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Any Advice on how to fight the urge to go get Fast Food?


Mothlady

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Hello All, I am VERY new here...and I've already run into some difficulty.  I just joined the Academy and I am trying to think of ways to customize my Batcave...I have a gym bag ready to go in the car, and water bottles in the fridge instead of soda.  I have a book on my nightstand (so I will read more and not watch tv late into the night...)  I think one of my biggest issues is Fast Food...If I am hungry when I am out and about, I tend to stop at a drive thru.  I buy healthy groceries! Even been sticking to Paleo at least half  the time, for the last several months, but then I ruin everything by getting fast food!  Any suggestions on how to make it more difficult for me to indulge in this oh-so-destructive behavior?  

 

Thanks in advance : )

 

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Hi!  The first big thing I see is you have decided to hack your fridge by keeping water bottles in the fridge instead of soda.  That is going to go a long ways!  If you do not have soda in your house, then in order to get your soda fix, you have to go somewhere to get it and you might just decide to stay home instead.  The same principle applies to cookies and chocolates and potato chips.  You can go to the grocery store and decide not to buy them.

 

That hack works for me, so my main source of this kind of food is various parties - and apparently it is Girl Guide Cookie season.  So I have a box of Caramel DeLites I am staring at.  Apparently, I am going to be making that box last all week next week.  But I did not address your question.

 

Permanent bachelor checking in.  So I get the challenge of keeping junk food out of the house and keeping soda out of the fridge.  I get the "oot and aboot" and go out for dinner instead of getting home and now having to fix dinner.  Things I can think of?

 

1.  Tracking.  That is how you get your diet from Level 0 to Level 1.  IF you are nerdy about tracking, then this is your number 1 hack.  :)

2.  Goal Line.  Have a day to look forward to.  Bonus:  Now it really is about mindful eating decisions.  Example:  Today is Friday.

3.  5k Run Goal Line!  End of the week celebration too short?  Easter is coming up!  March 27.  Bonus:  You make it that long, you have changed your habit pattern.

 

Regarding 1, I see one guy from the Mens' Academy who keeps posting chart of his weight going down.  It is amazing to watch such steady progress.  I would say he is addicted to that chart like it is a video game.  The analogy would be skipping the drive through in order to get home and fire up World of Warcraft five minutes earlier.  Bad analogy.  This year, I am tracking my weight with a stock market styled candlestick chart.  If I behave tonight instead of consuming amazing quantities of food that will wake me up at 3am, then this week I will make a big red brick.

 

Do you have any idea how tempting it is to make a big red brick?  A big red brick means I opened this week at my highest weight for the week, then closed this week much lower.  If I do that, I am going to take a picture of it and post it!

 

Regarding 2 and 3, that depends on whether you are trying manage the habit or eradicate it.

 

Regarding Batcave - I had a lot of trouble with that Quest.  3 things is a lot.  Hmm.  Do you do crockpot meals?  I don't know what you mean by "oot and aboot" but does that mean shopping?  I do chili.  So I know when I get home, I have a hot meal waiting.  Is there something you can easily fix so that you know there is a meal waiting for you when you get home?

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I guess it depends on why you're getting the fast food. If you're hungry all the time, that means your diet isn't working for you and you need to eat more. If it's because you miss the taste of the fast food, then that's something else entirely, as is just being bored and wanting to munch on something while you're doing your daily activities. Try and figure out what's making you want to get fast food, and treat that symptom. For example, carry a bag of beef jerky around with you to munch on instead of getting a big mac.

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Wow!  Thanks for replying so quickly, guys...thanks for replying at all, I really appreciate the input. 

 

I think the main reason I get fast food is because it is so good...I find myself craving it!  But then I immediately feel bad after consumption, both physically and mentally.  I'm pretty sure this is one of the signs of a binge eating disorder (?) but I haven't been officially diagnosed or anything...though my scale tells me otherwise.  I have every reason to give it up!  Health (and wallet-health) being the main reasons.  I do use my crockpot a lot...And I like the chilli idea, just need to find a good, paleo-friendly recipe (google!).  I am also feeding 3 other people, so I have to keep them in consideration, too, though I am lucky that none of them are picky eaters and pretty much go with whatever I make.  Beef jerky is another great idea!  and it can just hang out in the car for a while, if It needs to : )  Having a couple nights a month where I can eat out would be helpful, too, giving me something to look forward to!

 

I am sort of new to tracking, but I think it will help in the long run, once I can make it a habit!  Consistency!  I am on call for my job, so I don't have any consistency there, and I think that hurts my habit-forming, but I will just have to work around work! 

 

While I definitely like the idea of losing more weight every week, I'm not sure how I would feel about making it public!  Could be super motivating for me, I just don't know, lol...do a lot of people do this?  And where would one go to start a chart like this?

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While I definitely like the idea of losing more weight every week, I'm not sure how I would feel about making it public!  Could be super motivating for me, I just don't know, lol...do a lot of people do this?  And where would one go to start a chart like this?

 

For calorie tracking AND weight tracking, you can use an app like MyFitnessPal.  It gives you a nice line chart as you update your weights.  Whether or not you choose to share this info with the public is up to you.  But from personal experiences, it makes me feel better to share it.  I'm actually having a little competition against some other guys dealing with body weight.

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Hey there, and welcome!  What a fantastic goal!  The very VERY first thing I would suggest is that you bear in mind that you have never "ruined everything."  You'd have to work darn hard for that :-)  We ALL make a choice that probably could have been better at some point and we just pick up our things and keep right on trucking.  You can TOTALLY do this!!

 

As to any advice, I can tell you what worked for my wife and I.  Bear with me, it's a bit of a lengthy explanation:  Over the course of several years (yes...it was slow, I'm so so sorry), we have made ourselves completely addicted to cooking our food ourselves.  We did this by finding that ONE recipe that is just "holy cow!  I want to eat this for every meal every day!!"  Doesn't matter if it's "healthy" or not, just find that ONE thing that you cook incredibly well that tastes unbelievable!  From there we kept going, I mean if there's one recipe out there that we can knock out of the park, surely there's two, right?  We've developed our personal cookbook to the point where we have a lovely assortment for any mood or meal.  Once you have this it's easy to slowly shift toward more beneficial meals (it's easier to steer a ship that start or stop it, right?).  Don't think of one meal as healthy and the other not, think of them in terms of how well they will help you achieve your goals!  Then you're always on the positive side of the fence...some meals are just MORE positive than others.

 

So here's the kicker.  After doing this for a few years (we really are food snobs, I hope I mentioned that), we find that whenever we go out it's just bland and boring and holy-cow-could-you-knock-it-off-with-the-salt?  So rather than resist something, we just shoved it out of the way with something that we found to be even better still!  Now we cook our own food or go out to the very finest of restaurants because we can't stand "that bland cardboard" we get elsewhere :-) (don't get me started on pizza)

 

tl;dr: Don't resist.  Don't ever resist.  You will run out of willpower before you even knew you had any.  Instead, develop something so vastly superior that you completely lose interest and can't bear the thought of "settling for" what you used to crave :-)

 

Best wishes, I am so excited for this journey you're on!

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Make sure there is plenty of food in the house!  hard boil a dozen eggs,

 

Marinated eggs are my go-to savory snack. Hard (or soft) boil 1/2 dozen eggs, peel, add 2 tbs soy sauce, 1tbs vinegar, and 1 tbs sugar to a ziploc bag or tupperware and add water to cover. Let sit overnight (they're best after a few days) and you have an amazing umami snack!

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Great advice here, I especially like Stormageddon's explanation. In the meantime, remember that fastfood is not the end of the world. If you want to, you can indulge in it every now and then, if it's a concious decision. Like whitewineandcathair, maybe once a week or once a month. I've found that it's a lot easier for me to forgo certain things if I feel like I can have them, just not right now.

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I try to cut back on takeout for mostly financial reasons, so I don't really know if this works as nutrition advice... But, I've chosen a dedicated Takeout Night (weekly, monthly, whatever is allowable for your goals) and that makes it something nice to look forward to, instead of an easy option to abuse.

 

This is what my bf and I do. Thai Tuesday! He gets pad thai, I have stir-fried veggies and meat. Usually we use the leftover rice for super tasty rice pancakes the next morning. 

 

 

As to any advice, I can tell you what worked for my wife and I.  Bear with me, it's a bit of a lengthy explanation:  Over the course of several years (yes...it was slow, I'm so so sorry), we have made ourselves completely addicted to cooking our food ourselves.  We did this by finding that ONE recipe that is just "holy cow!  I want to eat this for every meal every day!!"  Doesn't matter if it's "healthy" or not, just find that ONE thing that you cook incredibly well that tastes unbelievable!  From there we kept going, I mean if there's one recipe out there that we can knock out of the park, surely there's two, right?  We've developed our personal cookbook to the point where we have a lovely assortment for any mood or meal.  Once you have this it's easy to slowly shift toward more beneficial meals (it's easier to steer a ship that start or stop it, right?).  Don't think of one meal as healthy and the other not, think of them in terms of how well they will help you achieve your goals!  Then you're always on the positive side of the fence...some meals are just MORE positive than others.

 

We do something really similar! I got back from a week of travel for work, and one of the first things my bf said to me is "let's get a crockpot." BEST. CHOICE. EVER. We have monstrous pot roasts every week or two, slow roasted on delicious veggies... yum! And then we discovered crock pot mexican chicken for burritos/taco salad. Neither recipe takes more than 10 minutes to prep, is cheaper than eating out, and packs a nutritional wallop. The only downside is that after ~2 hours in the crock, the food starts smelling delicious. I work at home most of the time, and it's torture! 

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Although not fast food related (just bad food!) I was always in the habit of walking to the shops each day to buy a pack of biscuits or chocolate etc.  stopping walking to the shops actually was very hard (its nice to get out for a break from work) but I decided that I wouldnt stop myself that treat, I would just buy a pack of carrots or an apple etc.

 

So You are out and about and getting hungry so your first thought is "drive thru".  this will be a habit now ingrained in you so use that to your advantage.  why not drive to a store and buy a pack of carrots instead of a drive thru.

 

Or why not stop and buy some ingredients to make your own take out from home.  instead of a burger and chips, why not get a pack of turkey mince, some veggies and do turkey burgers in lettuce wraps with Guacamole.  I know which i would prefer.

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Having healthy snacks on hand helps out.  If you have something to munch on until you can get home, then you should be less tempted.  However, making this choice is a difficult one to do.

One of my N.U.T.s is "If the place has a drive-thru, then you can't order from there.  Period."  To me, that rule was the first step to becoming healthier (that and no soda), and boy is it a hard rule to stick with.  However, if you're going to eat out, then you might as well go to a place where you can get a meal that was made for you, not for everyone else.  If you want a burger, you want it cooked with love and passion, not a meat puck that some kid yanked out of the fryer.  Hell even a food truck is a better option.  It makes you appreciate the food that someone else prepares for you, and forces you to take the time to enjoy it.

 

There is a part of me that misses fast food, but a bigger part of me is glad I gave it up.  And it's a tough habit to kick, but it is well worth it.

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I started with a very strict just say no policy (one of the very first changes I made along with switching from regular to diet soda).

 

The first time I had fast food after about 8 months cold-turkey was McD's breakfast.  I had not consumed a fat bomb like that in a very long time and it made me sick for hours. (Delivery pizza had/has the same effect).

 

I haven't had hardly any fast food since, and every time it makes me sick, I just feel awful for hours.  The very thought of fast food has become so repulsive to me over time, I have literally zero urge to eat it.  The only way I do is in social situations, even then I have a hard time with it and often just skip eating.

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I like making my own fast food versions of meals at home and that really helps me with cravings. For example I love making my own pizzas bases and all and they are so much healthier than the takeout versions and I still feel like I'm getting a treat. The other day I made one with so many veggies on it that I could only eat two slices! (keep in mind I can eat one whole takeout pizza). 

Another one I love doing is making my own burgers. I use lean mince and heaps of spices to make it super yummy the plus side of this is you can put all your favourites on it for something special (I love adding halloumi on mine and it makes it feel like such a treat). 

I haven't done it before but you could totally do this with Thai food as well and it would be awesome. Really you could do it with any takeout and make it heaps healthier at home. 

 

Anyway doing this makes it heaps easier to say no to getting takeaway I guess cause I dont feel like Im missing out on anything. Really I prefer the home version cause I don't feel terrible afterwards! 

 

Hope everything is going well for you :D

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A year ago I made my own chocolate from cocoa, coconut oil and honey (all organic, oh well) and I was surprised that it was very satisfying and also I could only eat a small piece and then my urge was gone. So I second the thought of making your own variations of foods you like.

 

Just let's admit it: Making your own food at home is not the same as just going out and grabbing something, most likely tasty. When you're in a spiral where you go and buy what you want, and often it's the same kind of stuff again and again (I would go have pizza funghi for days in a row because I loved it and it was easy and fast), it's an effort to break out of it.

 

You need to put the time and effort in for a while to develop momentum on the one hand, so you become more dedicated to your nutrition and don't let it slip so easily, and to discover recipes and foods you actually like more than fast food.

 

Like most people I like fast food as well, but there are homemade healthier foods I actually do like more. Sometimes I even like a salad more, because it's an especially yummy salad with plenty of things in it I love. A box of kebab simply can't keep up with this. But to get to this point you have to start putting the effort and time in. 

 

I don't really enjoy cooking but for me it's an act of self-love. If I would prepare a delicious meal for a boyfriend or a family member, then for f*cks sake, I will do it for myself too. I simply listen to podcasts or my favorite music while preparing food, and I try to get over it. No, I don't want to stand in the kitchen for 30 minutes, cleaning and cutting vegetables, but it is what is required to get a tasty meal, so I will just suck it up. You can also prepare stuff in a batch, and I second the suggestion to always have something in the house. It drives me crazy when I don't have quick snacks at hand.

 

Another thing that was mentioned already I will mention again - after a while your taste changes. Some things you will actually appreciate more, especially when you stop eating them every day. Other foods suddenly become much less appealing. For example, I eat chocolate every day, but it's a small bar of 85% chocolate and it fits my calories/macros. I never was a fan of that dark chocolate, but it satisfies me much more and for longer than ordinary chocolate. When I eat that now, it is way too sweet and a bit sickening for me. 

 

Allow these changes to happen, and try to develop some momentum, discover a few easy recipes, get involved. Eating healthy doesn't need to be complicated or require much cooking skill. 

 

Discover the feeling of eating something that is very tasty, that you made, that you know is healthy and good for you and your body, and that you can enjoy completely guilt-free. You will soon appreciate this so much that eating fast food daily isn't an option anymore.

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Perhaps not relating to the food itself so much (everyone else has covered that pretty extensively).

 

I had a habit of buying coffee from coffee shops when I really didn't need to - I can easily make coffee at home. So, I worked out the average cost of what I was buying each time, and every time I was tempted by coffee while I was out and resisted, I would put the money I would have spent on coffee in a jar (I should have used an empty coffee jar for the lols). If you have something in mind that you're saving for this can be another little motivator. The money stacks up quick. 

 

Of course, if I'm meeting a friend for a coffee, then sure, I will treat myself - I'm talking buying for the sake of it.

 

Maybe you could try the same with fast food?

 

(Love Bob the Bard's idea of avoiding places that have a drive through! Over here in the UK we don't have as many places that have drive through, so I think I would extend that to basically anyway you can order delivery/takeaway).

 

Good luck! And don't beat yourself up if you cave in once in a while. It's not the end of the world and you can use it as a chance to reflect on what led up to the decision. 

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Sometimes having a positive mantra helps. Just tell yourself: I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. 

 

Another thing you can do is to start changing your perception of what food actually is. Fast "food" is not food. It's a chemical shitstorm. A good rule of thumb is that if your ancestors wouldn't recognize it, it's not food. Just because you can eat it, doesn't mean its food. 

 

So everytime you go to a fast "food" place, you're not actually eating food. You're eating horseshit. Remember that. 

 

 

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