Article: PURSUE HEALTHY: Fast Food, You can't afford it.

It’s lunchtime in the middle of the week, your stomach is attempting to digest itself and you’ve just walked out the office to lunch. There she is, the Queen, the Golden Arches, McDonalds. As you head towards them you begin thinking about the salad, removing the bun from the burger, getting the apple slices instead of French fries, the diet coke instead of the regular and skipping the apple pie, right?

If not, you’re one of the average 37% of adults who consume fast food on any given day according to a study between 2013 and 2016 by the National Center for Health Statistics. Like last week, let’s take a second to digest a simple meal at McDonalds. Using McDonalds “Nutritional Calculator” (Build your own heart-attack), a modest, and I mean modest, meal at McDonalds is going to set you back 1090 Calories with the majority of it coming from Fats and Carbohydrates. That’s 50% of the average adult’s daily needed caloric intake of 2000.

 Here we go, Big Mac-540 Calories, Medium Fries-340 Calories and Medium Coke-220 Calories. In terms of money, you’re looking at 50% of your daily allowance for one meal, you can’t afford it.

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 My goal here isn’t to bash fast food, it has it’s place. It tastes great, its simple, easy, temporarily satisfying and in comparison to a steak, affordable. What fast food isn’t the catch-all for our county’s major disassociation with time management and convenience. Fast-food filled a niche, and that niche was laziness and an issue with time-management. Well, for those who claim they work too much, why would you waste your hard earned money on something that could potentially kill you? See above. That’s a recipe for a heart-attack. I took a minute and punched in data similar to what I might do with a client to determine the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) for that person. Your TDEE is the amount of calories your body consumes on a daily basis to sustain itself. Go above that number, you gain weight, go below that number, you lose weight. For our fictional character in his 30’s with an office job and approximately 200lbs, his TDEE is about 2090 Calories. Do you see the problem here? Convenience has overshadowed his conscious eating decisions. McDonalds and most fast-food chains readily make their nutrition information available to everyone. They aren’t hiding it, we simply don’t care. Enough of this, time to talk about solutions. Within that same calculator that allowed us to see what we were truly consuming, it also presented the nutritional information on the available options.

Replacing the French fries with apples, removing the bun from the hamburger and replacing the coke for a diet coke our new lunch looks a more wholesome, appealing and forgiving. We even got to enjoy our hamburger (most of it).

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Here are a few takeaways from this.

·         Time management solves your fast-food necessity issue, prepare meals at home. Wake up 15 minutes earlier; make your lunch the night before etc. 

·         Nutritional facts are readily available for most establishments. Know what you’re eating. If you’re working with a trainer such as myself, well want to make sure were eating in the right direction.

·         When in doubt, take the bun and soda out. You can’t afford the calories.

·         Many grocery stores are open 24 hours and their selection and prices make them a close competitor for lunch-time meals.

·         Bonus: A salad covered in dressing isn’t a salad. (150 Calories Per Serving of dressing, when’s the last time you checked serving sizes before you went all Noah’s Ark on your salad with dressing)

·         Hire a trainer to slap food out of your hands.