We live in the century of speed where everything is on fast-forward, including our eating routine and habits. So, instead of enjoying our meals and sharing them with our best friends and family members, we almost always end up having something “to go” while driving, getting around the city running errands or, even worse, while we’re still working in our offices.
As for the food choices, they aren’t always healthy either. And how could they be, given the thousands of fast food chains selling delicious burgers and refreshing milkshakes at each corner? If you can’t seem to stay away from fast food but still want to watch your weight and even lose a few pounds, here are some tips that might come in handy.
1. Go for smaller portions
We all have cravings once in a while and it’s alright to give in to them as long as you do it in a responsible manner. You won’t gain 10 pounds just by eating a double cheeseburger and you most certainly won’t lose the same 10 pounds if you refrain yourself from one guilty pleasure.
The trick is to stick to small portions instead of the large ones. The large combos may seem like a better deal for your pocket but do you really need the extra calories? A small side of fries is around 100 calories less than a bigger one, while a regular burger can save you another 100-150 more calories.
2. Opt for grilled chicken instead of fried
We already know it’s finger-licking good and that you’re loving it but do you actually know how fried chicken is made? Most of the times, the chicken is deep-fried in hot oil that is reused a few times, up to the point it burns and becomes potentially dangerous for your health.
Opting for salads with crispy chicken isn’t really a healthy choice either. The best way to stay safe while still indulging in some delicious fast food is to choose the grilled version instead of the popular fried one. For instance, a grilled chicken salad with no dressing only contains 7 grams of fat and around 210 calories, whereas one with crispy chicken contains no less than 15 grams of fat and 370 calories.
3. Homemade fast food
If you love hamburgers, quesadillas, burritos, French fries, sundaes, and the famous lobster, who says you can only eat them at the fast food chains? By choosing to cook your own fast-food recipes you control exactly what gets in each dish and the quality of the ingredients.
Finding alternatives isn’t hard at all when you can cook only using organic and farm-grown products that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. You can still get to eat your cheeseburger and your French fries but without the extra calories from processed foods and harmful ingredients.
4. Order healthier side dishes
Most of the fast-food chains now offer healthier alternatives when it comes to their menus, so why not opt for some of them? If you’re getting the burgers you should opt for a healthier side dish like baked potatoes, steamed rice or steamed veggies. They are not only delicious but also help you watch your weight since they are low-calorie.
5. Avoid milkshakes and other coffee-based beverages
Believe it or not, the cheeseburgers and the fries aren’t the unhealthiest meals on the menu. On the contrary, even though you’re not eating the highest-quality meat you’re still getting some proteins out of it.
By comparison, coffee-based beverages and milkshakes are rich in calories and fats and can really have a negative impact on your diet. For instance, a large caramel latte can count for up to 900 calories, which is about half of the total number of calories you’re required for the entire day.
You can replace these sugary beverages with healthier alternatives such as regular coffee, cappuccinos, water or unsweetened tea.