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Alright so I’ve been pretty diligent about dieting and exercise since January . It’s now 5 months later and I’ve lost close to 42lbs, (yay!) however, I’ve created a horrible habit of eating fast food, and making up for it by eating less throughout the day to create the “calorie deficit†to lose weight. Though I am losing weight, I don’t feel like I’m getting the most of my lift, or my progress. While I am focused on losing weight ( I’m currently 184lbs, long term goal is 160lbs) I feel like my body would benefit a lot more from dropping my body fat percentage, and that’s something I don’t think I’m doing with my current faulty diet choices.

 

I guess my question is, what are some tips you guys have used to wean yourself off fast food? How do you keep your composure? And How have you managed to drop your body fat percentage,  in a healthy way?

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Fast food is great in terms of convenience. If you're feeling hungry, you are but 5 minutes and 5 dollars away from a value meal of fried crap. In order to fight these temptations, always be prepared. Bring your lunch to work or school, make it the night before so running late won't be an excuse.

Secondly, learn to foods that you actually like that fit into your eating plan, and cook them well. If your choice is between pizza and crappy bone-dry pork chops without seasoning, it's no contest. However, of you can make them mouth wateringly amazing, it's easier to choose the better option.

Third: set a food budget for yourself. Although it seems cheap at the time, fast food adds up. Tightening your budget will let you buy better healthier food, like steaks, instead of fast food

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 Azotus

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Former fast food addict here. In fact, I lost 75lbs eating fast food 2-3 times a week once upon a time.

 

Here are some things that have worked for me depending on what else is going on with my diet & goals:

 

1. Switch to more wholesome takeout places. At one point in time I dropped my fast food habit for other quick serve restaurants that had better choices. Burrito bowls from Chipotle, rice bowls from Crazy Bowls & Wraps and salads + soups from a variety of places replaced the meals that I would usually opt for fast food. 

 

2. Give up takeout all together and put the money I'd normally spend in a week into an envelope to spend on something fun. It's hard, but it worked for me for a time. 

 

3. Whole30. After doing my first Whole30 my appetite for fast food never returned. I've had it a few times, of course, but save for a few absolute favorites it has always been mostly a letdown. Funny how that happens. 

 

Everyone is different, but I feel that when trying to kick an addiction it's best to full stop rather than try to wean yourself. Just as a smoker couldn't smoke just one cigarette a day (former smoker here and I can say with authority that would be more torture than just quitting) a fast food addict shouldn't count on being able to wean off fast food. Good luck!

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3. Whole30. After doing my first Whole30 my appetite for fast food never returned. I've had it a few times, of course, but save for a few absolute favorites it has always been mostly a letdown. Funny how that happens. 

 

Excellent suggestion.  A lot of us around these forums are gamers and most gamers enjoy a challenge.  Why not engage yourself to a month of strict Paleo or try a Whole 30 challenge?  Even something so simple as nailing 6 days per week of clean, healthy eating and saving your fast food cheat for the weekend?  Set all the money aside that you would save by avoiding fast food intermittently and use it to reward yourself with some new workout wear, a game, or a road trip at the end of your challenge.

 

It has worked great for me.  I'm really looking to my new camouflage Crossfit shorts in July!

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I've had a lot of success (80 pounds) with a cheat day. Having a day set aside each week for decadence helps you feel less restricted - well it does for a lot of people. There's also good evidence that cycling calories helps lose weight faster and helps prevent metabolism from slowing down as fast.

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I've had a lot of success (80 pounds) with a cheat day. Having a day set aside each week for decadence helps you feel less restricted - well it does for a lot of people. There's also good evidence that cycling calories helps lose weight faster and helps prevent metabolism from slowing down as fast.

I started doing that too. Sunday is 'Feast Day' as I call it. I don't watch what I eat at all on and I have no workouts scheduled. So far it's working great.

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Handy linky.

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Third: set a food budget for yourself. Although it seems cheap at the time, fast food adds up. Tightening your budget will let you buy better healthier food, like steaks, instead of fast food

 

I can't stress that enough in my personal success so far! Food budgeting  Especially in the workplace, candy machines in the break room, junk food everywhere. Retails such as Target or working in a shopping mall, break time just screams spending money on bad food.

Make a lunch/meal plan. For some, it's pretty satisfying that you're eating something of your own creation :)

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As others have mentioned, and I should have elaborated on earlier, cheat days help keep you sane.  Going completely cold turkey on your favorite treats and snacks is a fairly reliable way to ensure failure.  When I first started my weight loss journey this year I didn't allow a single meal for a cheat day and I found I became lethargic and grumpy.  So I added the addendum to allow one or two cheat meals per week and my sanity returned along with a markedly improved mood.

 

Now I plan my cheat meals out in advance and look forward to them each week!

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Get used to better quality.   I used to love fast food too and any excuse was a good excuse because it was so 'convenient'.  But now that I eat better quality food I don't crave it.  Now, I still crave burgers and breakfast sandwiches, and tacos, and...  ok well you know.  But if I am going to have a cheat day and eat a cheeseburger it better be a damn good one.  And after eating food that isn't processed the other 6 days of the week the fast food versions don't really stack up anymore and you're just better making it yourself or going somewhere that does.  

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Hi, congrats on your curretn weight loss

 

for me it has been meal prep and budgeting.

I use to be one of those "I dont have time to cook", that was a lie, I found the time to cook, now I use about 40 minutes a day to cook breakfast and lunch for me and my wife, I work at a manufacturing plant so I took all that LEAN MANUFACTURING crap and optimize my time and my cooking process at home I'm fast at the kitchen.

 

and then comes BUDGET, when I used to eat out everyday I was spending something about 60 dlls weekly just on myself, now we buy groceries for the whole week for me and my wife and spend the same 60 dlls but for 2 people (keep in mind I live in mexico, vegetables are very cheap)

 

the minute I realize how much money I saved I knew there was no turning back, I like losing weight and having money

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Hi, congrats on your curretn weight loss

 

for me it has been meal prep and budgeting.

I use to be one of those "I dont have time to cook", that was a lie, I found the time to cook, now I use about 40 minutes a day to cook breakfast and lunch for me and my wife, I work at a manufacturing plant so I took all that LEAN MANUFACTURING crap and optimize my time and my cooking process at home I'm fast at the kitchen.

 

and then comes BUDGET, when I used to eat out everyday I was spending something about 60 dlls weekly just on myself, now we buy groceries for the whole week for me and my wife and spend the same 60 dlls but for 2 people (keep in mind I live in mexico, vegetables are very cheap)

 

the minute I realize how much money I saved I knew there was no turning back, I like losing weight and having money

 

 

YES. So much this. Planning is such a major part of success. The truth is, we're all given the same number of hours in a day to work with - you just have to budget your time to align with your goals. If your goals include fitness and weight loss but you refuse to budget in time for cooking and exercise, you are sunk. 

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

 

Respawn. | #1 | Current Challenge.

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Sounds like you've got 2 main goals:

1. Decrease total weight

2. Decrease Body Fat

 

You can do both of these things simply by reducing calorie intake.

 

Now that's out of the way, there are a lot of other reasons unrelated to the above goals why you should avoid fast food as a staple in your nutrition plan.

 

A couple of key ones for why I avoid fast food:

- High sugar content, causes mood swings, irritability and sometimes depression.

- Proportionally poor nutrient quality compared to other choices for the same calorie value

 

All this stuff is well known, what you're really asking for is give me a shortcut or secret method to easily stop eating fast food.

 

OK here it comes:

 

1. Prepare to stop eating fast food.

2. Stop eating fast food.

 

You are the only person that can control this and you are the only person that is responsible for it.

 

For 1 week be a robot stop eating fast food and see if it makes a difference to you. You can do 7 days can't you?

 

 

P.S. Amazing job on the 42lbs lost, that must have taken some awesome will power :encouragement:

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What is the nature of your cravings? Have you ever paused to analyze your impulse to get fast food? Are there stresses in life you seek to cover up? Is it simply a matter of being unprepared and falling back on guilty pleasures? Or do you feel you need a bit more freedom to your diet and are rebelling vs the stricter eating regimen you've been working on? Next time you feel the need for fast food, pause for one minute concentrating on only breathing in and out. See if that will help give clarity to the nature of your urges, it might just even help you catch some feelings you weren't aware of previously! A plan B I'd recommend is to slow yourself down while eating and work to savor each flavor and every bite. When you get done, accept it for a choice you made and not beat yourself up over it. Spending time dwelling on negative thoughts in my opinion work to perpetuate the problem rather than solve it. Accept your choice, evaluate if it is helping you achieve your goals, and then decide on how to go from there.

Best of luck to you! I had the experience of losing 75 lbs only to gain back 100 and I encourage you to be mindful of your feelings and find your balance!

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