Is Fast Food the Enemy if I’m Managing My Weight?

is fast food the enemy?

Fast food is a staple in today’s fast-paced, convenience-loving society. We’re busy people, and we don’t always have time to stop by the grocery store or make a meal that can feed our families.

For those of us who are a little more health-conscious, fast food may not be a welcome part of our vocabulary. Thanks to the internet and well-meaning health professionals, we know a lot about the high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium and high-calorie menu items which the majority of fast food restaurants produce. Aren’t they an absolute “NO” if we’re trying to manage our weight?

Is Fast Food to Blame for Issues with Weight?

Many people will say yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Our environment is also an important factor to consider.


First, consider the availability and popularity of fast food. In the pioneer days, humans had to plant crops, tend to animals and cook all of their meals at home. In today’s society, pre-packaged snacks and meals line every isle of the grocery store. There’s also a restaurant or fast food chain around every corner. If you want food and you want it fast, no problem.


Now let’s examine the cost factor. There’s no doubt about it that money is important, so we try to save as much of it as possible. That’s one reason for why fast food chains and similar restaurants are so popular: they’re cost effective. For those of us on tight budgets, these places may be appealing. Many people often report it’s cheaper to buy a fast food meal than to cook a comparable meal at home!


The majority of us are over-committed – let’s face it! We run from activity to activity and don’t leave much room to plan and prepare our meals. It’s easy to hit the drive thru on the way home from work or your child’s evening soccer practice. The availability of fast food makes it tempting to ditch our personal kitchen and head for a nearby restaurant.

So no, maybe fast food isn’t to blame — at least not entirely. Our environment plays a significant role in our consumption of fast food and also obesity rates across the country.

Healthy Tips for Fast Food Runs

First and foremost, don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself making a trip through the drive thru every once in a while. We’re all bound to do it at some point, and most things are okay in moderation. That being said, there are healthy decisions you can make to accompany your decision to swing by a fast food joint:

  • Get it Grilled – Grilled meat is leaner and lower in calories than other fried options.
  • Ditch the Sauces – Mayo and other creamy sauces add a lot of extra calories. Opt for choices like mustard, salsa and low-calorie dressings.
  • Substitute Fries – You don’t have to eat them! Try a side salad, fruit cup or yogurt instead.
  • Watch the Drinks – Sodas and fruit juices have lots of extra sugar and calories. Go for water!
  • Limit Portions – Be wary of orders that are supersized. Restaurant portions are huge!

Want More Information about Fast Food and Weight Management?

To visit the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine, please CLICK HERE.


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