Fast Food…Just What is the Impact on our Waistlines?

It is no surprise that many options at fast food restaurants are high in fat and calories and can lead to weight gain. But just how much of an impact does fast food have on our nation’s weight? That is what study at Temple University in Philadelphia In fact, they found that each additional fast food meal consumed throughout the week is associated with 1 ½ pound higher body weight. (Considering in 2006 the average American ate in fast food restaurants approximately 5 times per week, this can be quite significant)

Does that mean we need to stop eating fast food all together? No, it just means that we need to start making better choices when eating out. (Perhaps trying to reduce the number of times we visit fast food restaurants wouldn’t hurt either though). The following are some tips to help make better choices when eating out: set out to find, and the results show that those who eat in fast food restaurants 3-6 times per week weigh significantly more than those who eat fast food 2 times or less per week.

  • Control Portion Sizes
    • Order “small” sizes of items
    • Share food with a friend
    • Do not have “Clean Your Plate Syndrome”. Take half of it home (if you order the food to go, you will already have the containers for leftovers).
  • Choose Lower Fat Options
    • Look for foods that are baked, broiled, grilled steamed and roasted
    • Limit ones that are fried, breaded, battered, sautéed, or in cheese/cream sauce
    • Ask for foods without high fat toppings (i.e. mayo, butter, oil, tarter sauce, gravy, cheese sauce and “special sauces”)
    • Replace high fat toppings with ketchup, salsa, mustard, marinara sauce, BBQ sauce, low-fat dressings
  • Don’t forget about the fruits and veggies
  • Some Healthier Choices Include:
    • Grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo)
    • Small hamburger or veggie burger
    • Baked Potato (plain, w/ veggies or chili)
    • Chili
    • 6” sub: veggie, turkey, roast beef or ham (no mayo; limit oil and cheese)
    • Garden, Cobb or Cesar salad w/ or w/o grilled chicken & low-fat dressing
    • Fruit w/ or w/o yogurt
    • Chicken or steak soft taco (without cheese)
    • Ham, egg and cheese on an English muffin