We all have a love-hate relationship with fast food even if we do not want to admit it. Since it is filling, convenient, and cheap, a lot of people resort to the fast food life. Sadly, devouring even just a single meal can cause you to binge on a lot of fat, sodium and calories that can already last you for a day or two. It still is so hard to resist even if we all know the horrifying (and fattening) facts about this cheap and quick temptation. However, it still is not too late to make healthy choices even if you think it is impossible.
Is it really possible to eat healthy in restaurants?
The answer to this question that probably a lot of people have been asking is: Yes, it is possible but it is not that often that you can find healthy choices at fast food chains.
A single serve of White Castle’s potato snackers or hash bites contains 10g of trans fat. The healthy recommendation as said by the American Heart Association is 2g of trans fat per day. That means one serve of hash bites is already equivalent to 5 days’ worth of trans fat!
If you happen to find yourself ordering Burger King’s Double Whooper with cheese paired with fries and apple pie has more unhealthy fat than what AHA recommends.
The key to eating fast food is moderation. It is fine to meet your cravings for fries every once in a while but if you wish to live a healthier life, you cannot do that on a regular basis. It can be a challenge to find a well-balanced, healthy meal in fast food restos but choosing the lesser evil can do the trick.
Preparation Is the Key
Preparing for your trip to a fast food resto is the best way to make everything easier. Since almost everything under the sun can be found on the internet nowadays, you can search for the calorie and nutritional content of each meal that you have been wanting to eat. There are also some mobile applications that you may download so you can check meals on the go. This tip is also very useful to those with special diets since you get to see what ingredients they use.
However, there are times where you just suddenly find yourself unprepared in a fast food chain. If this happens, just choose those that you think are healthy. Your common sense will always save you from these kinds of moments.
For instance, you can opt for a sub that contains lean meat and lots of veggies instead of going for a philly cheese steak sandwich. Or when it comes to salads, you may opt for the one that has fewer or no fried toppings and have the dressing served at the side.
Pay close attention to the menu items. Look at the descriptions and the ingredients each meal has. You should avoid dishes that have the word fried attached to their names these include batter fried, pan fried, and deep fried. Also, avoid those that have cream sauces including foods that are labelled as au gratin, Alfredo and creamy since these are usually high in fat, carbs and sodium.
The good dishes are usually labelled as grilled, roasted, baked, broiled, steamed and sautéed so you should opt for this instead.
Another great tip is to order water instead of soda. A regular cola can contain up to 425 calories. That is already equivalent to one full meal. If you cannot stand drinking water, try to place a lemon on it or order unsweetened iced tea instead.
Focus on what you are eating and try to savour every bite. Learn to chew your food well and avoid eating when in a hurry. Some experts say that you should chew your food at least 30 times so this is something you should try. You also need to listen to your tummy and stop before you feel full since it takes time for your brain to tell you that you are full.
One thing worse than eating at a fast food chain is eating at a fast food buffet. You will only be tempted to eat more since you want to get your money’s worth. If ever you find yourself in a fast food buffet, opt for better choices and do not commit gluttony.
Since most of us live a very busy lifestyle, eating at fast food restaurants can be inevitable but if you are armed with the proper mind set and the right information, you can still eat healthy meals. It may not be easy at first, but it will get better once you condition yourself.