When it comes to physical addictions, most people usually think about alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, and drugs. After doing a lot of research, I learn that I too suffered the same addiction. Not the addiction of an alcoholic or a drug user, but I discovered my addiction to fast food. I knew I had to stop being in denial and accept the fact before it turns late. I had to ultimately accept that I was a fast-food junky.
The word ‘Junky’ is defined as ‘Someone who is hopelessly or ardently devoted to a controlled substance’. More often this ‘devotion’ resembles an addiction. It is not easy to recognize whether you are a fast-food junky or not, but once you have unleashed the secret, it’s time to have a reality check. There are several ways to know if you are a fast food junky: Does your morning routine include a fast food stop for breakfast on your way to work? Do you grab a quick bite from fast-food during your lunch break? Do you keep a packet of junk food at your desk or in your bag to munch on when hunger strikes? Do you pick up a fast-food item on your way home from work so you don’t have to go home and make dinner? Does your mind constantly crave for the delicious fast-food you carelessly gobble up? If your answer to any or all of these questions is ‘yes’, it is hence proved that you are a fast-food junky.
Sticking on to this fast-food dominant routine can make your mind and body wholly dependent on a high calorie diet. Now that your body is addicted to fast-food, you experience late night cravings that prompt you to get in your car and drive to the closest fast-food eat out. But being in denial of your persuasive addiction, you keep telling yourself that you are just getting something to eat to cope up with the hunger. I had all these signs. If you too experience most or all of these factors, then you are a fast-food junky by all means. My in-depth study on fast-food shows that continuous fast-food consumption has strong positive association with weight gain and insulin resistance, suggesting that fast-food addiction increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Through my experience I have been able to deduce that breaking a food-food habit is not easy, but surely possible. It not easy because fast food is readily available and some fast-food centers are open 24/7. In addition, fast food comprise primarily of unhealthy fats and calories, which are additive in nature.
There are several ways to kick off a fast-food habit. One way is to reduce the number of times you visit your regular fast-food hotspots. This way, if you regularly ate fast-food five times a week, you can now cut it down to 1-2 times a week. The most efficient way is through planning a menu ahead of time. If you are truly adamant to stop eating fast-food, a strict plan of your food menu can be pivotal. It is important to know what you are having for breakfast in the morning and at dinner every night. In time you will realize that sticking to a planned diet is much cheaper than the regular fast-food feasts.
How did I kick my fast-food habit?
I start my day by eating breakfast bars in the morning on my way to work instead of stopping at a fast-food eat out for breakfast biscuit. For lunch I pack my food and eat it in the cafeteria instead of going to a fast-food restaurant. For dinner I would eat at home by planning my meal ahead of time. Meals like Baked Chicken with macaroni & cheese, Green bean and a role, Roast with potatoes and sweet peas, or sometimes a quick meal like Sloppy Joe, 15-Minute Chili-Cheeseburger Skillet, Cheesy Chicken & Veggie Mac, beef enchiladas and lasagna, Manwich and fries. Another thing I would do to prevent eating fast-food is cook a day ahead or extra and use a microwave to eat the same next day. Although peers tempt me when they eat fast-food, I know fast-food is downright addictive and I was always determined to kick this habit from its roots. I knew I had to stay rigid on my de-addiction, and so I stock up my pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods like fruit, granola bars, nuts, yogurt, raw vegetables, tuna, salmon, chicken, fish, and regular vegetables. I eliminated junk food completely from my vicinity which helped reduce the temptation. For cooking, I chose vegetable oil or olive oil which is low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.
By not eating at a fast food restaurant I now save myself few extra bucks, plus eating healthier can improve my health and avoid medical complications. On my path to discovery I have successfully gained a more confident lifestyle and I must say, the sacrifice is truly worth a life time.