Yes, my healthy diet has at times suffered at the hands of fast food, I admit it – I am addicted to fast food – it makes me feel good, it makes us all feel good, that’s why its everywhere and thats why the fast food chains make millions.
But let’s face it, it’s not that simple to be disciplined and no one’s going to go to a restaurant with friends and tell the restaurant that they can’t eat that rice because its white rice and it’ll send my blood sugar levels sky high and release insulin into my body, can I have basmati instead ? – well, maybe just the hardcore diet enthusiasts.
So what to do about fast food nutrition – well, I am going to give you my five most important principles for choosing food generally, but also quick things to look for when you’re out in order to complement your healthy diet:
1. Find Out How The Food Was Cooked. It’s not the actual food that matters, it’s the way it was cooked. Little things like this can make a world of difference.
2. Drink Lots Of Water When you’re out, have a water bottle close by – you’d be surprised what a difference it makes.
3. If it doesn’t look natural, then it probably won’t do your diet much good Generally the more processed a food is, the more likely that it will be absorbed into your body very quickly and will not give you sustained energy. If it looks like it’s gone through a lot of processes before reaching you, then give it a miss.
4. Steer away from unhealthy fats and highly processed carbs when you eat out This is nothing new, don’t eat those fries with that burger. But I have two very good reasons for saying this. If you successfully navigate your way away from these two – you will be doing a lot for keeping bad cholesterol levels at bay and staving off accidental over-consumption of calories.
5. Go for raw There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that the food you’ve just eaten is burning calories even as you sit at the café talking with friends. It’s even confidence building to know that you have a healthy diet. The food that will do this is quite often raw and are adorned with fat burning principles because they have low energy density.
So step back from those fries, and consider that there are plenty of satisfying, tasty and healthy alternatives when snacking or dining out. Instituting these healthy diet principles will mean that your social life and weight loss goals are not an either / or situation.
Elizabeth A Bell and Barbara J Rolls Energy density of foods affects energy intake across multiple levels of fat content in lean and obese women Am J Clin Nutr 73: 1010-1018.
Prentice AM, Jebb SA. Fast foods, energy density and obesity: a possible mechanistic link. Obes Rev. 2003 Nov;4(4):187-94.
Weil, A., (2000) Eating Well for Optimum Health p. 77-78