Use fast food nutrition facts to make better choices...not try and remove fast food from your life.
There are fast food nutrition facts freely available at most fast food outlets these days, some even have them printed on the wrappers themselves; all should have them available on request. Fast food can be part of your life and it's o.k to have...just don't do it often, and think about what it is you're doing, this is where fast food nutrition facts are more than useful, there a necessity.
Use these labels to your advantage. Look at them! Look at the amount of fat in various products, compare the amount of fat, sugar and salt in each product, because this is how you can make healthier choices when you purchase fast food and you're eating out.
Fast Food Nutrition Information - Check it out before you go
O.k so in real life, standing in line at a McDonalds, or KFC or Burger King or Hungry Jacks, and trying to work out what is the healthiest option, when you're starving, or the kids are screaming, is not really a viable option, but there are things you can do.
When you leave this website, have a quick browse at the websites of the fast food outlets you often attend, most of them will have a variety of their fast food nutrition facts on their websites.
Compare the things that you like to order, which ones are the best in terms of minimising the fat and sugar, and helping you lose weight? In this case I'm talking less about 'nutrition' in terms of getting the valuable and necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies needs, rather more about nutrition in terms of lower fat, sugar and salt. (Three things we get plenty of...in fact tooo much of...hence the extra flesh)
Getting the necessary amino acids, vitamins and minerals our bodies need comes from a balanced and diverse diet. The fast food nutrition facts will list more information than just that of the fat, sugar and salt in the food itself. It'll also list what vitamins, how much fibre and so on. But since the first goal is to start shedding excess pounds, worry less about this for now, and concentrate on the fat, sugar and sodium (salt) content.
It's good to know these figures...these are three of the things that fill out most preprepared foods these days...and these are three of the things that most of us can cut down on in our diets, without out any detrimental effects to our health, the exact opposite in most cases - less clogging of the arteries and less flesh covering our bodies.
Fast Food Nutrition Facts - What size are you ordering?
Look also at the different amounts of fat, sugar and salt in the varying sizes.
There is a big push in fast food outlets to 'upsize', you know the thing 'for only 50c more, upsize to large fries and coke', or 'for $1 you can have an extra burger'.
Don't fall for it, only order what you need to tide you over till you get to a healthier option. Don't be sucked in to upsizing, if at all possible...downsize!
Use the fast food nutrition facts to compare the fat in a small size of anything, to that in a large size...just by downsizing you can eliminate grams and grams of fat from your diet!
For example, a large french fries from McDonalds has a total of 500 calories, of which 220 of these come from fat, and these same fries contain 350 mg of salt. Now let's compare this to a small french fries.v
A small french fries from McDonalds has a total of 230 calories, of which 100 of these calories are from fat, and contains 160 mg of salt.
So if you downsize to a small fries, even if you keep the same burger, you'll take in 270 less total calories, 110 less calories from fat, and 190 less milligrams of salt...and you still eat the same burger and coke...imagine what you could change if you changed all three!
Have a look at the
McDonalds nutrition facts
from McDonalds themselves. You'll find here fast food nutrition facts and information on all their burgers, fries and accompaniments. Then start making changes.
You don't have to give up everything all at once. Change things slowly, give yourself time to get used to changes. But consciously acknowledge what it is that you're doing. That way even if you choose something higher in fat on any given day, you can adjust what you eat over the next day or so, and take in less fat to compensate.
Fast Food Nutrition Facts for other fast food
While the major fast food franchises will have nutrition information available, there are many other types of fast food that don't.
Places such as sushi bars, sandwich bars and restaurants that offer takeaway won't necessarily have this information available, but there are a couple of things to help you on your way.
Anything smoked, or deep fried, or with thick creamy sauces will have more fat than those foods that are raw, steamed or thinner vegetable based sauces. Therefore foods with a lot of salads and vegetables, and steamed rather than fried will contain less fat.
Don't be afraid to ask questions either, how was this cooked, was salt added, did you wash your hands before preparing this (oh, sorry...this is another issue entirely...it's quite funny to see the reaction on some people's faces when you slip this one in at the end...sometimes the answer's a bit scary though)
If you really crave something, and you're not sure how good a choice it is, follow the same guidelines as for the fast food nutrition facts on sizing above...know that ordering less will naturally have less fat than ordering more, so order one of something instead of two, order the smallest size available, instead of the biggest.
If you really want something. It's o.k., if you continually deprive yourself of that which you feel like, you won't keep it up, what you will do is start to find it all too hard, and then you'll gradually drift back into eating way too much of the stuff that put on the extra pounds to start with.
Let yourself have it...just know that that's what you're doing, go for the smallest size available, and enjoy it!
Fast Food Nutrition Facts - Look at the overall calorie numbers
Now, I'm not a calorie counter, too hard, not enough time and can't be bothered. So, to lose weight I just started looking at how many calories I was taking in...and choosing options with less than I had been choosing up till this time.
This is what we've been talking about. If you downsize and drop 130 calories on one fast food item, and you eat exactly the same as you usually do, and you move the same, you'll already be taking in less energy than you were before. Depending on how many calories more you're taking in, than you're using, will effect how much weight you lose and how quickly.
The weight will come off the more you swap high fat and high sugar options, for low fat low sugar. The actual quantity, weight or size of the food you eat will still be the same, but you'll have dropped the total number of calories you've taken in. therefore less energy.
This is one step to losing weight, there are of course more, but you build on them in time. The aim is to do things in stages so that you can maintain what you're doing, and give yourself time to adjust to what you're doing, so that not only the results, but the habits stay permanent, too.
So, check the fast food nutrition facts on the items you usually get. What is the calorie number for each? Before you go to a fast food outlet again, while you're on the internet, check the fast food nutrition information for the franchises you usually visit.
If you don't want to worry about the fat or anything, just look at the calorie total for each item, now browse their list of foods and find some other things that you like. Look at the size option is each.
Compare the total calories of each item, and compare them to what you usually have. Pick what you'll have next time, don't worry about the actual or exact number of calories of each item, just decide on something lower than you usually have, in terms of total calories, and put these items into your head as the foods you'll order next time.
Next time you go to the fast food outlet of your choice, you'll choose these items, and you'll know that you are already putting less energy into your mouth than you did last time. Keep doing this...with as many foods as you can...fast food, snacks and so on.
Then you can put more effort into giving your body all it's nutritional requirements. Start small, do it in stages, and you'll be fit, healthy and at your bodies ideal operating weight...and you'll stay there.
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