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jazmina88's avatar

How do you quit fast food?

Asked by jazmina88 (11595 points ) April 5th, 2012

I tend to jump in the car when I’m hungry. This takes so much money. I love fountain drinks and unsweet tea. I usually pass on fries. Diabetic. But loves to fill my impulses.

Reward system? Would that work?

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20 Answers

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Have some great food and drinks at home.

Realize that you’re saving money and eating healthier if you make food yourself.

Realize you’ll save gas if you aren’t always jumping in the car to get food.

Just realize that your health is more important than your urges…

Rewarding yourself might be a temporary “fix”, but changing your mindset and lifestyle is the long term solution.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Need an incentive to stop? Do the math on a annual basis.
Money: Typical drive assume 5 miles each way total 10 at 0.55 per mile US rate. = $5.50.
Typical meal costs $4.50. Therefore your total trip cost is $10 per outing. How often do you do it. Every day.? Total $3650 per year.
Now let’s look at calories. Are you getting something larger than you need? Assume Yes, 500 calories more than needed every day. How much weight is that? 500×365 / 3500 calories per fat pound = 50 pounds extra per year.

Changes to make, from easy to hard.
1) bring home half the large meal and eat the leftovers the next time yo have the urge.
Save $1800 per year and maybe 30 pounds.
2) Walk to the fast food restaurant once per week.
3) Prepare some food at home.

jazmina88's avatar

Maybe an icemaker would help as well. My fridge doesnt have one.
I do have health issues and hurt to get stuff done, like cooking some days.

marinelife's avatar

Keep things around at home.

I make a big pot of tea every day so that I can have iced tea in the afternoon or evening.

I buy soda (I like Diet Rite because it’s sweetened with Splenda and has no sodium) by the case.

Have the makings of burgers or whatever you tend to eat at fast food restaurants at home. Prepare meals on the weekends and store in the frig or freezer for during the week.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jazmina88 Ice maker? Come on! Are you telling me you go to the fast food place just for the ice? Where do you live? In the Sonoran Desert? :-) Don’t give yourself that excuse.
I make ice in ice cube trays in my freezer. You can get sets of them for 50 cents at Goodwill if you need them.

My suggestion is: don’t eliminate fast food completely. Order what is on special and cut it in half and wrap it BEFORE you begin eating. You can make a game out of it. Use a “buy one get one” coupon on a Super whooper burger, split one and eat half. When you get home take the other full one and freeze it. Take the other half and eat it tomorrow. You just got 4 meals out of that coupon and saved yourself 3 trips, a pile of money and a ton of calories!
If you can’t or won’t cook, open a can of canned corn and warm ¼ of it in the microwave. Canned veggies are cheap. They cost about 50 cents and can make 4 side dishes. Look at canned or frozen peas too.

If you are thinking that is too much effort then consider what it takes for you to get up and get out of the house. If you are healthy enough to go out and start your car, you are healthy enough to open a can of veggies.
Note that I didn’t even mention fresh veggies or cooking something easy and cheap like like tilapia or chicken. I was just going for the minimum to help you ease into a new routine.
Every small step we make adds up financially and on our waistlines. The extra pounds we are hauling around with us didn’t suddenly appear. We put them there one mouthful at a time. Start tapering off.
Don’t let an ice maker stand between you and your goal.
Good Luck.

Blackberry's avatar

Learn enough about it and you should become disgusted with it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Farmers Markets. Load up on the veggies at good prices. And a lot of them are great raw, so no cook time needed. It’s a start. Habits don’t change overnight.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I don’t quite understand the details in your question. :/

In terms of quitting fast food though, force yourself to eat something really filling before you go out somewhere where you know you will be tempted. It works for me.

Sunny2's avatar

I think it’s called will power or won’t power. Start small. Say no one day and don’t go. Work up to being able to say yes just once a week. @LuckyGuy is right about stocking up on stuff you can fix quickly at home and make sure it isn’t just fast food quality. You can do it!

Keep_on_running's avatar

Edit: force is the wrong word, get into the habit of I mean.

Charles's avatar

Why would you want to? Fast food obviously makes you happy. Why quit something that makes you happy? It’s cheap, easy, convenient, and efficient.

If you wanted to be healthier and not eat it you would stop eating it but you aren’t so you are doing what you want to do. You’ve made your choice.

Seaofclouds's avatar

If you really want to stop going out, make it harder to go out. Fill the house with foods you enjoy more than going out. Buy some ice cube trays (since you mention you don’t have an ice maker). Make some ice tea. There’s no reason to go out to buy unsweet tea when you can make it yourself at home. You can even spice it up at home with mint, fruit, or something else you like. If you find that the impulse is too great, try making it harder to actually go out once you are home. Put your keys somewhere that is harder to reach when you get the impulse to go out. Make a list of why you want to stop going out and put it on your front door (or whichever door you go out when you leave).

Reward yourself with something else for each week that you manage to not to go out. You can also try a monetary reward system. Get a jar (or something else) and put it by your door (or somewhere else if you feel that’s not secure) and every time you want to go out, drop $5 or $10 in the jar (the money you would be spending if you went out). Then, once you have a nice amount in there, treat yourself to something else you really want (a trip, a new item you’ve been wanting, etc).

gailcalled's avatar

Have your cholesterol checked.

Pandora's avatar

Your cravings is probably more for carbs and fast food meets that need quickly. You should check your sugar levels before regularly and then when you have a craving, see where the level is then. When your sugar drops your body will crave sugar. So try to keep something that can help balance it quickly. Like fruit. Eat one and give it some time and see if the craving is still the same. I’m not sure if a diabetic can have a spoon of honey (check with your doctor if you don’t know) but that helps me feel balanced quickly till I can make myself something to eat. Otherwise I’ll just eat a fruit.
Learn how to cook and have fun with it. You’ll find in time that nothing taste better than food prepared at home. And nothing better than knowing you cooked it all the way (so no food posioning) and no one spit, dropped or undercooked your food. And the meat you bought is all real. Not just globs of fat thrown in your food for taste. And its fresh. Not things that have been processed a month ago.

JLeslie's avatar

Have food at home, that’s faster than going out to get some. Picture a skull and cross bones on the package instead of the double golden arches.

Give yourself a reasonable goal and stick to it. Cut your fast food in half is a good start. You’re going to have to plan a little, have other meals at the ready.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora It sounds like he limits his carbs to some extent. Unsweat tea, no fries, he is diabetic.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I agree with @Blackberry if you took the time to learn about the ill effects of fast food on your body (assuming you care about your quality of life in the years to come) you wouldn’t have any trouble at all “quitting” it.

Haleth's avatar

Cook things you like in big batches on weekends. Divide it up into individual portions and freeze or refrigerate them in separate containers. Whenever you get hungry, just pull one out and microwave it.

Usually I make huge pots of bolognese, chili, stroganoff, stew, etc. at the beginning of the week. The only thing I really make during the week is salad to go on the side. I get easily distracted and I’m impatient with cooking, so I listen to good music or watch tv while I cook.

Most of fat food cravings are cravings for fat, salt, and sugar. When you get used to eating lots of that, you crave it all the time. If you eat less of it, you’ll really stop craving it so much. When I was younger I ate and craved junk food all the time. One side effect is that regular foods like fruits, grains, and vegetables start to taste like cardboard. If you cut back on fast food, healthy foods will start to taste delicious.

Or have a glass or two of wine with dinner. Fast food tastes great with soda, but wine makes it taste like crap! If you have a bit of wine, you might start wanting to pair it with more natural foods.

jazmina88's avatar

Part of the problem is cleaning the kitchen. I have severe fibro on most days. other joint issues as well. I am doing a bit better, just admitting to have a problem helps. Not in love with carrots. cant do much fruit because of the sugars, berries and melons are best. I even gave up potato chips last year. THANKS FOR THE TIPS.

JLeslie's avatar

@jazmina88 I can really empathasize with pain and other physical limitations making cooking and cleaning difficult. You probably have figured out some of the things I am going to mention, but bleow I made a list of things that have helped me.

- buy less expensive lightweight pits and pans. The non-stick pans that are less expensive tend to be much lighter weight, less strain on the body, but you do have to replace them more often. Pots I have a couple that are “sticky” because I do think nonstick is bad for us, but for things like eggs and some other foods nonstick is the only way to go in my opinion.

—try to find recipes you like that require baking or broiling. A lightweight pan lined in aluminum foil cleans up fast. I make a lot of things in my toaster over, I have a larger one that easily fits 9” square cooking dish, even slighttly larger baking sheet, and personal size pizzas.

More about the fast food…
—if part of your fast food desires is salt, you can conquer it in two different ways. One, you can use salt in your cooking if you don’t do it now. My husband sort of brags he doesn’t add salt to his food. I put a ton of salt in his food during the cooking process, so I laugh at his statement. The other option is to cut your salt intake for a couple weeks, and then you will desire less salt. You will become accustomed to lower salt, and then some things you will really notice as too salty. Do not just cut out a huge amount of salt suddenly. Salts are very important to our health, and your body needs to adjust. Our bodies are constantly balancing our electrolytes (salt, potassium, and more) to keep our blood pressure, heart, and other body systems working correctly. If you actively change your salt intake I recommend having a CBC done at the docs office a couple weeks after the change and make sure your blood chem is ok.

—If you do get fast food can you just get the children size burger or small order of chicken strips? Sometimes that little fix is enough for me. Although, I do have the small fries. For you it might be better to have the larger burger no fries since you have to watch carbs/sugars/starch. Another suggestion is no cheese on your sandwiches and burgers if you put cheese on it now. Cheese has a lot of added cholesterol, calories, and fat. Some people argue dairy is bad in general, which I pretty much agree with, but I am eating dairy in my diet now, but I am not looking to preach about thay here. If you start really cou ting cholesterol, fat and calories for everything you eat, eliminating or greatly reducing cheese, whole milk, and egg yolks are one of the easiest ways to significantly affect cholesterol problems if you have one.

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