It’s been noted in the last decade or so that obesity has climbed to an alarming rate in our lovely US of A. Most people, dunderheads included, know that this is because of a phenomenon called “fast food” – sure, it’s good and cheap and fast (hence the title), but it’s also seriously addicting and not-to-mention bad for you!
As a child, my parents always treated fast food like Burger King and Wendy’s and, yes, even McDonald’s as treats; only to be consumed on special occasions. However, as I reached my prepubescent tween years and beyond, and the recession tied my parents’ wallets tighter and tighter, fast food became more and more prevalent around my home. As a general rule, my family never discussed our deplorable habits unless necessary. I realized that necessity had arrived upon receiving a phone call from my mom one day, saying that my dad had been admitted to the hospital. The reason? He was eating lunch and his diabetes symptoms went into overdrive and he collapsed. Not cool. He’s on eight different medications right now – he’s not even 40 years old.
I was worried and scared, as most teenagers are when something concerns their parents, but most of all: I was motivated. I realized that this gorging and eating so unhealthy to the point where I collapsed is not what I need to be doing. With the help of my friends and my aerobics instructor (who told me everything I needed to know to make my transition easier for me, thank you for that, Ms. Mahler!) I now eat cleaner than anyone I know. That’s not to say I don’t have the occasional cookie or frozen yogurt from time to time, but it’s definitely an improvement over constant fast food binging.
If you need some help breaking the habit, these are just some info tidbits to get your mind going:
Did you know that Americans annually spend a projected $110 billion dollars on fast food? That’s a lot of money! I don’t know about most of you readers, but I do not have enough room in my paycheck to factor in the kind of dough it would take to eat fast food on a regular basis! Starving college student, here.
On top of that, if you’re the kind of person who frequents a land called “De-Nial”, you may be thinking: “Oh, but I get the small/medium size everything and I’m perfectly fine. I’m not fat or anything!” Here’s some food for thought, then. (Haha, did you see what I did there?)
One Big Mac, medium fries, & a medium vanilla shake: 1680 calories and 74 grams of fat.
Sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle: 550 calories and 31 grams of fat.
Woah, right? Now look at this:
½ roasted chicken breast, medium baked white potato, ½ cup of green peas, 8 oz. glass of 1% milk, and a cup of unsweetened applesauce: 546 calories and 5 grams of fat.
Do you realize we could be eating a whole lot more for a whole lot less? Not only that, but have you ever wondered why the FDA has food companies compare their products servings sizes relative to 2000 calories per day on their nutrition facts? Because that’s how much a healthy American is supposed to eat. So, what? You just gonna binge on ONE Mickey D meal and let yourself starve the rest of the day? Hell no! I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry virtually all the time. Proper nutrition is KEY, people!
So yeah, it’s totally up to you, and this whole scenario is subjective, but do you really want to take the chance? It takes 21 days to form a habit, but all it takes to break one is a whole lot of conviction.