And no wonder. Fast food is tasty, convenient, comforting on the drive home after a long day.
It wasn’t anonymous, however. The drive-thru help at McDs got to know my car, if not me, and would helpfully suggest when it needed a wash!
But over the years, the weight has started to creep on in places I’d rather not mention, and it’s time for a change.
I’d like to share what I am doing in the hopes that perhaps it might help someone else with the same issue:
1. I found out exactly how many calories were in my favorites.
Each fast food emporium has its own nutrition guide online. You can print them off (I did) and calculate how expensive the cheap, economical fare actually is.
I did this in a rational moment this morning after breakfast, when I wasn’t hungry. Good thing.
A sample of what I found: The peanut buster parfait at Dairy Queen weighs in at a mega 700 calories (14 points for WeightWatchers).
A large Wendys chocolate frosty is 530 calories (12 points WW).
A McDonalds Big Mac is the relative lightweight at 540 calories (13 points WW). Sigh!
Check out your own favorites. You may be surprised.
2. Next I looked at strategies to slow down my consumption of fast food:
Distraction: Temptation usually comes on the way home in the form of a split second decision: Do I turn right into McDs or left to continue home? I usually don’t have to stay ‘good’ for long.
To distract me in these moments of weakness, I have speed dialed my radio to a loud heavy metal station. One push of the button, and it goes on to provide some background music. I ask myself, do I really want to do this?
Change the lane: I have plotted some alternative ways home that don’t go past my favorite places.
Visual reminder: I am laminating copies of the calorie counts and point totals to place in both my car and on the fridge.
Pre-intervention: I usually hit the fast food lane when I am tired, hungry, stressed. Before leaving work, I am going to try a few moments of meditation, a centering exercise, or perhaps some soothing self-talk.
I am experimenting with keeping healthier snacks in the car (baby carrots, power bar, nuts).
3. Finally, and most important, I set up a potent feedback loop.
I think one of the reasons that I don’t stay on a healthy eating plan is that I fall off the wagon after a week or so.
To become more aware of my progress, I am scheduling a weekend check-in time. I am setting aside 10 minutes or so for a check in to see how well I did, what problems I ran into, and how I can intervene better next week.
Weight goes on not in big chunks and gobs, but rather, by slow bits and pieces: 100 calories here, 200 calories there. Over years it adds up to pounds that don’t go away.
I am ready for a change. My resolution has shifted and this time feels different. I am ready to battle for what is important to me, my good health.
Tell me, what has worked for you?
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