Many Americans don’t like to cook, nor do they have the time. Yet, weight loss still remains a priority. How can these lifestyles be synonymous? Many fast food places are now giving healthier options or low calorie menus, which may fit into your healthy diet.
Taco Bell’s Fresco menu offers seven different low fat items, including tacos and burritos, all under 9 grams of fat. This is a large improvement from their average burrito which has 30 grams of fat. Taco Bell isn’t the only fast food joint jumping on the bandwagon.
Dunkin Donuts now offers low calorie egg white sandwiches. Quizno’s offers a 500-calorie-and-under menu, and Starbucks has their fair share of low calorie sandwiches too. McDonalds launched their “Go Active! Happy Meal for Adults,” complete with pedometer in 2004, but now promotes a healthy lifestyle with options like the grilled chicken sandwich.
Subway has been marketing to the health conscious for over ten years now. They claim that most of their sandwiches are low calorie, when in reality the fattening condiments they offer can ruin the calorie count with one squirt! Jared Fogle lost almost 250 pounds eating Subway for lunch and dinner, and sticking to the 230-380 Fresh Fit Subs. This marketing campaign has been very successful, but leaves the consumer to fall through the holes of successful weight loss.
Experts have conflicting opinions on the fast food health bandwagon. Some say that it is not the fast food consumption itself that is the evil, but more so the overabundance of calories. They point out that when deciding on fast food, you can chose the good, the bad and the ugly. But their point is that you can choose. Others point out the ridiculous amounts of sodium in fast food. One burrito is over half of the sodium that one should have in a day! This might not be bad on the weight gain front, but can increase ones chances for heart disease and stroke, which can also result from obesity.
So is the fast food diet a good one? If you are not willing to cook, then cutting calories at the drive through window is definitely something to consider. In reference to overall health, definitely choose cooking over eating out in any circumstance.
Written by Amanda Yazbek, Nutritionist at Camp Shane weight loss camp for children.