Healthy Tip of the Week: Ditch Fast FoodBy Stephanie Eng-Aponte Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, R.D. Expert Reviewed
Each week, we’ll highlight some of our favorite healthy habits and the benefits behind them. We’ll also share a quick and simple tip from Heather Lake, a Jenny Craig Health & Lifestyle Contributor, to help support your weight loss goals and inspire you throughout the day! This 12-week series will focus on everything from how to stop eating fast food and start eating healthier meals at home, to delicious ways to incorporate more protein into your meals.
Hi, I’m Heather Lake, a health and lifestyle contributor for Jenny Craig. Here’s your healthy tip for the week: Ditch dining out! Forgot to pack your lunch again? Too tired to make dinner when you get home? Resist the urge to stop at your local fast food joint and whip up something simple like a basic salad with lean protein like grilled chicken or 1-2 hard-boiled eggs. Or, try a healthy, prepackaged meal. Jenny Craig offers around 100 freshly prepared, simply frozen options for you to choose from to help keep you on track with your healthy habits and work toward your weight loss goals!
Fast facts on fast food
- It can be very calorie-dense. Depending on what you order, a fast food meal could contain over 2,000 calories — which is the daily amount the Food and Drug Administration recommends for most people.1 (But if you’re trying to lose weight, the number of calories you need may vary!)
- It could contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance. One study found that people who ate fast food more than two times per week gained almost 10 pounds over a 15-year period.2 What’s more, the research showed that frequent fast food eaters experienced a two-fold increase in insulin resistance compared to those who ate fast food less than once a week.2
- It’s not as inexpensive as you might think. Fast food prices are quickly climbing, making them cost almost as much as similar items at fast casual restaurants. Fast casual prices used to be 30% more expensive than fast food, but now, the cost difference between getting a hamburger at a fast casual or fast food restaurant is only 8%.3 Here’s how eating healthy meals at home could actually save you money.
How to stop eating fast food
When your schedule is jam-packed with activities and events, finding the time to prepare and eat a healthy meal can seem challenging. And while it might be tempting to stop by a fast food restaurant for a quick meal, these options may not be very good for you (or your weight loss!). Check out these three easy ways to stop eating fast food, all while eating healthily and supporting your weight loss goals.
Easy ways to eat at home more often
- Prep your meals ahead of time. It’s much easier to avoid last-minute takeout when your meals are ready to go! Meal prepping isn’t just a helpful way to save time, it can also be a great weight loss tool. Check out these 13 meal prep tips to make breakfast, lunch and dinner a breeze.
- Try meal delivery. Why not skip the grocery store and get healthy, prepared meals sent straight to you? Meal delivery options can actually be good for you. And when you include thoughtfully-portioned foods and the right balance of nutrients, delivered meals can even be beneficial for weight loss. Looking for a weight loss meal delivery program? Jenny Craig online offers a handful of different weight loss meal plans to fit your lifestyle!
- Follow a meal plan. Take the stress out of grocery shopping and map out your meals for the week. This simple guide is great for busy parents, or, you can make things even easier by getting a meal plan designed just for you. With Jenny Craig, you can benefit from a detailed menu plan that’s tailored to your needs — and even your DNA.
Love these tips? Get the next healthy tip of the week by signing up for our health and wellness newsletter. You’ll also review a complimentary copy of our quarterly magazine, Healthy Edition. Until then, cozy up to your favorite healthy meal — right from the comfort of your home.
Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig and has written for the health and wellness, tech, and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. They employ an “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoy the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find them photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.
Favorite healthy snack: green apple slices with sunflower butter
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.