Eating just one fast food meal can pack on enough calories, sodium, and fat for an entire day, but the quick-and-cheap temptation can be very hard to resist.
With a little will-power and information, you can make healthier choices and still enjoy the convenience of fast food restaurants.
Tips to remember when pulling up to that menu board:
Drink water with your meal – Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. Add lemon to your water, or order unsweetened tea.
“Undress” your food
– Be aware of high calorie / high fat salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. Ask for grilled chicken without mayo – ask for ketchup or mutard, and add it yourself.
Don’t be afraid to special order – Ask for veggies and main dishes to be served without sauces. Order dressings on the side. Instead of fried, or cooked in butter- ask to have it broiled or steamed.
– Watch portion size. An average fast food meal can run as high as 1,000 calories or more, so choose a smaller portion size (think happy meal, rather than super size), order a side salad or fruit, rather than french fries.
– Don’t add salt. All foods at fast food restaurants are high in sodium, so no additional salt is necessary.
– Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew food thoroughly, even when eating on the run is your only option.
Stop eating BEFORE you are full, because it takes time for our bodies to process that we have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.
Many fast food chains post nutritional information within the restaurant or on their Web site.
Some even publish comparison downloaded guides which are helpful to leave in your car.
Check out this site, www.stop&gofastfoodnutritionalguide.com, which is particularly convenient and easy to use. Look up any of the fast food chain restaurants and find out how to make healthier choices.
When eating out, think of meals in the context of your whole diet.
Moderation is always the key, but planning ahead can help you relax and enjoy your dining out experience while maintaining good nutrition and diet control, and with a lot less guilt.
For additional information on this topic, or previous Snap Articles, please contact Jill LeBlanc at Snap Fitness 893-0009 or e-mail Abbeville@Snapfitness.com.