Ah, America, home of the brave (and the hamburger). It’s difficult to walk through the mall or drive down the street without passing a fast food restaurant. Unless you live in a rural area, the blinking neon lights are a common sight. Americans are drawn to the siren call of fast, convenient food. After all, who has time to cook?
We have become a nation of fast food lovers. From fast food restaurants, to quick-fix convenience meals, we want our food and we want it now. Grocery stores boast frozen dinners, hotdogs in buns ready to microwave, and individually packaged sandwiches. It’s easy to prepare dinner in a flash, but sometimes a flash of the microwave isn’t quick enough.
The drive thru window comes to the rescue, offering a three-minute meal. It doesn’t get any easier than McDonald’s after a busy day at work, between errands, or on the way to the soccer game. Americans pack too much life into too little time, and our health is suffering.
Typical fast food meals are packed full of fat, sugar, and preservatives. Fast food is chemically engineered to taste great, even though it may have very little “food” in its ingredients list. We teach our kids that a meal is a “happy” occasion, and that toys and ice cream come along for the ride.
It’s no wonder that America is one of the most obese nations on the planet.
So, how can you go about unplugging the fast food machine? For starters, set limits. Decide how many times per month your family will eat fast food, and stick to the plan. Make it a game, with a (non food) reward for meeting your goal. Remind everyone involved that you’re improving your health.
Keep your home stocked with healthy, quick to prepare foods. If you know you’re going to be out all evening running errands, take a few extra minutes and throw some granola bars, fruit, and bottled water into the car. Your family will get hungry while you’re out ” it’s best to be prepared with nutritious options.
End the fast food trap by being aware of the money and health energy you’re spending. Take the time to set goals, limit your fast food intake, and pack healthy snacks. Your wallet, and your waist will thank you!