With our hectic schedules, it can be easy to overlook the dangerous consequences of fast food for the convenience of a quick, inexpensive meal on the go. Despite the convenience, however, it's no secret that eating fast food contributes to health problems including obesity, heart disease, and nutrient deficiency. Here are a few tips on how to avoid fast food for a healthier lifestyle.
It may seem obvious, but cooking at home is one of the best ways to replace high-calorie fat-and-sodium-rich fast food with more nutritious cuisine. Prepare meals full of healthy foods like vegetables and beans. Make a detailed list of the ingredients you will need to purchase. Sticking to a specific list will help save time and money as you shop, as you will know exactly what you need ahead of time. You can store whatever leftovers you may have in your freezer or refrigerator as well, meaning that you will have food ready to go the next day, giving you a great reason to skip the fast food.
A great way to avoid the temptation to grab a quick bit of fast food is to prepare your meals ahead of time. At the beginning of each week, consider cooking a few meals at a time and storing them in the freezer for future consumption. This way, all you'll need to do is reheat your meal and you're ready to go. This is an especially helpful tip if you know you have a busy few days coming up and will not be able to find the time to cook.
Just because you're ditching the fast food doesn't mean you have to eat all your meals at home. Once a week, plan to spend an evening eating with family and friends at a local restaurant, and not the kind with a drive-thru. The money you save cooking at home the rest of the week will let you treat yourself to an especially nice meal when you take the time to go out. This also gives you a chance to spend some quality time with people closest to you. When you do go out, however, remember to make healthy choices.
Many people eat fast food without really knowing what they are consuming. Visit the web sites of your favorite fast food restaurants for nutrition information on all their menu items. What you find may shock you enough to convince you to steer clear of fast food for good. A Big Mac from McDonald's, for example, has 590 calories and 1070 mg of sodium. That's almost 50 percent of your daily recommended sodium intake. These high-calorie meals are low in key nutrients, and being informed about what you eat can lead you to make healthier choices.
While fast food may seem like a quick and easy meal, the health issues that can result are anything but convenient. By avoiding fast food altogether, you can lead a healthier, happier life.