You get home from a long day at work and the last thing you want to worry about is making dinner. Believe me. I know this feeling all too well. By the time both my husband and I get home around 7:00 in the evening, there are a hundred things I would rather do than make dinner.
So what is our solution to that? I am embarrassed to say that more often than not we opt to make a quick trip to a fast food restaurant. At the time it seems like the easier option. Going to the grocery store takes forever and always seems to be an inconvenience, thinking of something to make that sounds good to both my husband and me is more work than I want to put in. So why not just pick a place where we can pay a few bucks, have a whole menu to choose from, and have someone else make the food for us?
A couple of weeks ago I had a major wakeup call when I was looking over what we had spent throughout the month. We spent way too much money on fast food. Way more than we had planned in our budget and way more than I am willing to admit. It didn’t help that when I weighed myself I definitely saw the effects of all the fast food on the scale.
More important than money or weight is the fact that fast food is so unhealthy. Most things you get at a fast food restaurant are low in nutrients and high in sodium, calories, trans fat, and saturated fat. Even if you aren’t worried about the money when you eat out and you aren’t gaining weight, your body is sure to not be a fan all the “junk” you are putting into it.
So what do you do? Do you swear off fast food for the rest of your life? Do you commit to yourself that you will make dinner every night and if you don’t you won’t eat? It’s probably not necessary to take such drastic action.
Obviously it is best to cook at home the majority of the time. But eating out every once in a while isn’t going to kill you. Especially if you make healthy choices when you are out. If you go here you will find a list of the top 10 healthiest fast food places in America. Some of the options include Jason’s Deli, Noodles & Company, and Chipotle.
You can also do things like order a chicken sandwich without mayonnaise, ask for a salad and take off the bacon and leave the dressing out, or drink water with your meal instead of ordering a large coke.
Another way you can take charge and not eat out, is to plan ahead. Go grocery shopping every week and have a weekly menu of what you are going to eat every night. If you are going to eat out, plan for it and do it sparingly. Pack a lunch and take it with you to work so you don’t have to go grab something on your lunch break. If you love the taste of fast food but want to be better about cooking at home, this website has some great recipes for a variety of popular fast food dishes. The good thing about the compiled list is that all of the recipes are altered to cut the calories and make for a healthier meal.
So take a look at what your eating habits are. If you find you are a fast food junkie, like me, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just make small adjustments each week and before you know it you will have more money, weigh less, and have a much happier (and healthier) body.
If you are not a part of our 12 week Shape Up Challenge, this is the nutrition article for Week 5 of the Shape Up Challenge. Click here to join.