Good news first!
I finally hit the minus 40 POUND mark! YAY! I have lost 41.2 pounds since 6/19/11. Only six more pounds until I hit my goal weight of 130 pounds!
Western civilization might be ahead of the game in many areas, but it's sad to say that we are #1 in the rate of obesity. I won't be quoting statistics (because I find them dry and boring), but simple observation should do the trick. In the last 20+ years, Europe has seen an increase in obesity rates, and in the last 10 years, Asia has noticed the trend. And by a weird co-inky-dink, that's been about how long fast food restaurants have been popping up in those areas of the world.
Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with video games, sitting in front of the TV and the Internet.
With the advent of "fast food", obesity quickly followed. No one has time for a relaxed meal around the table any longer with meetings, chauffeuring kids to various practices, over scheduling, working late, etc. Studies have proven that the slower you eat, you will stop eating when satisfied and NOT stuffed. If you eat too fast, then you don't realize you're full until it's too late. This is where the mind starts triggering that you need to feel stuffed before you feel satisfied.
Of course, it doesn't help that we are 'training' our children to snarf down their food by an inadequate lunch break. Or working at a job that barely allows 15 minutes to eat a meal. It makes it difficult to eat healthy if you don't have time to chew properly!
But back to the fast food talk. Even though many fast food joints offer healthy (or moderately healthy) options, people aren't taking advantage of them.
Because it's quicker and easier to snarf down a hamburger and french fries than it is to eat a salad--there's less chewing involved. Trust me, I'll be halfway finished with my salad while everyone else is staring at me, willing me to hurry up and finish.
Again, it's all about choices. Make the healthy choices when you can, but if for whatever reason you can't opt for the salad, then think about other options.
Here are a few Fast Food tips:
One--don't BIGGIE size anything. PERIOD. Do you really need those extra fries or the mongo-sized drink? I don't care if it is DIET whatever, it's still not good for you!
Two--Skip the combo meal deals. I totally understand that you're saving $0.10 or you calculate that you can get your drink for 'free'. DO NOT DO THIS. Is saving a little $$ worth your health?
Three--If you have to pick something unhealthy, go for the kiddie meal. I don't care if the company says it's for kids 10 and younger. They won't question you and if they do, walk out.
Four--If you want a Big Mac, then get a Big Mac, BUT SKIP THE FRIES AND DRINK. Order water. Bum a few fries from a friend.
Five--pick at your food . . . literally. Many fast food places use extra large buns. The bread provides filler material and it's packed with a butt-widening load of unnecessary calories. I pick most of the bread from my hamburgers, keeping just enough to hold the condiments to the insides. If you do get a salad remove all those extra crunchy things on top. They are excess calories that you don't need or really even want.
Six--research. If you tend to visit certain places regularly, then check out their nutritional information online prior to eating there. That way, you are prepared with adequate knowledge about their food products and can make a better choice.
--At Panda Express--the chow mein side dish is a better choice than the fried rice. Their kid's meals are totally filling. And you can pick and choose items online and their site will calculate the nutritional information of the meal! I'm usually stuffed before I can finish my chow mein and black pepper chicken!
--At Taco Bueno--For roughly the same WW points I can eat TWO beef tacos versus ONE bean burrito
--Schlotzsky's has an incredible Garden Salad. And no, you don't have to eat their pesto bread that comes with it. If you want to cut the points, tell them to skip the olives.
--At Wendy's you can have a side salad instead of fries. Eat the burger, but save the salad for another meal.
Seven--cut your burger in half. Eat one half slowly. If you are still hungry, then cut the second half in half and eat a quarter. If at any time you get full--STOP EATING. It's okay to throw away food.
That's all the hints I can think of at the moment. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to comment.