THEY WANT TO BE IN CHARGE OF WHAT YOU ORDER
At hamburger chains, “combination meals” make up a whopping 31 percent of all purchases. The average combo packs 1,200 calories, and about ⅓ of those are from predetermined sides that the chain decided on for you.
THEY ALL TASTE THE SAME FOR A REASON
Ever notice how different parts of a fast-food meal kinda taste the same? The burger, the fries, the onion rings, even the shake—they all taste like “fast food.” That’s because they’re all calibrated to appeal to our tastebuds in a way that inspires us to keep eating—not too meaty, not too vegetable-like. The part of our brains called the hypothalamus that responds to food evolved to crave a variety of sweet, salty, and bitter tastes, so we would munch on a variety of foods. But fast food is designed to satisfy all of these taste desires, so you never crave anything else (like a grapefruit, for example).
FAST FOOD IS MADE TO BE EATEN FAST
It takes 20 minutes for the “I’m full” signal to get from your belly to your brain. So the faster you eat that food, the more of that food you need to buy, and eat, because your brain doesn’t know you’re stuffed.
Slow down to speed up fat burning! Chewing slowly is one of the 55 Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism!
FAST FOOD DOESN’T NEED MUCH CHEWING
Another trick to get you to eat more: The heaviest people chew their food 11.9 times before swallowing, while the thinnest chew 14.8 times, according to one study.
YOU’LL GET FRIES WITH THAT, EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT THEM
It’s harder for you to say no to an offer when it comes directly from another person, according to a Eastern Illinois University study that found people will eat 85 percent more when servers offer them more.
YOU’RE NOT SPECIAL
People are more likely to make unhealthy restaurant choices when they feel like they’re dining out for a “special occasion.” Remember, you go to this place all the time; just because there’s a clown there doesn’t mean it’s a party.
“MEDIUM” IS LARGE
Duke University researchers discovered that chains often encourage customers to buy larger sodas by increasing the number of ounces in ALL sodas. That’s because people subconsciously pick the middle option, so the larger the “medium,” the more they can charge for it.
TODAY’S FOOD PACKS MORE CALORIES THAN THE FOOD FROM THE 1980S
In fact, we now take in twice as many calories from restaurants than we did 30 years ago. Check out how much our food has swelled: Pizza: 70 percent more calories Cheeseburger: 75 percent more calories French fries: 190 percent more calories
Quick Healthy Lunch Ideas That Will Also Help You Save Money
-First of all, EAT BREAKFAST!!!!!!! Eating breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. Just like it says, you are breaking your fast. With eating a healthy breakfast, you’ll eat less throughout the day. If you skip breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and will store food as fat because it doesn’t know if it’s going to be a while until the next meal. Make time to eat, get up a few minutes earlier if need be. You’ll feel better for it. Some suggestions for breakfast:
-Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins (Can do overnight oats. Do same parts oatmeal/milk and let soak overnight. Just add a little more milk in the morning)
-Eggs and wheat toast, Greek yogurt with banana.
Make sure your breakfast has a good amount of protein and/or fiber to keep you fuller longer! Stay away from high sugary cereals and breakfast bars that will not fill you up.
-Keep healthy snacks available so you do not overeat during lunch or dinner. Some healthy snack options:
-peanuts, almonds, walnuts, single serving Greek yogurt, hummus and vegetable, banana with peanut butter and apples are some examples. Focus on finding foods that are higher in fiber and protein so that it fills you up more. If you eat a high carb or sugary snack, you will be hungry sooner than later and tend to eat more than if you ate something with fiber and protein.
-Buy bulk foods so you can either make before at home or while you are at work. If you make more than one meal at a time, keep your lunch at work so you can grab it when you have time or start to get hungry. If you have it work, you’ll be less likely to go out to eat. This will not only save you money, but it will give you the control to make healthier decisions and eat right when you start to get hungry rather than waiting until you are too hungry and overeat.
When you eat lunch, take time away from work, do not work while eating. This will refresh you and allow you to pay attention to what and how much food you are eating. This will also allow you to mentally take a break and recharge you for when you get back to work!
Just like the other meals, focus on getting a well-rounded meal with a protein, vegetables and fruit. When you look at your food, it should be colorful!
Wheat Bread with natural peanut butter and jelly, carrots, single Greek yogurt with honey or fruit added.
Stay away from: White breads, yogurts high in sugar:
*Yoplait Greek 100 and Chobani Greek Vanilla Blends are the better choices as the sugar is lower and protein is higher.
Corn tortilla with chunk chicken breast and a little mayo or mashed avocados, cut up vegetables with hummus, a piece of fresh fruit or corn chips with salsa.
Salad with mixed lettuce (spinach, arugula, mixed greens or romaine. Stay away from just white lettuce as the fiber is low and will not fill you up!! The greener, the better!!), hard boiled eggs with a protein (turkey and cheese, chicken, or tuna), and as many vegetable as you’d like!! You may add fruit to your salad or bring a side of fresh fruit with your lunch.
*Grill extra chicken for an evening meal so you can keep leftovers to add to your salads.
-Use an oil and vinegar salad dressing. Stay away from creamy dressings!!! If you do not like oil and vinegar dressings, limit how much creamy dressing you use.
With a little bit of effort, you can make some huge changes in saving calories, money and making smarter food choices!!
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Families now are so busy and that makes it challenging to eat a healthy dinner at night. Do you wait until the last minute to make dinner or go through the drive-thru because you have little time in between kids practices or dance classes? I only have one son but there were times where we had so little time with cross country or swim meets to make dinner, let alone a healthy dinner. After many nights of everyone being indecisive about what we wanted for dinner which led to fights because we were hungry, I had enough. I sat down on a Sunday afternoon before I went to the grocery store to plan out all the meals for the week. Phew, what a difference it made in the household! This idea led to less fights, less of us being “hangry”, and healthier meals. We also saved money because I bought the foods we needed for the week.
Here is how I did it and so you can you! It does not take long, I promise. Pinterest has become my best friend! If you are not on Pinterest, I highly recommend you do so. It basically is one place where you can copy and paste recipes or anything else for that matter in one place. You can look up healthy recipes and special food options are available, depending on your personal preference. You can even type in certain foods and it will pull up recipes with those ingredients.
It may be overwhelming at first to find a recipe, sometimes I get stumped as to what to have but after a few weeks you’ll get the hang of it. I find a recipe for each night of the week and base the recipe off of how much time I have. If my son had a swim meet and I knew I didn’t have much time, I found a crock pot recipe. If I had a night that I had more time to make something, I found a new recipe. When you figure out what you will have each night, write down the ingredients that you need from the store. This allows you time to pick out healthier meals. Like I mentioned before, you don’t always make healthy decisions while you’re already hungry. This can also lead to overeating or eating something unhealthy.
If you have some picky eaters in your house or if your children like to be involved in making decisions, allow them to pick a night a week where they can decide on a meal. Help them either pick out a recipe or ask what they’d like and help put together a meal with that choice. This will hopefully help with your child not being grumpy at the dinner table, for one night at least!
I have what we are eating each night of the week written on the refrigerator so everyone knows what we are having each night and there’s no “What’s for dinner” question…..I would cringe every time I’d hear that question!
I went from dreading dinner time to actually enjoying making dinner with this change. Hopefully this suggestion may help your family dinner time less crazy as well!
How to prepare a healthier lunch in less time while saving money!!
*Save time and money by eating leftovers from dinner. Purposely make more food for dinner so you have enough to take to lunch.
*Look for specials on lunchmeat or other lunch items each week so you can take advantage of lower priced items.
*Use coupons to help lower overall cost of groceries.
*Take time each week to figure out a meal plan and list of what items you’ll need from the store. Only buy the items you need. Will help you stick to a budget and keep you from wasting food if you would buy too much.
*Eat foods that are higher in protein and fiber to hold you over more, ultimately saving you from over eating and spending more money on snacks.
Sample costs of eating out:
Sheetz-Chicken Salad Sandwich $5.19 with no sides
Vending machine-Hoagie $3.75 with no sides
McDonald’s-Artisan Grilled Chicken Meal (sandwich, fries and soda) $6.39
These 2 lunch samples follow the “How to Pack Your Lunch” picture and gives you an idea how much it would cost to make them.
Below are items from Walmart. I gave you samples of healthier and/or organic foods to show you that you can purchase healthier foods and not break the bank.
Lunch option 1:
Chicken Salad sandwich, banana, tortilla chips, salsa and water
Bread-go to the bakery section and purchase a fresh loaf of bread as they have less additives than regular shipped in loaves of bread as they put a lot of unhealthy ingredients in to keep fresher longer. Average loaf cost $4.00=$.80/day
Chicken-Valley Fresh Premium Chunk White Organic Chicken in water 5oz $2.58 can/day
Mayo-Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil 30oz container $3.48 jar=$.12/day *mix mayo with chicken.
Tomato slices-Organic Tomatoes $4.05 lb/$.81/day
Romaine Lettuce-Organic Romaine Lettuce $3.54 a head/$.70/day
Banana- $.69 lb.=$.13/day
Vegetables-Wild Oats Marketplace Organic Medium Salsa 16 oz $2.08 jar/$.41 day
Snack-Simply Tostitos Scoops Organic Tortilla Chips 8 oz bag $3.48/day
Total cost per day=$9 Total cost per week=$45
Lunch option 2:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, applesauce, frozen vegetables, snack and water
Bread-go to the bakery section and purchase a fresh loaf of bread as they have less additives as regular shipped in loaves of bread put a lot of unhealthy ingredients to keep fresh. Average loaf cost $4.00=$.80/day
Peanut Butter-Organic Smuckers $4.58 jar=$.28/day
Jelly-Wild Oats Organic Grape Fruit Spread $2.08 jar=$.19/day
Applesauce-Wild Oats Organic Unsweetened Applesauce $2.62 for 6 pack=$.29/day
Vegetables-Green Giant Frozen Antioxidant Vegetable Blend 7 oz $1.48/day
Snack-Cascadian Farm Organic Protein Honey Roasted Nut Chewy Bars $4.78 for 5 bars= $.95/day
Total cost per day=$3.93 Total cost per week=$24
Looking for food that is healthy for your heart? This article not only helps you with what you should eat, but gives you a recipe as well! Try one of the recipes and let me know what you think!
The instant something sweet touches your tongue, your taste buds direct-message your brain: deee-lish. Your noggin’s reward system ignites, unleashing dopamine. Meanwhile, the sugar you swallowed lands in your stomach, where it’s diluted by digestive juices and shuttled into your small intestine. Enzymes begin breaking down every bit of it into two types of molecules: glucose and fructose. Most added sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets and is equal parts glucose and fructose; lab-concocted high-fructose corn syrup, however, often has more processed fructose than glucose. Eaten repeatedly, these molecules can hit your body…hard.
Source: Anne Alexander, editorial director of Prevention and author of The Sugar Smart Die
It’s easy to preach healthy eating as THE solution to common health issues many in the trucking industry face like obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, it is pretty unrealistic (and very difficult) to completely avoid grabbing fast food on the run. After all, with the crazy schedules and frequent lack of other options, the only truly viable solution is to replace the bad stuff with some of the more sensible options. So if you have no other choice but to reach for the fast food, at least choose the most nutritious options. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the smartest menu options at some of the nation’s most popular restaurant chains:
Total Fat 9g
Although the typical “go-to” healthy option is a salad, I would recommend ordering the grilled chicken classic sandwich instead at McDonald’s. It’s more filling, offers a good amount of protein, and is portable. Pair it with some fruit and a black coffee for a complete meal from Mickey D’s that you don’t have to feel guilty about. In fact, you’ll be lovin’ it.
Total Fat 4.5g
For a great lunch option without sacrificing flavor, consider choosing the sweet onion teriyaki sub. Just choose the half-foot option! The fat content is extremely low and there’s no fat in the tasty sauce (oh, and definitely avoid buying that bag of chips or cookie in the checkout line).
Total Fat 21g
A flame-broiled classic, the Whopper Jr. with cheese packs less than 400 calories. On the side you can also add a small salad and some juice. There’s no reason you can’t eat like a king every once and a while when you’re watching your eating.
Total Fat 0g
Caffeine is a trucker’s best friend. But, believe it or not, all those fancy caffeinated beverages can add up in the calories. Instead of drinking up all that sugar and calories, stick to a classic like a tall café Americano—which is essentially just a plain black coffee in Starbucks language. Although in all honesty, there are way cheaper places to get that cup-o-joe fix anyway.
Total Fat 7g
Thinking outside the bun? Try the fresno style bean burrito. It’s only 330 calories and can be an afternoon snack. But, with this item, you should still be cautious if you’re on a low-sodium diet.
General fast-food rules to live by:
Lori Rice, Demand Media
Traveling for business can be challenging, with extended hours on a plane, hectic agendas and long meetings with colleagues. You barely have time to sleep, let alone think about how you will find healthy foods to eat, but there are some steps you can take to eat right while you’re away. By taking a few extra minutes to adequately prepare for your trip and making wise choices when you are on the road, you can fuel your body and get the energy you need to power through your busy days.
Pack snacks for while you’re en route and for your destination. Popcorn, pretzels, chopped vegetables and fruits, nutrition bars with five or fewer natural ingredients, granola and trail mix can be snacks for your flights and airport layovers. They also serve as a quick breakfast on-the-go.
Choose deli-style meals when you are stuck eating at the airport. Customize your own sandwich with lean meats, vegetables and whole grain breads, choose broth-based soups and select salads with vinegar and olive oil.
Skip the pastry and donut platter at meetings and conferences. Choose fresh fruit if it is available and consider bringing your own nutrition bar or trail mix, or pick up a whole grain bagel with nut butter if a bakery is close.
Drink coffee, tea and water or sparkling water during meetings instead of high-sugar, high-calorie or artificially sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks. You can save hundreds of calories throughout your day by sipping on a non-calorie drink such as sparkling water instead of a soft drink.
Choose sandwiches, wraps and salads with dressing on the side when ordering lunch. Select those varieties with lots of fresh vegetables and whole grain breads. Ask if sides such as fruit salad or pasta salad are available instead of chips.
Limit your number of high-calorie alcoholic beverages if you meet for cocktails after the work day. Watch out of drinks with high-sugar additions such as margaritas and cocktails with fruit juices or soft drinks. Choose drinks with club soda or on the rocks, or choose a glass of wine.
Pay attention to any mindless eating of snacks throughout the day such as pretzels and chips set out at meetings, candy from the jar on someone’s desk, or nuts at the bar during cocktail hour. Carry fruit or a nutrition bar to curb your appetite.
Select simply prepared appetizers and entrees for dinner that provide lean protein and fresh produce. Choose a simple Caprese salad as an appetizer. Consider salmon, lean beef, chicken or vegetarian options without heavy cream sauces as an entree. Try a baked potato or sautéed vegetables as your side. A wood-fired pizza with vegetables is another healthy option. Split large entrees with coworkers or request a half order.
Allow yourself a splurge every now and then to satisfy cravings. Take along dark chocolate and enjoy a small piece before turning in for the night, or start your day with a small size of your favorite specialty coffee.
Don’t isolate yourself from socializing with coworkers because you fear there won’t be healthy options. There is usually something on every menu that you can make into a healthy meal. Ask for sauces on the side, request meats to be grilled or broiled instead of fried, eat a small appetizer as your meal, or sip on club soda and lemon if you choose not to drink alcohol.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lori Rice is a freelance health and travel writer. As an avid traveler and former expat, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips with other enthusiastic explorers. Rice received a master’s degree in nutritional sciences and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, fitness and health.
(1) Bring your own food.
-Make it a healthier option and indulge in it so you’ll fill up more on something healthy.
-Stand at arm’s length from food.
-Concentrate on what you’re eating rather than multitasking while eating. You’ll be able to recognize when you’re full and should stop eating.
(2) Don’t go to the mall hungry.
-Plan your shopping route so you don’t pass Cinnabon stand a dozen times. Both sights and smells can coax you to eat.
-Choose a proper restaurant beforehand so you don’t wait and eat while too hungry when you’ll more likely make an unhealthy decision.
-Avoid fast food places that emphasize red in their color schemes as the color is used to stimulate the appetite more than other colors.
(3) Keep track of what you eat.
-Weigh yourself daily and use number to guide your actions.
-Zip yourself into your favorite pair of slim-fitting pants once a week to see where you are at.
(4) Eat before going to a party.
-Have a healthy snack before you go to your party.
-Limit the number of high-calorie foods on your plate.
-Choose your food wisely, think of what you’re going to eat before you just eat anything.
-When finished eating, pop a sugar free mint in your mouth.
(5) Keep healthy snacks at the office.
-Eat your healthy snack when someone brings in unhealthy foods from the holidays.
-Try to keep communal office goodies out of view.
-Before you allow yourself to splurge, do something healthy like walk around the office for 5 minutes, eat a piece of fruit first or climbing up a few flight of stairs.
(6) Manage portion size.
-Take sensible portions so you don’t end up eating too much.
-Use smaller plates & serving utensils
(7) Control your environment.
-Eat with a small group when you can as you’ll be less likely to indulge.
-Sit next to a fellow healthy eater or someone who eats slowly as you’ll be more likely to do the same.
-Wait for all the food to be on the table before making your selections.
(8) Keep up the exercise and make it a daily priority.
-If you don’t have time to do your usual workout, break it up throughout the day. That’s better than skipping!
-Tell yourself all the running around that you’re doing (cleaning the house, dashing through a million stores to find the perfect presents) can help keep your weight in check.
(9) Choose your indulgences.
-You intend to stave off feelings of deprivation by allowing yourself a “cheat” day a week.
-Plan in advance to eat a little more and be a little more flexible at this time of year when you face daily temptations.
-Choose your indulgences wisely.