Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for Men Trying to Lose Weight on Fast Food

Dec 17, 2010 James Hutchinson

New Years Resolutions for Guys - Gina Smith

New Years Resolutions for Guys - Gina Smith

Office workers, salesmen and other working men fight a continuing battle with the bulge, as obesity rates climb in industrialized nations. At the beginning of the New Year, many men resolve to lose weight, exercise and improve their general health.

It is difficult to undergo a complete lifestyle change for many men. The same reasons that led to unhealthy eating are probably still present in January:

  • Only enough time to grab something to eat on the run
  • Quick bites with coworkers or clients
  • Late nights at the office
  • Weekend lunches with happy meals for the kids

As much as a man may resolve to eat healthy, time pressures result in repeated trips to McDonalds and other fast food spots. Despite their well deserved reputation for unhealthy meal choices, men (and women) can improve their diet while still eating fast food.

Portion Control at Fast Food Restaurants

One of the most impactful things a man can do when at a fast food restaurant is also one of the simplest; go small. Get the smallest size of whatever you intend to order, or at least a smaller than you would have in December.

A small side of French Fries at McDonalds is 230 calories, compared to 380 for a medium and 500 for a large. Most guys will find a diminishing satisfaction after half a large order. They don’t taste as good as the grease works it way into the system.

Choosing a smaller size saves you from that feeling. Smaller orders may cost less, although the restaurants do try to induce you to upsize by not including smaller sizes in combo meals. It may only cost a few pennies to upsize, but results in hundreds of calories. Go small.

Double burgers also increase the calories. Consider ordering a single, leaving room for something slightly healthier later. Even trail mix from a vending machine is better than another helping of grease.

Cutting Back on the Calories for New Year’s

Another way to cut back is to eliminate items that add big calories but little substance or flavor:

  • Consider throwing away the bun. The bun has more calories than the meat, is usually tasteless and isn’t filling. Men hate to throw food away, but the bun is really more like the wrapper than the meat, and you don’t eat the wrapper, do you?
  • Scrap off half the toppings. They are extra calories and excess ketchup doesn’t add much flavor. It can be messy, but that is expected of men. Get extra napkins, if you even remember to get napkins.
  • Ask for a cup of water instead of a soda or sweet tea. Yes, it’s embarrassing, and it looks cheap, but it does save money and you can blame it on your New Year’s resolution.
  • Request a sandwich with no cheese. It may not be on the menu board, but there is generally a lower price for burgers without cheese.

Fast Food Salads for Men?

Most men I know will say that salads only fill them for a few hours. They get hungry and sneak off to the vending machine for chips or candy. A physician colleague of mine referred to a nice salad as “chick food.”

Based on this observation, men should not expect to lunch only on a salad. A small burger with a side salad or soup in lieu of fries is a better choice. Even if the calorie content is not significantly different, there will likely be much less fat.

It is possible to continue to eat fast food and still keep a New Year’s health resolution. Men do not have to skip lunch if they have no time, as long as they still make good choices at the counter.

Copyright James Hutchinson. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

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