by Ed Yourdon
Many dieters are overcome by temptation when it comes to just one thing on their eating plan to lose weight: fast food. Ordering take-out or hitting the drive thru on the way home from taking the kids to soccer practice and ballet class may seem like an innocent way to make sure everyone gets fed when your schedule is crowded. But if your diet plans to lose weight seem to be stalling, or if you find that you are craving fast food, it may be time to reexamine your relationship with the squawk box.
What Is Fast Food?
First, let’s define fast food. It’s not just the food you drive thru and order as you speak into the clown’s mouth. It’s also that latte you grab from your favorite coffee shop on the way to work, the foods you pick up in the deli of your grocery store on a drizzly evening, or the pizza you buy in the frozen foods section. Fast food is any processed food that you can prepare quickly. Most of these foods contain ingredients you cannot pronounce, or even understand.
In contrast, you can make your own convenience foods as a part of the best weight loss diet. If you know you will be running errands and need a snack to bring along, you can easily make up a sandwich baggie with raw organic nuts and dried fruit to keep the hunger pangs at bay as you make your rounds. Convenience foods that you make at home can help lessen the attraction of fast food.
Why Is Fast Food So Bad for Weight Loss?
If you need to know how to lose weight, then eventually you discover the most basic principle of weight loss: what you put in your mouth has a profound effect on how much weight you lose. Fast food is a potential diet wrecker for several reasons. First, it contains high amounts of sodium, fillers, preservatives, and additives (these are the ingredients you usually cannot pronounce). All of these substances can actually contribute to weight gain as well as water retention.
Secondly, fast food is so processed that it is not terribly filling for your body. It contains minimal amounts of fiber, and fiber is what keeps you feeling full long after you eat a meal. So if you rely on fast foods to ease your hunger pangs, it will only appease you for a short while. On the other hand, whole, unprocessed foods will keep you satiated for a long time, since they contain more fiber.
Thirdly, studies have shown that fast food can actually be addictive. Whether it’s the additional salt or sugar, or something to do with the additives, or even just the culture of convenience, fast food begets cravings for more fast food. So if you find yourself craving another Whopper, there is a real reason behind that desire for more.
How to Reduce Weight without Fast Food
Many diet plans will make you think that fast food is OK as long as you make the “right choices.” However, the real right choice is to bypass the pickup window and head straight for your kitchen.
Cooking wholesome and delicious meals requires only a little advanced planning, and can be accomplished even more quickly than a trip to the fast food restaurant. You can also keep easy convenience foods on hand, such as sliced veggies and fruit, raw nuts, organic nut butters, or precooked slices of all-natural chicken or beef. These foods will help you stay on target with your weight loss goals while helping you to break the fast food habit.