One in three American adults consume fast food every day, says AARP. Having it once in a while when you’re in a hurry and just don’t have time to make a meal might be okay, but having it regularly is associated with many negative side effects. Science Daily reports that individuals who eat fast food regularly are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little or no fast food. A thorough article on the subject of fast food and its consequences published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine states that those who eat fast food regularly face twice the risk of a heart attack and diabetes, and four times the risk of renal failure.
Those little burgers and sandwiches handed to you in cute and colorful boxes aren’t as harmless as they seem. Of course, there is a reason we love fast food. It is, naturally, fast. It saves you time and time is money. With more time you can get more done. However, you’re not really winning back time if you’re shaving years off of your life by eating fast food. If you’re ready to quit the fast food cycle for good, here are tips on how to wean yourself off of meals handed to you through a drive-thru window.
Know the price facts
If you’ve eaten fast food all of your life, then you might have been fed the myth that it is wildly less expensive than other foods. However, if you haven’t taken a moment to peruse the ready-made shelves at your grocery store, you wouldn’t realize that…those items are less costly than fast food, as well as healthier. Business Insider reports that fast food prices are increasing across the board. While there’s a commonly-held belief that you can grab a fast food full meal for around $5, the reality is that that’s not true for many major cities anymore. In fact, the Big Mac Combo Meal at McDonalds costs an average of $9 in locations in Los Angeles, CA, according to Expatistan.com. Meanwhile, you can stop into a Vons, Ralphs, or similar chain and typically pick up a ready-made (also known as fast) Cobb salad or Asian chicken salad for around $6 to $8. Fast food is not the cheapest option anymore. It’s important to be aware of those numbers, if it’s price that’s been keeping you in the cycle.