How to resist from eating fast foods?



  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,489 Member
    edited December 2017
    Once you get some momentum with logging all your calories every day it gets easier. For me it’s a matter of not wanting to spend nearly all my calories on one giant, unhealthy (and usually not as good as I imagine it will be) fast food meal. If I’m craving a cheeseburger or pizza or whatever, I plan for it and get something really delicious and “worth” all the calories. Good luck!

    ^^^ This.

    If I am out and about and must eat fast food, I have certain things that I get at particular fast food restaurants and I am already aware of the calories they will cost me. I never go to fast food restaurants because of coupons or images or specials placed on the menu board.
  • punkrockgoth
    punkrockgoth Posts: 534 Member
    There are a few things going on here, and hopefully being aware will help make things better.

    First of all, this pattern of see the place, read the special, pull in for a quick treat has been specially formulated, created and curated by teams of highly trained specialists (sales, marketing, etc) who are dedicated to making sure you have given the company money before you even have time to really evaluate your decision. The good news is, now that you are aware, you can take steps to break free of the automatic behavior.

    There are a few different plays these companies are making:
    -familiarity: it's familiar, you know it, you love it
    -treat yo self: You deserve this. After all, you work *hard*. You are a busy person.
    -family times: This will allow you to spend more time with your family. You're busy. Don't just come home from work and spend the whole night cooking, spend time with your kids because they grow up so damn fast. Better yet, bring them in to play in the play area and get a new toy.
    -FOMO (fear of missing out): if you don't act right meow, you will never get this chance again. May also disguise itself as "limited", "seasonal", or "special offer"

    Obviously, not everyone responds to all of these. People have all kinds of different motivators. The company knows this. They may specialize in one or two of these motivators, or cast a wide net and try to get them all.

    Now back to you, in your car (or walking through the mall or whathaveyou). You are used to seeing a fast food restaurant and pulling in to grab something to eat. I bet that most of the time you don't even think of it. Personally, I am very much this way with Starbucks (mmmm peppermint mocha) and leftover pizza. It is already mostly gone before it clicks what is going on.

    1. If you feel the urge, delay it. Maybe for 10 minutes, maybe until tomorrow.
    2. Try making a substitution. Want an egg mcmuffin? Can you make one at home?
    3. Can you eat less than you normally would and still be satisfied? Get 1 piece of chicken and eat half the fries?
    4. Take a different route home where you won't pass your favourite restaurants.
    5. Pre log what you want to order (use best guesses and closest matches if the restaurant doesn't have an entry). Do you still want it? Then go for it. Enjoy it. This isn't a step back or a failure. This is part of life.
    6. Make a plan to eat it on a certain day, that way you don't feel deprived, and you get to look forward to it.

    In response to some of the specific triggers I listed above:
    1. Create a new familiar. Maybe that's a workout, a different route home, or you become used to driving by fast food without pulling in.
    2. You do deserve self care and to treat your self. However, self care isn't always about indulgence and forgoing all responsibility. It's eating a salad when you'd rather have chips. It's going to the gym when you'd rather be in bed. It's calling the doctor even when you are afraid. As for treats, there are lots of treats. New clothes, an in-game app purchase, a massage... what do you define as a treat?
    3. Also an option: order differently. I used to always get a Sausage and egg McGriddle with 2 hashbrowns and an orange juice. Now, when I am treating myself, I get a bacon and egg McGriddle with 1 hash brown and a black coffee. If I have to stop at McDonald's for breakfast, most of the time I get a plain egg mcmuffin with apple slices and a black coffee. I don't feel like I'm missing out.
    4. Especially if I'm hungry or tired, it's not hard to talk me into temptation. So I try not to let myself get too hungry or tired, but if I am, I try to avoid passing temptation and when I do, I have to work a bit harder to resist it.
    5. A lot of times once I've pre logged my meal, my soul hurts so badly that I don't want it anymore. Sometimes I still want it, but can find ways to cut back over the rest of my day.
    6. Plans are fun! When it's planned, you can also plan the rest of your meals around it.

    Whether or not you believe food is an addiction or that you are addicted to food, there are a lot of behavioral and addiction treatment techniques that can be helpful in getting control. This does get easier with time. The more you reinforce that "see restaurant" =/= "eat at restaurant", the easier it will be to break that habit.
  • Motorsheen
    Motorsheen Posts: 20,490 Member
    bojack3 wrote: »
    My experience with people that are struggling not to eat too much fast food is, don't eat it at all.....for now. If something is a struggle to control, don't expect yourself to be able to flip a switch and control it just because a diet plan of watching your macros says you can eat anything as long as you control it. That's fine, but until you gain control of your mind and body, remove that what tempts you. As you progress and you feel more in control of yourself, and become more in charge of your health and fitness, you may gain the confidence to have a fast food meal and not feel the need to over do it. Ill be honest with you, i have seen people never gain control over it, just like an alcoholic trying to just have one beer and fail. I have also seen people gain control in just a couple weeks. It's an individual's decision and everybody is different. In the meantime great advice was given already. Meal prep, eat before you leave the house, basically be responsible for the one thing in life we can control, what we put in our mouth. It's not easy, and the IIFYM plan is not foolproof by any means. So remove yourself from any situation until you can handle it. You'll be ok.

    pretty much this....

    The last time I had fast food was many years ago on a road trip thru Nevada. It was late and I was hungry and it was the only thing open in this lil' rural town. In retrospect, I should have just gone hungry.

    I just look at a fast food joint and simply think how crummy I will feel after eating there.

    Best of luck!