How much fast food is too much?
When I was a kid back in the 70s and 80s, we rarely ate fast food. In our house, breakfast was toast with hot chocolate or Tang. We ate school hot lunches (unfortunately), and dinner was always meat and potatoes, eaten seated, at a table.
Truth is, it wasn’t sheer commitment to homemade that kept us from those Two All Beef Patties. We had to drive nearly 60 mins to get to a McDonald’s or any of the other new, exciting fast food establishments.
Who knew once I’d grown up, I’d be blessed to live within 5 minutes of a McD’s (2), Arby’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and more. Plus all of these places offer budget friendly options such as Wendy’s $5 Bacon Double Stack Biggie Bag. Even better.
With the convenience (it’s hot and ready!) driving through is oh, so tempting. Unfortunately, while that Biggie bag of food is just $5, it will run us between 910-1350 calories. In other words, that 1 meal alone could sack an entire day’s worth of calories for some women. And for those of us trying to cut 500 Kcals a day to lose a lb. a week? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Why is it that despite what we know about nutrition, our fast food nation continues to grow. “Fast-food restaurants are on the rise…In the US, about 37 percent of adults (aged >20 years) consume fast foods on any given day, and that increases to 45 percent for adults aged 20-39.”
There are still 24 hours in a day, but it seems we're trying to squeeeeze in way more than we did in the olden days. In terms of time, food that's fast is a savior! In terms of health and weight loss, with the added sodium, saturated fats, sugars & calories, fast food can be a saboteur.
How much is too much? Count the number of fast food meals you and your family eat out each week. Don’t forget the 400 calorie Frapps + 200 calorie biscotti. Or the 500 calorie breakfast sandwiches at the gas station. If you counted more than a few, then perhaps it’s time to make a change. Perhaps start with committing to no breakfast or lunches on the fly for a week. Plan ahead with these tips:
Remember: Making 1 small change can lead to long term better health and tinier waistlines. Give it a try! You’ll be lovin’ it.