Fast food has been a topic of discussion in my Facebook group Health and Happiness. One question one of the members had was how do you stay away from fast food when you’re trying to be mindful of your eating? So today we’re tackling that exact topic!
This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I’ve personally used and love!
Meal prep. This is my first tip you can take to help stay away from fast food. By planning and preparing your meals ahead of time, you’re less likely to stop at a drive through (yes, I used the ‘wrong’ version and no I don’t care) because why would you waste the time and money you put into making your meal ahead of time? You wouldn’t.
Drink water. Many people often confuse the sensation of hunger with the sensation of thirst. So if you feel those hunger pains start to kick in, try drinking a glass of water and waiting about 20 minutes. Then see if you’re still hungry. If you are, then your stomach is partially full with water. If not, then you’re well hydrated and no longer feeling hungry!
This is the 64 oz water bottle (<– affiliate link) I use! It’s a little on the cheap side and there are certainly better ones out there, but so long as you don’t put hot water in it, it works!
Keep a snack in the car/purse. That drive home from work was the absolute worst for me. It was so easy just to stop at a drive through and within minutes drive away with a meal just for myself or my family. So the best way to beat that hunger is to keep a snack with you at all times. Think of it as your emergency snack. If you have that temptation to stop, then eat that snack to get you though until you’re home or at your destination. I keep Fiber One Bars in my purse and in my car. (Affiliate Link)
Recreate your cravings. What fast food item are you craving? A burger? Pizza? Whatever it is, you can recreate it at home using healthier alternatives. Here’s my list of 10 healthy swaps you can make! Not only will you save money, but you will be making a healthier meal without compromising your cravings.
Eat a snack before heading home/leaving the house. If you know you’re going out to dinner somewhere and you want to avoid overeating, then try having a snack before you leave. So even if you do end up getting a dish that isn’t the best for you, you’re likely to eat less of it because you had a snack before hand.
Write a letter to yourself about why you shouldn’t stop for fast food. If stopping for fast food is a regular occurrence for you, then try writing a letter to yourself about why you should keep driving. This can be really helpful, especially if you write them when you’re full of motivation and determination. You know yourself the best so writing a motivating letter to yourself can really work. Here is the letter I wrote to myself.
Delete all food delivery apps from phone. Getting food delivered to your house is so easy now. Almost all restaurants that deliver have an app that allows you to order food quickly. Sometimes you can order food with just a few taps of a button. And while it was great when my pregnant sister needed food and I live 600 miles away, it’s not great when your self control is low. So delete those apps and remove temptation!
Work with your household to ensure that fast food isn’t brought into the house. We all have those well-meaning people in our lives. The ones that just want to make you happy, but can inhibit your health and weight loss goals in the process. So work with those people in your life and come to a compromise. Find healthy or semi-healthy treats they can get for you without throwing you through a loop. Birthdays and holidays are the times I indulge the most, so don’t forget to make compromises there.
Plan your routes out to avoid drive throughs. So this one isn’t always possible. Drive throughs are everywhere and can be literally impossible to avoid. But if you happen to live in a less populated area, then try to figure out a way to avoid those drive throughs. It might mean driving a couple miles out of the way, but your wallet, body, and self control will all thank you.
Stop at a gas station or grocery store nearby instead. If you’re starving and you have no choice but to stop for fast food, then consider going to a gas station or grocery story instead. Often on the popular turnpikes I drive on when I visit my family, you have quite limited options. But gas stations are often in the same building or parking structure on the turnpike. Gas stations typically have healthier foods, like fresh fruit, tea, and some semi-healthy packaged foods. A sugar-packed protein shake might be better than fast food.
Tip: Always read the nutritional labels. Some ‘healthy’ foods can be packed with sugars.
Compromise with yourself. Is this going to be your cheat meal for the week? Don’t beat yourself up if you decide to stop for fast food. You should give yourself one cheat meal per week so reward your hard work and determination with a treat! You’re doing great!
Don’t beat yourself up if you do end up getting fast food.