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Strategies to avoid junk food

Katherinelittle24Katherinelittle24 Member, Premium Posts: 59 Member Member, Premium Posts: 59 Member
Hi everyone! I'm looking for any strategies to avoid ordering fast food at all. I have been doing so well these past few months, haven't ordered any food at all but yesterday I ordered door dash for the first time in almost four months. It wasn't terrible, it was a salad but I know the dressing wasn't good for me. I also ordered a veggie wrap today from this greek restaurant that I really like. it's a lot less food than I used to eat when I would order food, but I worked so hard to try to avoid ordering food altogether....i have such a big food addiction that when I ordered food once, I want to keep on doing it because it makes me happy. I just don't want to go back to my old self because before December of last year, I ordered food every single day. My question for all of you is what has worked for you that kept your mind busy from ordering food? I am trying to remember what works for me.....when I'm in that mindset - thinking about food, I forget about everything else.

Replies

  • littlegreenparrot1littlegreenparrot1 Member Posts: 511 Member Member Posts: 511 Member
    I have known people trying to give up smoking who have put the money they would have spent into a separate savings pot. Seeing that money mount up and having a specific goal for it, a holiday or something can be very motivating.

    I try to plan what I'm going to eat, make sure it's not to complicated and that I have everything I need for it in the house.
    It's when I've got no plan, can't be bothered, and am starving that I'm most likely to get takeaway, so I try not to put myself in that circumstance.
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,806 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,806 Member
    Well, congratulations on making such a big change in December! Habits are slow to change.

    I have found that controlling my weight is very difficult unless I make nearly all of my food myself. My work has a cafeteria, but I almost never go there anymore. So, I'm basically eating home prepared breakfast lunch and dinner.

    Now, if take-out and/or fast-food makes you happy, you should plan to do it sometimes. I don't get many fast food cravings, but my family loves other take-out foods. Indian food, for example. It's rich, so I generally eat small portions, but it's great and I look forward to it. We also like Sweetgreen salads, sushi, Pho, and a number of other items.

    Best of luck!
    edited March 16
  • ChickenKillerPuppyChickenKillerPuppy Member Posts: 219 Member Member Posts: 219 Member
    By the way - I don't have an air fryer, but I hear that you can put a lot of frozen food into air fryers and they end up tasting like fast food - a bag of frozen fries, breaded chicken breasts, etc. It's not that they are exactly the same, but they are pretty close and feel like you are eating deep fried food at a fraction of the calories. The woman who hosts one of my favorite weight management podcasts, Half Size Me, swears by her air fryer.

    Again - it's about making fun good food at home that resembles some of those favorite take out meals, and not feeling like you are eating sad diet food. The make-at-home takeout-style stuff really feels sustainable.
  • MostlyWaterMostlyWater Member Posts: 4,239 Member Member Posts: 4,239 Member
    Keep good healthy food at home. don't eat out.
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 1,081 Member Member Posts: 1,081 Member
    By the way - I don't have an air fryer, but I hear that you can put a lot of frozen food into air fryers and they end up tasting like fast food - a bag of frozen fries, breaded chicken breasts, etc. It's not that they are exactly the same, but they are pretty close and feel like you are eating deep fried food at a fraction of the calories. The woman who hosts one of my favorite weight management podcasts, Half Size Me, swears by her air fryer.

    Again - it's about making fun good food at home that resembles some of those favorite take out meals, and not feeling like you are eating sad diet food. The make-at-home takeout-style stuff really feels sustainable.

    Air fryers are just tiny countertop convection ovens, too, so if your oven has a convection mode you don't even need to buy a whole new appliance.

    @Katherinelittle24, it is great that you recognize when habits don't serve your goals. You've also done very well in making different, better choices. "Junk" food, takeout, DoorDash - none of it's going anywhere anytime soon. It's better to retrain yourself to make choices in these situations that will serve your goals, rather than just avoiding them entirely, because sometimes you gotta eat restaurant food. Maybe you're traveling (someday, when it's safe again); maybe you can't cook at home due to some catastrophe; maybe you're utterly zonked from a long and stressful day, and can't be trusted to so much as boil water unsupervised. It happens, life happens. If you haven't figured out new routines around ordering takeout, you're going to fall back into old habits that don't serve your goals.

    My go-to restaurant food strategy is to immediately box up half of my meal, like ask for a box as soon as the food arrives and put away half of it. That way, by the time I finish the portion left on my plate, I'm not even thinking about the "leftovers" in the box, whereas if I try to eat half of what I'm served and then stop, I'll keep picking at it until I can flag down a waiter for a box. In the case of getting takeout/DoorDash, as most of us have been doing for the past year, that actually means unboxing half of my meal and putting it on a plate to eat right away, and putting the box with the other half directly into the fridge for later. Like, if my husband and I are splitting a pizza, for instance, I'll immediately grab 2 of my allotted 4 slices and put them in a tupperware for later before I've eaten any of it. It doesn't always result in me staying under-budget for the day, but if I break a 900-calorie meal into two portions and end up over by 100 calories, that's better than going over by 550.
  • mikhnpaitsmummikhnpaitsmum Member Posts: 80 Member Member Posts: 80 Member
    Meal planning and prepping helps me. If the food is planned, ingredients are at home and its made then I won't be tempted to order out. I hate wasting the money and the food when I have it at home.
    I try to keep my meals tasty and healthy. If I know something is coming up where im going to need to eat out then I will try to enjoy it and get back on track once home.
  • Strudders67Strudders67 Member Posts: 911 Member Member Posts: 911 Member
    I cook in bulk and have a wide variety of meals (stirfries, multiple different curries, chilli, pasta bakes, bolognese plus fish pie, Shepherd's pie and more) that are all boxed or bagged, in me-sized portions, in my freezers. They may not be quite the same as restaurant or takeaway meals, but I've created things that I like. In most cases I just need to add veg - but can make sure I give myself more than may be on a typical restaurant plate. Sometimes I need to add rice or potatoes or pasta - but I can ensure I just cook / serve a small portion, not the mound I'd get in a takeaway box or restaurant. Sometimes I have to prep and cook an item from scratch, because it doesn't freeze well, but the things on this list are meals that are worth the effort and I really look forward to eating them.

    To ensure I get a varied menu (ie not chicken three days running or curry, even different ones, three times in a week), I have a meal plan, listing what I'm going to be eating each day for the next week. 99% of the meals on that plan are things I really really like - if I go off something or decide I didn't enjoy it too much, I just don't make it again when I've finished what was in the freezer.

    However, once in a while I just really fancy pizza, so I order it. I think I've had one in the last year. Having a variety of meals to choose from, already at home, has helped stop me ordering more frequently. I also get stuff out of the freezer either the night before or early in the morning, so I'm less likely to be tempted to order something in, as my meal is pretty much ready and waiting and just needs to be heated through.
  • LilianaV22LilianaV22 Member Posts: 17 Member Member Posts: 17 Member
    Carrots n hummus, works like a charm!
  • sarahq81sarahq81 Member Posts: 26 Member Member Posts: 26 Member
    I decide what I’m cooking the night before or on the morning and start to prep what I need. I actually prefer home cooked meals but I love the convenience of takeaways. If it’s not THAT much more convenient or if it means I have wasted food then I don’t tend to reach for the phone. Also I think about the cost over a month because it can be extortionate. Like enough to buy a flight on a budget airline when things open up again.
  • saintor1saintor1 Member Posts: 341 Member Member Posts: 341 Member
    I didn't stop junk food. I still eat them but only 2-3 times a month as I try to cap my meat intake. My limitation is to not have side dishes as French fries.

    I was in vacation away last week, I ate junk food at every lunch. Because I knew the calories involved and a 565cal Big Mac is so easy to register on MFP. :) At night, I ate frozen meals at our condo - I was surprised how good some were and under 400 calories.

    My weight loss journey went uninterrupted.



  • EpilepsyWarriorEpilepsyWarrior Member Posts: 54 Member Member Posts: 54 Member
    I had a hard time with this too at first. Used to order out a lot. Here are some things I do to help.
    •Plan healthy yummy meals in advanced so that it never gets boring.
    •There are plenty of copy cat recipes that are healthier versions of restaurant meals
    •Get excited about trying new recipes. You think about that instead.
    • Know that its ok to eat out once in a blue moon. I order out about once a month. This helps me because if I try not to enjoy eatting out at all, I want to do it more. Same goes for junk food. Most of my food is healthy and nutritious but I still have junk food in moderation sometimes if it fits my calorie goal. I actually find that I crave junk and take out less and less these days and dont crave it so much.
    It sounds like your doing really good. Keep it up and don't fret the occasional take out 🙂
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