Junk food, fast food, processed food—whatever you choose to call it, it is everywhere. The proliferation of fast food across the globe has caused a sharp increase in obesity, particularly in the Western world, and according to the Australian government nearly 25% of Australian youth are considered overweight.
Whether or not fast food is good for us, it is omniscient and we are confronted by its smells and advertising daily. So how do we realistically approach the fast food leviathan in our daily lives? Here are a few ways to wrestle successfully with the junk food beast:
- Don’t be too rigid: While fast food should in no way be a part of your daily diet, there is nothing wrong with indulging yourself every once in awhile. Whether it is to satisfy a craving or to save time when the family needs dinner at the end of a long, stressful day, give yourself the green light to stop at Hungry Jacks every once in awhile. A healthy diet means balance and balance means it is ok to swing in the bad direction every once in awhile.
- Plan you meals: Most people choose the fast food option because it is super convenient in our time-strapped world. One way to avoid falling into the pit of junk food is to plan your meals. Make a list every weekend of dinner’s you want to eat the following week—dinner’s that are healthy and balanced. Take the weekend to then shop for your supplies so that you are prepared during the week. An added benefit planning healthy dinners is that they can turn into healthy lunches the next day.
- Exercise: What does exercise have to do with the role of fast food in your life? A lot, actually. Exercise requires you to be more conscious about what you put into your body. If you exercise, you will need to build healthier eating habits, and you may find that you aren’t so interested in processed foods. Exercise also keeps you healthy and in shape for when you do have your occasional junk food slip up.
Fast food should play a minor role in your life, but not best supporting actor—more like one of the names that flashes up on the credits at the end of the film. You don’t have to be dogmatic about avoiding fast food, but if you are conscious about what you eat and work to build healthy eating and exercise habits, then junk food will naturally be relegated to its proper place—movie nights and stress overloaded days.