We all know that people are eating a lot of fast food, and in many cases a lot more than they should! In fact, some experts recommend no fast food at all, as it virtually isn’t going to do your body any favours – even if you are choosing the so-called “healthy” options on the menu. It appears that the health conscious community is growing, so surely this number has gone down, right?
Well, actually not! I’m from a very small town in Northern British Columbia, and when I heard that a Burger King was opening I was in complete shock. I just didn’t realize that these restaurant franchises were still on the upward climb and that people were choosing to eat this food enough to make it worthwhile for companies to continue opening new locations.
I guess because of the way I have been eating over the past several years I’ve been living in a bit of a bubble and have been unaware of what everyone else is up to!
I decided to look into this a bit more and find out just how much fast food is still being consumed on a regular basis, worldwide.
Alarming Statistics About Fast Food In America
- 50 million people are served daily in America by fast food restaurants – that is more than the entire population of Canada eating at McDonalds at the same time.
- 75 McDonald’s hamburgers are served every second.
- 44% of people are eating out at least once a week.
- On any day, 34% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are consuming fast food.
- The average American is spending $1,200 annually on fast food.
- According to the American Beverage Association, American consumers, on average drink more than 54,000 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year.
The issue that I find the most troubling about these statistics is that in this day and age it is basically common knowledge that fast food is not good for you to consume and could actually be the cause of numerous health problems that are most prevalent today. If you are someone who eats fast food out of convenience, there are other alternatives. If it is that it’s all you can afford, then I’m curious about what you will do when you end up with an expensive visit to the hospital that in turn will cost a lot more. Sometimes a change in perspective is all you need. A good question to ask yourself is how much do you care about yourself? What is your life worth to you? Putting in some extra effort to prepare meals ahead of time for yourself and if you have a family can go along way.
How You Can Quit Fast Food
Here are some simple steps you can take to quit your addiction to fast food, and start making healthier choices for yourself, or your family.
- If you are eating fast food quite regularly, you may want to start by cutting back slowly. This way, if you slip, you won’t judge yourself and go on a big binge to escape the feelings of failure. Try not getting the upsized version, and maybe even cut out the “meal deal” altogether. Avoid the sugar from the soda and the extra fat from the fries.
- As you’re cutting back, slowly start to implement more fresh foods into your diet. Carry some fruit with you for a snack. An apple or banana (or both), is the perfect snack! So simple, and no packaging required, just simply eat it.
- If your health isn’t a huge motivator for you, try adding up the amount of money that you are spending on fast food every month. Chances are you could be buying real food and ingredients for preparing your own food for much cheaper.
- If it is a matter of not having enough time, you could try doing meal prep on Sundays or whichever day you have available and making numerous meals for the week ahead and freeze them. You can also utilize a slow cooker that will slowly cook your food all day and will be ready for dinner when you are. Just dump all of the ingredients in in the morning, turn it on and you’re set. You’ll likely have some leftovers from this method as well, which means lunch tomorrow!
- If you are going to be going on a road trip, pack snacks ahead of time so you don’t have an excuse to eat fast food. Yes, this will take a bit more effort, but this is your health on the line. Bring fruit, trail mix, you can make muffins, bring a cooler, and pack smoothies.
- People will often eat fast food for breakfast because they don’t have enough time in the morning. Smoothies take less than 5 minutes to make, and will ensure a delicious nutritious breakfast that you can take on the go. You might also want to consider making a big batch of muffins that you can grab as you head out the door. That is even more simple than hitting up the drive through!
- Purposefully make extra portions so you can pack the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Just know, this will take some extra effort, but when you consider your health, it is totally worth it! You just have to make it a routine and eventually your taste buds will go back to normal and you won’t be craving the fat, refined sugars and starch as much. There is a very good chance you will feel a lot more energized as well, which will give you extra motivation to keep it up!
If you do eat fast food once in a while it’s not the end of the world, but I can say from experience that the less you eat it, the less you want it. Eventually, the thought of it may even repulse you. Hopefully, if this keeps happening we will see some of those numbers in the statistics mentioned above drop big-time!
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