Eating a healthy diet nowadays is not an easy task in our modern environment, and the presence of so many conveniently located fast food restaurants doesn’t help at all.

Actually, fast food restaurants are being blamed for the obesity epidemic in America and health experts agree that a strong relationship exists between the abundance of fast-food restaurants and obesity, causing what is known by now as fast food obesity.

This correlation is due, in part, to the inexpensive, high-calorie meals served at these restaurants and the frequent visits we pay to them.

Restaurants want your Money

Restaurants want your money and the way to get it is to serve you very large plates with a lot of food and a “supersize” soft drink. On the other hand, you want to get your money’s worth when eating out, so you want to get the largest portion with the least amount of money.

At a glance, sounds like a good deal, but unfortunately, what is happening here, is that the restaurant is getting your business and you are getting the calories; definitely, not a win-win situation because, although getting this amount of food for a reasonable price may make you happy today, you will pay a much higher price at a later time.

So, here is how you can make eating at fast-food restaurants a “win situation” for you

  1. Remember that there is a difference between a portion and a serving. A portion is how much you choose to eat, at home, at the restaurant, or from a package. A serving is a standard amount set by the U.S. Government. It is the amount of food listed on the Food Label.
  2. Usually, our portions are much larger than the servings recommended by Health authorities.  Always assume that at fast-food restaurants, unless you order from the children’s menu, everything is going to be at least double the size of what it is recommended for good health and to keep your weight down.
  3. When presented with a too-large portion, before even getting your teeth into that “tasty” food, ask the waiter to take half of it and save it for you in a doggy bag (in the refrigerator, of course) until you leave. Even better, if the meal is full of saturated fat, you are better off by asking the waiter to throw the extra half to the trash.
  4. Do not order supersize soft drinks. It is true that large sizes only cost a few cents more, but you get a lot of unwanted calories. And please, do not go for the refill under any circumstances. Even if you order a diet soda, still is no good.
  5. The fourth alternative is to choose better quality restaurants, of course. But if you really feel you have to go to fast-food restaurants, become informed about the ingredients contained in the food you are eating. It will help you make better selections.

Final Thought

If you are interested in knowing what you are gulping down at fast-food restaurants and in preventing fast food obesity, you can obtain a list I have prepared showing the number of calories, sodium, fat, carbohydrates, and protein in meals served at major fast-food restaurants just by signing for the “Food Combining” newsletter in my blog; you may be surprised at the amount of sodium, calories, and fat we put in our system when eating at fast-food restaurants.

Author

I am Andy Carpenter and I would start by saying that I have a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition Science conferred by California State University, Los Angeles and that I am certified as a Registered Dietitian.

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