Fast food companies in the United States have it good. Just look at the average drive-thru line at any mealtime. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is a line around the store. People will wait in the drive-thru for 20 minutes, all in the name of getting a meal cheap, quick and easy. But there is irony to this! For the average family of four, a fast food trip is going to cost you between $30 and $40 dollars. And when you add up the time it takes to head to the fast food restaurant, wait in line, receive your food and then go home, it can take well over 30 minutes to get your meal. The irony? If you do it right, you could spend less money and less time preparing a healthy meal at home. The trick is to know how to prepare your kitchen ahead of time for a quick meal turn-around.
For anyone trying to lose weight, fast food can pose a major problem. The moment you pull into the drive-thru you are giving up control over what goes into your food. While this is true anytime you order off a menu, the fast food menus are especially bad. Even the labeled “healthy” meals, which often include either salads or wraps, are typically loaded up with fried chicken, cheese, and plenty of other ingredients that really aren’t ideal when you are following a medical weight loss program.
Planning ahead and having meals ready to go at home can save you money, time, and calories during the week. Even if you aren’t a pro in the kitchen, making a few small adjustments can help you take control of the weeknight dinner rush.
Here are a few simple strategies that can help you skip the drive-thru once and for all:
- Plan your meals ahead of time and have all of your ingredients for a full week at home. Having to stop at the grocery store after work can really dissuade you from cooking.
- Take advantage of pre-cut veggies and pre-portioned or pre-spiced meats. These items are typically a little bit more expensive, but cost no more than a dollar more than the plain alternative and can save you a lot of time, not to mention make cooking a lot easier.
- If you know you have a few nights a week that are going to be especially busy, do yourself a favor and make those meals ahead of time. Preparing a healthy meal and keeping it in the freezer can mean a healthy dinner after an exhausting day.
Making the move away from fast food is a great step towards adjusting to a healthier lifestyle during your medical weight loss program. By using healthy shopping strategies like these, you can help your entire family improve their eating habits while you are trying to lose weight.