Confessions of a Fast-Food Junkie & How I Conquered the Habit
I was a lot heavier, around 195 pounds by age 19. At this age, I was battling obesity, and my diabetes levels were up —and there were numerous —fast-food that was my most fabulous 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 obsession with fast food. I knew I had to stop being in denial and accept the fact before it turns late. I had to admit ultimately that I was a fast food junkie.
The word ‘Junkie’ is defined as ‘Someone who is hopeless or ardently devoted to a controlled substance.’ Most 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 a 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? Has your mind always craved 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 genuinely adamant to stop eating fast-food, a strict plan of your food list can be pivotal. It is essential 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 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 dinner 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 in 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 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 a 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 worth a lifetime.
After reading this article do you believe you are a fast-food junkie?
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