3 Secrets of Fast Food: Eating On-The-Go & Not Gaining Weight

Fast food eating and weight loss is possible when you know how to make better choices. The success of a weight loss plan is to accept that, by circumstance of time, location, or even money, one might end up in a fast food restaurant or having to eat while driving in their car. Just because one has to eat “on-the-go” does not mean the diet plan has to be disrupted. Like eating anywhere else, the secret is to have a plan. In this case it’s easier to remember what you should not have rather than the best choices.

In a Perfect World…

Ideally, everybody has the “right breakfast” at home. We do away with eating at fast food restaurants and pick lower calorie alternatives at the office or at the school cafeteria for lunch. We have a high-protein, low-carb snack in the late afternoon and then come home at the end of the day for a nutritious, healthy dinner including fish, vegetables and salad. That is the perfect world.

50% of All Food is Fast Food
Unfortunately, let’s face it, the perfect world never happens in the lives of the majority of Americans. The NPD Group®, an organization that estimates food trends in the United States, reported in 2002 that more than 50% of all food consumed (not just restaurant foods) consisted of burgers, fries, Mexican food and pizza.

Why Fast Foods?
Consumers go to the drive thru at McDonald’s®, Burger King® or Taco Bell® and pick up burgers, chicken nuggets, and fries without even thinking about the consequences. These foods taste good, are cheap, satisfying and, most importantly, are convenient. They fit into our busy lifestyles. Unfortunately, gaining weight is easy even when you only eat small amounts of these high-calorie, fattening foods. This is especially true for foods with portions that are difficult to control.

Fast Foods Give Pleasure
The reality is that, more often than not, these foods represent a main source of pleasure for many people. Depriving yourself of what you like only leads to wanting it more. Sooner or later, the “I can’t have it” becomes “I must have it” and creates anxiety. The SECRET is to learn how to choose intelligently from the vast selection available.

The Secrets of On-The-Go Eating: What to Eat, What to Avoid

When you find yourself forced to eat on the go, the secret is to choose foods that will not add thousands of calories to your diet. From all of the choices that surround you, here is a short list of what you should try to avoid.

  • Breakfast foods that are high in calories and carbs – almost impossible to find a low calorie breakfast at Burger King, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, and Wendy’s
  • All fried fast food: burgers, chicken, fish, french fries, onion rings, etc.
  • Drinks with any sugar – regular sodas, juices, punches, iced teas, milkshakes

Breakfast Probably Not Possible in Fast Foods Restaurants (at least on a regular basis)
High Calorie Bad BreakfastBreakfast is the easiest meal to adjust because what we choose to eat in the morning is not as much about satisfying cravings or wanting comfort food. Many people will pick up the first thing they see, such as a Pop Tart®, a bagel, pastry, a donut or a muffin. In fact, we would be just as satisfied with foods that have much lower calories. Fast food breakfasts can easily account for a third to half of the total daily calories for a person on a diet. Often, people in a rush get their breakfast at a drive-thru, gobble down their food in their cars, and often do not even realize what they are eating!

Lunch and Dinner at Fast Food Restaurants:

You really only need to avoid a small number of items among the two hundred or more food choices we are exposed to everyday. Going to fast food restaurants and finding reasonable, low-calorie, portion-controlled foods is absolutely possible. Just remember the foods to avoid and you’ll cut hundreds of calories from your daily intake.