan everything, my husband began doing the grocery shopping. I also found I was likely to give in when running errands and got hungry. I started carrying protein shakes in my purse. This way, if I am stuck out and didn't bring a snack, the protein shake gives me enough willpower to wait until I get home. No one in this family has had fast food since March! It gets easier every day too :)

BETHARDS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 189
5/4/12 8:46 A

Great ideas from everyone! Lot's of good advice. I can only speak of my experience. I stopped eating fast food Feb 3rd. In my job, sometimes we feel it's the only option. It's NOT! I have been preparing meals in advance and freezing them. They are so easy to warm up and eat.

90 days no fast food and I don't miss it. It's just not worth it to me.......a trip to Mcdonalds just makes me feel like the last three days of working out is for nothing! I won't have that.

I just refuse to have my week of working out/walking/lifting/ erased by one bad choice.

It's not for everyone, but works for me! Thanks for all the great posts!

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
5/4/12 5:42 A

I sort of got rid of it over time. I started with making healthier choices, such as chinese food over McDonalds, then as I moved forward, I changed what I purchase. Now I have Culver's soup every Sunday for lunch. It is a great treat to have something that is fast, easy and healthy that I do not have to cook. For me fast food is not about the taste -- it is about the convenience of the food. Also there is nothing wrong in having a burger once in a while although at this point, I would make it home cooked rather than fast food.

JAZZABELLE3 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 16
5/4/12 5:07 A

I wouldn't be without my slow cooker(crockpot)and freezer.I always have half a dozen meals , just use microwave to thaw and to steam some green vegies and I'm good to eat.I'd put up some of recp ipes I've made low salt but I cannot get the mechanism here to respond to how I describe the quantities and I cannot even find. Sweet Chilli Sauce in the lists one has to access and click up

For God's sake I thought everyone ate Sweet Chilli Sauce--it's like,Tomato(ketchup) BBQ and Worcestershire for ubiquity isn't it???

JAZZABELLE3 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/12 5:01 A

If you want fast but low sodium food for your breakfast, try half a cup of quick oats microwaved with 2/3 cup water, at full heat(1100 microwave) for 2min 20 secs.Put half cup of skim milk on it and dice up 4 or 5 bits of canned peaches drained(or apricots or pears if you prefer)
Lowest sodium brekkie I have been able to devise, has grains moderate carbs and calories and fills you for 4 hours. Cheers.

5/3/12 11:53 P

One thing that has really helped my husband and I was the realization that to eat out at a fast food restaurant costs about $5-7 a person, depending on the restaurant and the combo "meal" you get. A meal out at a nice, good restaurant costs about $6-8 a person, depending on the same factors. We are a family of 6, so we always thought that fast food was the cheapest way to go out as a family. We both came to the conclusion that to eat fast food in order to save a couple of dollars a person was just ridiculous. Today, my family went to Souper Salad for lunch instead of Wendys or Taco Bell, for about the same cost. We ate healthier while still enjoying the treat of going out to eat.

5/3/12 9:27 P

I stopped eating fast food about 5 years ago and never looked back. I used to stop every day on my way home from work and eat it in the car - and THEN eat dinner at home with my family, because I was too embarrassed to let anyone know I was sneaking KFC in the car.

I gained 20lbs that way in about 2 months. I've never quite managed to lose all of it.

I just quit. Cold turkey. You don't need it, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it made me feel greasy and bloated and sluggish and gross.

The clincher for me was something I read in Morgan Spurlock's book Don't Eat This Book. He printed a letter someone sent him after he did Supersize Me. In the letter, the man explained that he worked at a funeral home. One night, he received an emergency call asking him to come in and help because there was a fire in the crematorium - seems they had been trying to cremate an extremely obese man, and something had gone wrong (I forget what exactly, but I think it had something to do with the vast amounts of fat on his body). The kicker for me was when the letter-writer said that as he entered the crematorium he was shocked to find himself suddenly hungry. Confused at this strange reaction, he suddenly realized WHY he was hungry - because the scent of the fat burning in the cremation furnace smelled just like the inside of a McDonalds.

Well, I can tell you, after reading that, I suddenly lost my appetite for anything McDonalds or even related to McDonalds. I quit on the spot. Since then, I've tried it a couple of times, just to see. It's never as tasty as I remember it being, and I always end up feeling sick afterwards. I've stopped trying it, and when I want a burger I either make it myself or I go to a real restaurant for the good stuff.

AMPROSKE1 SparkPoints: (65,348)
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Posts: 946
5/3/12 8:09 P

These are great ideas. Thanks for these postings. I needed this one. I tend to only go for fast food for breakfast, but sometimes on Fridays I eat fast food or out twice. Since I joined SP and track my food, I have been disappointed to see that the sodium is too high EVERY DAY even when my calories and fat are not. So when I try to figure out where I am going wrong, I know its the breakfast fast food. Any ideas for fast breakfasts that taste good and stay with you?

STARSUB99 SparkPoints: (24,528)
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Posts: 480
5/3/12 7:15 P

I used to be a fast food queen. For my job I lived in my car and did fast food most days for lunch.... and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! I just loved it. When I realized how fat I'd become I knew I had to change - and I tried cutting back - forget it didn't work. It is addictive - I love fries and now I just don't eat them because they trigger the taste and desire for fat and grease and I go off on a bender....

Good news is I gave up the fast food. Cold Turkey. Stayed away for 4 weeks. Cravings are pretty much gone now. So I"ve gotten over the fast food - now I have to deal with my Diet Coke addiction.

I quit smoking 16 years ago - eased out of that bad habit and said never again - not even a drag. And I've stuck to that. So now I've cut back on the diet coke - drinking more water than diet coke. Had a few Diet Coke free days. And I'm losing the taste for it. Not over it completley but I know I'll have to give it up competely or it will be a problem for me.

When I see fast food drive thru's now I say out loud - Just Drive By don't stop - and it gets easier every time.... Have faith - if the queen can kick the fast food habit - anyone can!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TPANDA747 Posts: 3
5/3/12 6:57 P

Stick to your guns(goals)more power to you. Way to go!

EMMAEKAY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 305
5/3/12 2:47 P

I used to have fast food 3-6 times a week. It's awful.

To break yourself of the problem, I suggest three things.

First, admit that it is an addiction. The combo of fat, sugar, and salt are the perfect storm for people whose brains' pleasure center are activated by food. If you can't go a full week without going to a fast food place, you're addicted.

Second, go cold turkey for at least 30 days. Do not allow yourself to eat fast food for 30 days. It takes a full 30 days for your tastes and habits to change.

Third, after your 30 day fast, only allow yourself to go out for a fast food meal twice a month, and ALWAYS make healthier choices when you're there. Order a cheeseburger, but throw away half before you sit down. It's a $1 cheeseburger - throw away fifty cents worth every time. That way, you'll see it as a waste of money, and you won't be consuming the full 450 calories per serving.

5/3/12 2:40 P

Track sodium and enter fast food religiously. You will be shocked with how much sodium and fat are in fast food. And how little fiber and nutrients. Compare your home cooked meals with fast food on the food tracker. Which type of food would you rather use to create your body? Processed, fatty, salty food devoid of nutrition and pro-inflammatory rapid aging diabetogenic? Or food that fuels your body and brain and keeps it young and healthy?

If you stop eating fast food, you will stop craving it in about 3 weeks. Tough it out. Same goes for any suboptimal food or drink or habit.

Get excited about cooking. Look up interesting recipes, and have some fun trying new foods. Choose foods that are not processed, use good recipes, and you will find no fast food tastes as good.

If you end up eating fast food once in a while, no big deal.

GIGGLGAL76 Posts: 111
5/3/12 2:11 P

So what I'm seeing is that the reasons that we indulge in fast food, especially the unhealthy stuff, is because a) we are too tired to cook, b) it is inexpensive, even compared to cooking yourself (but mostly the unhealthy stuff), and c) that was a reward, a way to keep us quiet, a way parents showed that we had done well, and now it is a comfort thing. When I am too tired to cook, my husband and I have 1 night a week where we eat out, but not fast food. I always keep ingredients for healthy (and not so healthy) meals in my fridge and freezer, so I can just shove something in the oven or on the countertop grill and be done. now, the inexpensive thing I get, and my husband and I will go for fast food on our lunch break whenever we don't remember to pack a lunch. I suggest you go through your fridge. Chances are you have leftovers in your fridge that should be thrown out or will be in a week or so. This was happening to us all the time. So now, instead of saying we will eat it another night for dinner, when there are leftovers, they are packed and taken to work. It is infinitely cheaper to just eat those leftovers, and we get to spend our lunch break eating lunch instead of driving there and back as fast as we can. When we do go for fast food, look for the healthier options, and actually read nutrition info before you eat it. no mayo, dressing on the side, add tomato, get the beef and veggie stir fry instead of the fried chicken with the sugar syrup, we all know what is actually healthier for us, sometimes it just costs a little more. Fast food is not inherently evil. McDonald's has 1 of the best side salads, they make smoothies, these options are on the menu. We just have to look for them. As for the comfort food thing, I totally understand. Some of my favorite meals as I was growing up were those midwestern casseroles. You know, the white rice, the cream of something soup, the chopped meat, there might be veggies, but probably in the form of durkee fried onions, and everything was smothered in cheese. If you understand there is about 100% of your daily sodium just in the soup, and that's pretty much all this tastes like, its a little gross. But I still make them from time to time emoticon It is hard for us to feel like we have to give up something that makes us feel emotionally better, that comforts us and wraps us in memories, but it does not have to be an everyday thing.

JORDINNBABY SparkPoints: (0)
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5/3/12 1:18 P

I have a problem with fastfood.....It makes me feel better.Bad day at the office it makes me feel better.Also I dont have to go home and cook. My down fall for the past two years are the mocha frappe ;( I have to take my son to D.C to a childrens hospital alot and when we go that is my reward and gives me a boost for the drive home.I tried to past the restraunt as fast as

LOPEZKSD SparkPoints: (9,547)
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5/3/12 12:51 P

I still love fast food and because of time limitations it's really easy to fall back into the fast food trap. I've cut way back mostly because I don't want to use all of the empty calories on my log. Fortunately, I gave up diet soda a couple of years ago and now I forego the french fries if I do order fast food. I also leave off the cheese and mayonnaise or "secret" sauce" to save some fat and calories. This seems to be a good compromise for me for the few times I do go. It also saves money. It's all about moderation for me.

HOLALOLA SparkPoints: (33,200)
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Posts: 280
5/3/12 12:24 P

TriciaMarie, that is EXACTLY what happened to you with the soda and what will happen with the fast food some day. I used to love Cherry Cokes! I still try a sip of a soda every now and then to see if anything has changed, but boy, is it gross now. The good news for you is that you can stop ordering meals and maybe just order the fast food burger with a side salad if you really feel you want the burgers now. It's a step in the right direction.

I had to give up soda due to stomach issues. Maybe you can think of a health issue for you that will help you give up the fast food (sodium, cholesterol, knee pain due to extra pounds, etc.)

Fast food is meant to be addictive so you buy more, with tons of empty calories, leaving you hungry for more. It is easy and convenient but terrible for you if you eat it all the time.

I was lucky. Even though I lived in the city at the time, my neighborhood had no fast food burger places near by that I could just run through. I had to go out of my way if I wanted one. The fast food places that were near by were Subway and Chinese and Japanese mom-and-pop places. When I wanted something quick I could run in there for a sandwich, sushi, some steamed veggies with brown rice, or soup. Maybe you could try the same if you're in a hurry. There are a lot of other fast food places with healthier choices (Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Sharky's, Subway.) You can also get the cheeseburger instead of the Big Mac, or get the small fries and a green salad instead of the large (watch out for extra calories in the dressing and cheese add-ons.)

Now I only get fast food burgers if I'm on a long car trip. I cringe at the calorie and fat count and I feel so sluggish and gross afterward. And it doesn't taste as good as it used to.

I like that idea of delayed and more delayed gratification. See if you can put it off for a few more days and you will feel better and feel better about yourself for it. I haven't had any chocolate (my downfall) in 4 days and consider it a major accomplishment.

And remember that all things in moderation are ok. If you really love those burgers you can build them into a healthy diet on occasion.

5/3/12 12:13 P

I have the same problem. I hate cooking, get home late to begin with, throw in a softball game or trying to fit in my exercise for the day, and I am hungry, grumpy, and with two kids in tow, I easily give in to fast food. I managed to eat out 25x in April. OMG!!!! emoticon I also spent a ton of money!(I count any money spent at a restaurant as a 'time') BUT, I went over my calorie range only 4 or 5 days in the month so I am much more aware of what I am eating. I have to look at the financial aspect and as a previous poster said, the bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition. It is just too convenient for me and I don't foresee me kicking the habit completely but I would like to lessen it over time.

TRICIAMARIE9404 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/3/12 11:10 A

Fast food is definitely a problem for me. I love it. :( The thing that is really making me happy is to read these posts where people are saying the food actually tastes gross, after not having it for a while. It gives me HOPE! I was soooo crazy about my diet cherry pepsi. For years, I was pretty much addicted to it. Couldn't even imagine going a day without it, actually. I decided to give it up cold turkey about a month ago. One day, while going out for dinner, I ordered a diet pepsi. (Just out of habit, I didn't even think about it). Well, I took one drink and honestly thought something had gone terribly wrong with the pop at this restaurant! It tasted like garbage! It was disgusting!!! I have since taken 2-3 sips of my husband's diet pepsi (just to make sure)!! :) and it's true.....takes like garbage. I have no desire at all to drink that stuff ever again. So, if the same could be true for fast food, this is awesome news!!!

KATIENIU SparkPoints: (5,014)
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5/3/12 10:41 A

I honestly have not been to a fast food place in over 3 years. I used to eat fast food on a daily basis. It was usually McDonald's, Arby's, Wendy's, KFC, or the local hamburger place.

When I decided to change my lifestyle I quite eating that stuff cold turkey. I was afraid that if I gradually decreased my fast food intake I would never completely eliminate it and that was my goal. I don't even eat the healthy stuff at these places.

IF I ever get a craving for fast food (which is rare) I think about the calories, fat, and sodium. That alone gets rid of the cravings. Also, I run marathons and I feel that putting that stuff into my body will not help it survive 26.2 miles.

STEPHANIEPOWELL SparkPoints: (9,662)
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5/3/12 10:05 A

The best advice I could give you - stop cold turkey, keep eating healthy at home. I don't even like fast food anymore. The grease makes me sick now. You'll be surprised at how much you don't like it if you just give it up completely.

KIMMIT326 Posts: 62
5/3/12 10:04 A

I haven't had fast food in about 3 weeks now, and I had gotten into the habit of joining my coworkers for lunch everyday, which was normally a fast food joint around here. I just stopped going. And until now, I had not even realized how long it had been since I had any fastfood. One thing that helps is great food. If I prepare something that tastes good, I don't really miss the fast food. If I want a burger I just make a turkey burger and eat it on a whole wheat bun. I have a hard time not having french fries with a burger, so instead I will eat my turkey burger with baked chips. It cures my cravings. And when I go grocery shopping, I make sure I have at least 1-2 quick meals. I hate prepackaged food, but a healthy choice is still better than fast food when I'm short on time or don't feel like cooking. And I always have some protein bars at my desk if I ever forget my lunch, etc so I have no excuses to run to the drive through.

BERDAMAE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/3/12 9:56 A

My husband is a pastor of 4 little churches that equal a 150 mile circuit each Sunday. We have a very busy Sunday each week, and usually end up running through the drive-up at Arby's or Wendy's as we run between the 2nd and 3rd church services. So, I have started looking up the nutrition content of the menu prior to Sunday morning, enter it in my Food Tracker, and go from there. I don't "crave" fastfood. I think of it as a convenience when we are running. However, now that I'm more aware of how much fat, sodium, and calories are involved, I tend to feel "cheated" by the fastfood. I want more "bang for my buck" when it comes to nutrition! So, I am working on being more organized on Sunday mornings and pack a "good lunch" for us on the road.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
5/3/12 8:45 A

i started to separate the crave and obtain mechanism in my brain. in other words, taught myself that instant gratification is not going to happen on this front.
so when i wanted fast food [generally wendy's or arby's as i stopped eating burger king in the mid nineties and mcdonald's in the late nineties, but that was just taste preference], instead of going to get it or telling myself i couldn't have it, i would say i'll get it tomorrow. i would then think or one or two other errands i could run at the same time and excuses for why i couldn't just go do it all now. once i got used to having it tomorrow, i started to put it off for two days. and same thing with the excuses and errand justification. it's thursday now, but if i wait until saturday, it's right by the bank and the farmer's market, so i won't have to drive over there three times, i can just make one trip. than after i got used to the 2 day wait, i bumped it up to three. then four. then five. then six. then seven. and as i started delaying the gratification, i started to make it into a game of how long i could go from wanting it to getting it.
the other prong of this was having something at home that i liked that was quick and easy. amy's burritos or pot pies, thai kitchen or asia noodle things, or the red boxes of frozen asian foods [ethic gourmet?].
and a much later thing i realized has to do with texture and fat of homecooked meals. a good deal of my favorite things to eat and cook are kind of soft in texture: soups, stews, and pasta dishes. so incorporating things like lavash made into crackers or paninis or nachos and other varied things can help some with monotony in the kitchen. and adding extra fat on occasion can help sate more. in other words, if i have a dish that serves four that i usually use half a Tablespoon of olive oil for, i might use a full Tablespoon occasionally. or i might grate some parmesan on top. or add some avocado slices. or some bacon. or some mayo. essentially any little extra that you need to cut to get the lowest cals can be a great little addition to help break the monotony. because if you go the lowest, bare bones you can go all the time, it makes it easier to cave in to temptation. if you don't do all bare bones all the time, it can be easier to skip the temptation to eat out.

GUCCI9300 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (12,143)
Posts: 2,304
5/3/12 8:13 A

@AURORA629 ~ same thing here. I still stop every once in a while and get the healthier option. I also put it in my tracker in the morning and adjust my daily calories as needed so that I don't go over my allotted range for the day. I still stay on track and the cravings go away ~ works for me! emoticon

AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
5/3/12 8:02 A

I still go to the fast food places, but I order the healthier options there. At Wendy's I will get a grilled chicken wrap, the chili or a salad. At McDonald's I will get a salad, the apple apple slices, a grilled chicken sandwich or the fruit and yogurt parfait. Totally giving up fast food is impractical for me because I don't always have time to cook.

Honestly, I love things like french fries, cheese burgers,pizza, tacos ect. When I do have time to cook, I make my own versions these not so healthy foods in a much better for you way. My burgers are made with extra lean ground beef, topped with low fat cheese on a light bun served with a side of oven baked fries. I have even made my own pizza. I mostly use the recipes found in a cook book called Fast Food Fix. If you love fast food, but not the calories, I consider this book to be a MUST HAVE.

JSLAKE78 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (403)
Posts: 1
5/3/12 7:48 A

I started by ordering only kids meals if I went there (which was pretty often). Then I limited myself to 3 times a week of eating out ( 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner). Pretty soon, the food was not tasting as good as it once did. So, now when I have the 3 meals I have chosen to eat out, I prefer going to actual restaurants rather than fast food places.

Stopping cold turkey is difficult but is also another option. I personally tried and failed several times and after not eating fast food for a week or so would end up binging and ordering supersized meals!

5/3/12 7:13 A

It is not cheeseburgers, etc that are bad it is those foods from FAST FOOD places that are horrible for you. If you really crave a burger you are better off making it yourself or going to a real restaurant and getting one made with fresh indredients to order.

Try watching the movie "Supersize Me." It will help you kick the fast food habit. My husband and I watched it over 5 years ago and we have almost entirely eliminated eating at those places. My kids only eat there but 1x/year and only because the happen to go with friends.

BTW - my husband used to eat it up to 3x/day when traveling for work (he used to be gone from M-F every week practically) and gave it up. He has lost about 70 pounds and maintained that loss for many years now. As much as he travels, he is always able to find a better option than drive-thru.

Good luck!

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
5/3/12 6:42 A

If food at home doesn't taste as good as a cheeseburger, you're probably not making the right food. What are you eating? If it's diet food like carrot sticks, cottage cheese, and cardboard-tasting low-fat frozen dinners, stop eating that stuff. Eat real food made from ingredients. Use spices. Find recipes that look good and try a couple of new things a week. Your tastes won't change overnight, but as long as you're eating food you enjoy they'll change faster than you think.

130NOW Posts: 68
5/3/12 6:06 A

I was actually just thinking yesterday how I haven't had fast food since I started on SP (about 7 weeks ago or so). I agree with the other poster- I just don't go- it's not worth the calories to me. I'm also tracking my sodium intake and I know if I go it will put it through the roof for the day.

I knew I couldn't complete this journey if I wasn't eating things I loved. The first week I made meals that I knew were "healthy" but that I hated! I really tried to find meals that I love to keep me away from fast food joints.

Make your own fries and burgers- use SP Recipes, track your sodium and see what it looks like on days that you do go to the fast food joints. Respect your body and know that the fast food won't help you get any healthier... Know that you have the will power to RESIST.

Here is a dailySpark article that helped me (I read it yesterday) about will power:

CASSJOE22 Posts: 18
5/3/12 6:00 A

I was a fast food junkie in college and working late nights and had no real schedule of eating. Things that helped me
1. the desion to stop ( I started with "rules" no mcdonalds" then no burger king for a year and so on
2. plan your meals when shopping (yes this takes time and planning ) but well worth it I still need to improve here
3. Stick your grocery bill total or recipt visually in your head. My theory is if I already spent 300 on food or whatever to prepare these healthy meals (investing in me and my family) then I am NOT going to spend ten doallars on junk...
4. My go to dinner when in a pinch no time running kids here there forgot to take something out use to be fast food now it is breakfast for dinner a high fiber low sugar cereal with fruit or eggs easy quick and much healthier then mcd's
Now when I eat there it actually makes me sick and the food tastes gross :)

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (197,069)
Fitness Minutes: (192,367)
Posts: 15,854
5/3/12 6:00 A

I used to eat it almost every day, some days up to 3x/day.

I just stopped cold turkey. Decided that the healthy person I envisioned becoming did not eat at such places. I haven't eaten fast food in 10 years.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
5/3/12 5:47 A

Don't go to McDonalds, or Burger King, or Wendy's, or anywhere else. Just don't. You are in control of what you do, and you can make yourself stay away. Then eat at home. Your tastebuds will adjust, but only if you stop eating fast food all the time and start eating more food that you prepare at home.

And I say all this as someone who would love a McChicken right now, but won't get one because it isn't worth the calories to me.

5/3/12 2:21 A

I was wondering how did any of you who previously lived on a lifestyle of fast food gotten rid of or slowed down your craving for it? I know some resturants offer a lot of healthy options but for me it doesn't matter. This week, even though I have cooked at home I still went to the restaurant at least twice to eat fast food. Food at home right now just does not taste as good as a cheeseburger. My taste buds are so weird. Does anyone have advice or tips?

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