Avoiding fast food can have a huge impact on your health and your budget, and making the necessary changes isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. With these simple tips, you can establish healthy, budget-friendly habits that will change your life.
healthy choices made easy
Bring healthy snacks everywhere
When you’re stuck at work or out running errands and your stomach starts to grumble, it’s natural that you’ll do whatever it takes to satisfy your hunger. Unfortunately when you’re desperate to get something into your belly, you don’t necessarily have the energy to make healthy choices. That’s why it’s important to keep healthy snacks on you at all times. It’s as easy as tossing a bag of trail mix into your purse or keeping a container of Greek yogourt and homemade granola in the fridge at work. The odds of your finding a healthy, budget-friendly snack at a moment’s notice aren’t high, so play it safe, and keep your own options with you wherever you go.
Steer clear of restaurants you’re likely to walk into
Everyone has his or her weaknesses, and it likely won’t take long to find out what yours are. Is grabbing lunch at McDonald’s a frequent occurrence for you? Do you find Thai Express too tempting to ignore when you pass it on your way home? By identifying your triggers, you can get a better sense of what you need to avoid as a way to make healthy choices. If the only way to keep from visiting your favourite drive-through is to take a different route home, then that’s what you need to do. It might be hard to implement the changes at first, but in time you’ll be glad you avoided the temptations.
Plan ahead, and reap the rewards
If you find you turn to fast food primarily because of the convenience factor, then making healthier choices is as simple as planning ahead. If you leave planning your next day’s meals until the night before or the morning of, you’re likely to choose to order in at night or pick up a burger and fries for lunch. A better option is to plan out your meals for the week on the weekend before. And don’t forget to benefit from leftovers! Make a larger quantity of food for dinner than you’ll need, and then pack up the leftovers for lunch the next day. A little bit of planning will go a long way toward making healthier meal choices.
Recreate the dishes at home
Avoiding fast food doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favourite foods; it just means you have to find healthier ways to enjoy them. Have a weakness for Chinese? Takeout versions are loaded with salt and fat, but this chicken, shrimp and vegetable udon noodle stir-fry is loaded with nothing but healthy goodness. Love grabbing a muffin at Tim Hortons or stopping in at Cora’s for a big batch of pancakes in the morning? Create your own millet muffins or blueberry oat pancakes for all the flavour but at less of a cost to your bank account and your waistline. Everything from onion rings to burgers can be made in a healthier way in the comfort of your own home. Just search for the recipe online, and get cooking!