- Food and Cooking
Confessions of a Fast-Food Junkie & How I Conquered the Habit
True Confession: I was a lot heavier, around 195 pounds by age 19. At this age, I was battling obesity and my diabetes levels was up —and there were numerous —fast-food that was my greatest friend or thus, I thought. The thing that made me stop and think was a friend or should I say a so-called friend called me “Fatso,” at that instant nothing said wake up like that moment. I had to admit to myself I was overweight, and I am a fast-food junkie. I also decided to conquer the habit.
However, it was not easy. I learn if I am going to break a habit, it is going to take patience, and time but most of all willpower. Take it from a person who used to eat fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was easy for me to find myself in a situation where when I got hungry I crave to stop at the closest fast food chain and not notice I am eating the wrong food, spending too much money, and I am a junkie.
When it comes to physical addictions, most people, usually, think of alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, and drugs. After doing much research, I learned that I too suffered the same addiction. Not the addition 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 accept ultimately that I was a fast food junkie.
The word ‘Junkie’ 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 junkie or not, but once you have unleashed the secret, it is time to have a reality check. There are several ways to know if you are a fast food junkie: 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 do not have to go home and make dinner? Does your mind always 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 junkie.
Sticking on to this dominant fast-food 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. However, being in denial of your powerful 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 of fast-food shows that regular Fast-food consumption has a 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 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. Also, fast food comprises 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 list can be pivotal. It is important to know what you are having for breakfast in the morning and at dinner every night. In a 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 a 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 cooked 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 entirely from my vicinity that helped reduce the temptation. For cooking, I chose vegetable oil or olive oil that 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 positive lifestyle, and I must say, the sacrifice is actually worth a lifetime.
After reading this article do you believe you are a fast-food junkie?
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