Fast food is one of the important parts of daily life for many people. But fast food leads to several types of diseases. Hence, many people are looking for healthier options to deal with their fast food cravings and go healthy. Here are the tips to reduce your fast food intake and adopt healthier eating habits.
Gathering Food Addiction Sources
If you are dealing with food addiction, you have to understand about your food addiction and its effect on your daily life. Getting addicted to fast food is a serious issue. High fat and sugary foods are very palatable. They release dopamine in the reward center of your brain when you eat them. It leads you to eat more and do it again. Binge eating disorder may lead you to want more of that food within a short time. You may feel guilty of these habits but you have nothing to do it. If you are addicted to a huge amount of fast food, you should see the doctor and ask about the chances of the binge-eating problem. There are different sources with which you can learn about your eating habits.
Note Your Problems
Note how often you eat junk food, your cravings or feelings about fast food and how difficult it is to give up these bad food cravings. To know the severity of this type of addiction, you may ask questions like “What situations/emotions raise cravings for fast food?” or “How helpless I am to fast food?” Rate your cravings for fast food from 1 to 10 (1 for the weakest and 10 for the strongest feeling). Note all the foods that make you addicted. Is it ‘junk foods’ like potato chips, candy or soda? Or just fast food?
Making Lifestyle Change
You have to plan ahead to make a lifestyle change when it comes to food addiction, instead of just adopting the diet. Make a diet plan which doesn’t include junk food or fast food. Be sure to add healthy snacks to avoid feeling too hungry during the day.
Avoiding Fast Food
Choose healthy Snacks and Meals
Having a healthy snack or meal is really a fantastic way to reduce the amount of fast food intake. Rather than going out for eating, you just have your healthy meal ready to go. Keep your lunch box stocked with healthy foods like fresh fruits, yogurt or hummus and carrots to control your hunger and stick to planned meal. Always carry convenient, healthy snacks like fruits or nuts in your briefcase/purse or car.
It may seem to be a huge challenge for many people. Even diet coke should be avoided. Even when you are full, diet soda may trick your body to feel hungry. Consume at least 64 oz of sugar-free, clear drinks daily like water with fruits and herbs, water, unsweetened decaf coffee or unsweetened iced tea.
Change Your Route
Sometimes, just driving across your favorite fast food restaurant can draw your attention. Choose a different route to your home, if possible, to stop your cravings for fast food. If you don’t have any bypass route, put a note in your vehicle with sayings like “Focus on your goal!” or “You can do it”.
Also, Write the Importance of Eliminating Unhealthy Food
It might not be simple to give up your fast food. Make a list of your positive thoughts when strong feeling strikes. It will help you deal with the cravings. Write the list of all the benefits of avoiding fast food. Some of the positive thoughts may be saving money, weight loss, better health or higher energy. Carry a copy of these thoughts in your wallet or in the car. Check it out when you crave for fast food. Also, note your progress on your way to avoid fast food and consider the positive changes in your health, lifestyle and diet.
Choose Healthier Restaurant Menu
Going out for having lunch is the common activity in the workplace. Have some 30-60 minutes of the break from your work and choose something healthier instead of fast food restaurant. Find out the healthier restaurants around your office. See their menus and look for better option.
Make a Plan
Buy a Notebook or Journal
Note down your snacks and meals in your journal for a few weekdays and weekends. This way, you may know how frequently and how much you consume fast food. Also, note the situations which lead you to eat fast food too frequently. Note any emotions or moods which may lead you to crave fast food and eat it. Note how many days you stayed away from fast food. Also, understand the cause of addiction to break the habit. Do you feel guilty, regretful or ashamed after eating fast food? Write your feelings and reference them for future before you eat fast food.
Make Realistic Goals
Let your long-term goals to work out to avoid your fast food habit. Be sure to set specific or realistic goals to achieve with time. Split long-term goals into smaller ones to skip the drive and start having your homemade breakfast. Don’t deal with several goals at once. Be realistic when it comes to set goals. If you don’t feel it realistic, you need to set your limits about how far you can go. You may want to consume fast food only once a month. Track the progress with time. It will be helpful to motivate you and keep you on track to your long-term goals.
Count on Calories
If you have not counted a number of calories you are having your meals, you might be shocked at how much you consume. Take your time and note down all the calories found in your favorite fast food meal. You may get enough count to break the habit. Compare a number of calories in fast food meal to the same homemade version. You can find out how many calories you can avoid by not eating fast food. It will help you cope with your fast food addiction.