Background: How can you fit in fastfood in a healthy lifestyle?

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Of course we all know most of the food at fastfood chains cannot be described as healthy and it doesnโ€™t fit into a healthy lifestyle. Most of the times it contains a lot of fat, sugar or salt and a lot of calories because of that. And yet many of us do sometimes go to fastfood chains and grab something to eat there. Personally I believe it is fine to do this every once in a while on special occasions, like a day out with friends or family or when you are returning from vacation, but not on a regular basis. Once a month is even too much for me. But I think you should be able to eat healthy and go and have a hamburger sometimes. I must admit I do like it when I go out to eat fastfood, it feels like a special treat because I almost never do this!

I do try to make smart choices from the menu when I am there though, also because my intestines often react quite strong to fatty foods like fries. And if you don’t want to stray off your healthy lifestyle path too much, there are a few of my tips for eating fastfood in a healthy lifestyle I would like to share:

1: You don’t always need a full menu, especially not at lunchtime. A regular sized burger is often enough for lunch and the fries are just added calories.
2: If you do feel you must have a menu, choose the smallest size available and have a side salad instead of fries.
3: Salads are not always the best option: some (meal) salads have more calories in them than a small burger. On the other hand, are there more vegetable in salads, so it depends what your priorities are on this one.
4: A small sundae for dessert holds way less calories than a milkshake. And it feels more like a dessert instead of a drink.
5: Water is of course better than any kind (regular or light) of soda. And you won’t get the sugar peak and dip afterwards.
6: If you don’t want to eat too much calories, simply say ‘no’ to all the extras they offer. That means ‘no’ to cheese or bacon on your burger, ‘no’ to sauce with your fries and ‘no’ to a dessert they offer for a small price.
7: Food that is called ‘crispy’ is often fried, that’s what makes it crispy. So if you want to avoid fried food, don’t choose ‘crispy’: go for ‘grilled’ instead.
8: Choose whole wheat bread. Most fastfood chains offer this option nowadays and this way, your bread will have at least some more nutritional value than white bread.
9: Think about what you want to eat before you step into the restaurant. This helps you with not ordering more than you would need when you see everything on the menu.
10: If you are with someone and you both really want fries, sharing one portion is also an option! Same goes for chicken nuggets or onion rings for example.

Of course the fastfood doesnโ€™t get healthy all of a sudden when I make these choices but I do feel making conscious decisions does help in eating a little bit better when going out. Eating it in moderation is still essential but at least I don’t have to feel guilty for those few occasions in a year and just enjoy the moment with family and friends.

Love, Emily

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