Have it your way today as it’s “National Fast Food Day!” Here is your excuse to consume an obscene amount of calories, fat, and carbohydrates without being judged by anyone but that other you in the mirror.
I have compiled simple tips to lessen your “Straight to my thighs” afterthoughts and fast food-overs:
1. Choose One or The Other. Opt for no cheese burgers or no sauce/sauce packet on the side. Putting the sauce or dressing on yourself will really show you just how much extra you’re taking in.
2. Be French About It. There is a valuable lesson we could all use some schooling in from the Europeans. Their svelte bodies are synonymous with what they eat and how much of it they eat. A simple secret you could follow is to order a kid’s meal instead of value mealing everything. You can even leave room for a small frosty afterwards when consuming the meal in this fashion.
3. Trade in grease for the grill. Instead of ordering a juicy, full-fat, greasy burger, order something grilled and then add flavor with sauces or cheeses. It’ll be half the fat and calorie intake.
4. Greens are lean and mean. Having a few pieces of sliced thin steaks, grilled chicken, tofu, turkey burgers, seitan, (insert your meat’s desire here) over a salad will greatly up your nutrient intake and balance out all the cholesterol and saturated fats you are consuming. It will also keep you fuller for longer as most salads contain high fiber counts. Plus= A plate sized salad counts for two servings of veggies!
5. Non-stick cooking sprays. When cooking your own fast foods at home, use non-stick, non-fat cooking spray like PAM. Many times half the fat found in burgers and other meats comes from the oils used to cook them in.
6. Drink First. Eat Less. A basic concept, but if you have something to drink first, you will feel more satisfied and take less bites. Make sure if you’re splurging for a soda that it’s diet or choose a flavored water option.
7. BFF Bathroom Trip. This one may sound odd, but I find it works wonders. If out to dinner with friends, take some time to “relieve yourself”. Even if you do not have to go, take a breather from the table halfway through the meal and go. Taking a friend helps if there’s more than two of you because most likely you’ll engage in some kind of bathroom banter or table gossip.When you get back to the table five minutes later, you most likely won’t be as hungry as food has had time to fully make it to your stomach. A necessary yet still healthy distraction.
8. Spray It Out. This is only used in times of desperate measures. I do not recommend doing this every time you have fast food leftovers lying around. However, if you spray the food with something that does not fit it like lemon or lime juice, it’ll make you throw it straight into the trash.
9. Eat 30 Minutes Before Eating? This is a tried and true trick of mine. If I am already starving at 6 P.M. and I know I won’t be eating until 7 P.M., I will have a small meal of about 150-300 calories. Usually a handful of nuts and some cheese. A vitatop and a scoop of peanut butter. A scoop of tuna with some honey mustard and a Kashi waffle. Just make sure it’s an low amount of carbs, high amount of protein/good fats.
10. Consult the “Foodie Big-Wigs.” I have countless favorites on my internet search bars of other foodies from whom I learn and pull tricks from. I also have my nutritional bible bookshelf of my inspirations- Bethenny Frankel, Lisa Lillien (Hungry Girl), Christine Avanti, and Elizabeth Somer. Whenever I have a few minutes, I’ll take one out and review a basic concept and there take on it. It kind of fills my nostalgia for college, minus the monotone Ben Stein professor voice.
****I am not partial to any fast food joint in particular. I often interchange all of the different burger names (Whoppers, Big Macs, Quarter Pounder) with all of the different fast food chains around. I’m somewhat of a reformed junkie. Happy to say I have food amnesia when it comes to this. Until that oh-so-fried smell permeates my car when passing one. Then my willpower tends to waver.
Three Chains I splurge for: Taco Bell, Wendy’s (fries), Sonic (one of everything)
Peace, love, and fast food!