A lot of people want to improve their eating habits and a lot of them wish to eat healthily, and eating healthily means cutting out, or at least reducing the amount of junk food. As strong willed as we are, there are always going to be times when the temptation to indulge in a quarter pounder with cheese is going to be overwhelming.
That being said, just because you are in the middle of changing your eating habits, does not mean that you have to give up fast food altogether, as it is possible to occasionally indulge in fast food and stay healthy. You might think that this is impossible, however, by looking carefully at the nutritional information and making some positive decisions, you can enjoy a trip to a fast food restaurant with your family or friends, without jeopardizing your diet.
Stick to Smaller Sized Portions
The first thing you should do is to not order too much food. This may sound like common sense, however, we often think that we are hungrier than we actually are, and this could lead to temptation to order the large meal. The smell and the taste of fast food often means that we consume it really quickly, and therefore our stomach does not have the chance to signal to our brains that we are full. In order to overcome this problem, you need to order a regular size meal, a sugar free beverage, and make sure that you take small bites and thoroughly chew your food.
Keeping your Hamburger Healthy
One of the most common fast foods that we consume is the humble burger. A good lean burger is not normally too bad a thing to consume, on its own. However, we have a tendency to couple it with a mountain of French fries, cheese, bacon and sauces, all of which are stacking up the calories, sugar, sodium and more importantly, the saturated fat. So if you are ordering a burger, make sure that it is just that, a burger in a bun, no cheese, no bacon, no special sauces. If you must add ketchup then make sure that you add it as sparingly as possible.
Don’t Always Assume that a Salad in a Fast Food Outlet is Low in Calories
You may be thinking that you can go to a fast food restaurant and just order a salad because that will be low in calories. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and it is not unusual to find that salads bought in a fast food outlet have as many calories as a burger. The biggest culprit is the salad dressing, which can add enormous amounts of calories and sugar to even the plainest of salads. So when ordering a salad in a fast food outlet, be sure to ask for a low calorie dressing, and if one is not available then eat it without one.
Grilled Food is a Better Option than Fried
When it comes to ordering fillet of fish or a chicken burger, if it is grilled it will be much healthier than if it has been fried. The problem with a lot of fast food outlets is that they need a quick turnover of customers and food, and it is always quicker to flash fry food than it is to cook it by sticking it under the grill. However, fried food is packed with saturated fats and calories, so try to avoid eating French fries, if you must have some, order the smallest portion they have, such as the kid’s portion. You may feel a bit silly, but you will be thankful when you next step on to those bathroom scales.
Most of the major fast food companies, such as Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s are starting to realize that more people than ever before are becoming concerned about their health. They are also starting to see that people are wondering about the amount of damage their food is doing to their overall health, and because of this, most of the major fast food retailers are starting to adjust their menus. They are becoming more transparent in relation to the nutritional information relating to their products, something which can help people to tailor their diet accordingly. Not only that, but most of the big companies are also offering a number of healthier options, although, you may need to look long and hard at the menu to spot it. Not all healthy options are displayed with the same prominence as a quarter-pounder with fries is, so make sure you study the menu carefully before you order.
If you are sticking to a strict regime of diet and exercise, you are putting all of your hard work at risk every time you set foot in a fast food outlet. However, by ordering smartly, you can reduce the risk of eating too many calories and grams of saturated fat.