Next week National Fast Food Day will celebrate fast food restaurants and the food that they sell. Fast food usually consists of prepackaged and ready-made food that can be quickly cooked—often by deep frying or microwaving—and eaten; most is designed to be eaten on the go, and does not require cutlery. Common fast foods include burgers, french fries, fried chicken, fish and chips, pizza, tacos, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, sandwiches, and ice cream. Fast food is typically high in sugar, salt, saturated fat, and calories, and is linked to many health problems. Fast food restaurants usually sell food at either a counter or a drive-through.
But there’s a problem…
Fast food a.k.a. junk food is the main source of energy, fat, sugar and sodium in most Americans’ diet. Imagine that most of what we eat comes from foods that actually provide no real nutrients, but instead an excess of calories that makes us feel full and satisfied faster. According to a recent study, for US adults overall, 47% of energy, 75% of total sugar, 46% of sodium, and 48% of saturated fat consumed derived from junk food sources and sugary beverages such as sodas, juices and coffees..
Statistics from a survey conducted by the shows that a little over one-third (36.6%) of adults in America eat it on any given day and more than 90% of their total sugar intake are derived from junk foods.National Center for Health Statistics from Center for Disease Control
This problem is worse in kids’ and adolescents’ diets. One-third (36.3%) of children and adolescents consumed fast food on a given day. And adolescents consumed on average 13.8% of their daily calories from fast food on a given day. Most Americans eat at a fast food restaurant 1-3 times a week.
This is a very concerning trend, because eating big amounts of junk foods leads to nutrition-related non communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. So, there are many reasons why people should either stop or significantly lower their consumption of fast food foods.
What would happen if you stop eating fast food?
Here’s a list of what you can expect once you stop this habit:
- You’ll start losing weight naturally. Cutting back on fast food means you’ll be receiving less amounts of fat, sugar and calories, which will naturally lead to weight loss.
- You’ll feel more energetic. Receiving more calories from junk food doesn’t mean you’re obtaining enough nutritional substance. By eating more home-made meals that are rich in protein, vegetables, and fibers, you obtain energy in a more balanced way.
- You will feel more prone to doing exercise. If your body starts to feel lighter and more energetic, odds are that you’ll start looking for opportunities to engage in more dynamic activities or exercises. Of course, exercising has a very positive effect on health.
- You’ll improve your physical health. Eating foods that are high on sugars, fats, calories and sodium lead to a higher risk of developing hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, certain types of cancers, obesity, even asthma. If you stop consuming these foods, your overall health condition will definitely improve and you’ll avoid these risks.
- You’ll breathe better. Believe it or not, eating fast food actually deprives you of oxygen! How can this happen? Fat accumulation tends to create deposits that can block your airways and lead to respiratory conditions like asthma or sleep apnea. If you consume less fat, these deposits will decrease.
- You’ll be more concentrated. Have you ever noticed that when you eat big amounts of fast food you start feeling drowsy? This is because this type of food lowers your blood circulation and oxygen flow, which also makes it harder to focus.
- You’ll improve your mental health. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis study discovered that there’s a significant positive association between frequent fast food consumption and the potential of symptoms of mental health problems. Abstaining from these foods can then be beneficial for your mental health.
- You’ll experience a more rewarding satisfaction. Changing your eating habits to healthier alternatives can provide you a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond the immediate need of satiating your hunger. You’ll notice that you feel better about doing what’s best for you and your body, after all, “you are what you eat”.
Let’s face it, since 2020, we’ve been brought an enormous change to our regular lifestyles. For most of us, that has meant eating more and exercising less. And we all know what that sum equals don’t we? Increased energy intake + reduced energy expenditure = weight gain.
Along with our helpful blog posts like this on all things health and fitness, we at MySoulrenity offer a variety of fitness coaching to help you get back to your pre-lockdown shape. We hope you choose to give yourself the self-care you deserve and cut back on fast food. Remember, diet and exercise work best together, so try to practice more intentional eating combined with the structure one of our amazing health coaches.