As a personal trainer with a history of obesity, depression, bulimia, and competitive bodybuilding, I have quite literally been at every end of the spectrum of the extremes regarding food. I’ve consumed meals a family of four couldn’t fathom and I’ve “contest prepped” with extreme restriction diets to the point of looking emaciated and sick.
It pains me to admit this – not just as a personal trainer but as someone who pushes for others to eat clean – but during last year’s final winter months, I ate fast food about 5 times a week.
I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to satiating my inner food addict and never had a favorite place but the convenience and flavor sucked me in. I used every single excuse in the book:
- I ate perfect today so having Burger King is no biggie!
- I did 2 workouts today, ran 2 boot camps, and in-between got work done at home. I deserve this!
- We don’t have anything in the fridge so Taco Bell will have to do!
By the end of the last year, I was done with the excuses. I’m not really a New Year’s resolution guy but I understand the mentality of the “clean slate” aspect. But this year needed to be different. I’m 56 days fast food free. During these last few months, I’ve experienced a handful of realizations, reminders, and experiences. These are my five reasons to quit fast-food.
1. Quitting Fast Food Rids Your Body of Harmful Toxins
Many fast food places lace their foods with chemicals and preservatives to keep them fresh. And once you quit fast food, you’ll most likely experience a withdrawal. It’s going to happen. I happened to be one of those people. I got night sweats like you wouldn’t believe (TMI?).
Ever tried to kick your coffee or soda habit and been paid off with splitting headaches, night sweats, or extreme agitation?
Well the same thing happens to your body when you stop pumping it full of preservatives and lab grown processed “filler” food.
After about a week of withdrawls (and a lot of sweat), my body was toxin free and I felt amazing.
2. You’ll Have More Energy and Increased Focus
Speaking of feeling amazing… once I was passed withdrawal stage, I felt a new sense of vigor for life. This energy gave me the ability to jump higher, spend more time on my hobbies, and give my all in life.
If I thought I had good focus before I quit the processed garbage, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Eating clean foods helped me focus on my day and give each event my full attention.
3. Fast Food is Actually Quite Expensive
Contrary to the “Dollar Menus” out there, eating fast food is not cheap! Truth be told most of the time, $5 would be the equivalent of one burger and I can’t have just one. If I was getting food off the dollar menu, I always got more because it’s only $1, right?
However, if I went to the grocery store, $5 could get me some whole vegetables, some turkey sausages or cottage cheese, and a bag of rice or corn tortillas. That’s at least three meals for the price of one!
See More: How to Eat Healthy Under $30
4. You’ll Have a Better Life
When you start taking better care of yourself, you’re more likely to achieve the things you want in life.
Bigger than the benefit of cooking your own meals, saving money, putting better quality fuel in. You stop being lazy in other aspects of your life because one good habit is like a snowball.
You start to feel better about yourself and thus start to love those closest to you better! Sometimes it’s not that you aren’t getting support, it’s that you’re not accepting it.
One Final Thought
Remember, you’re only as beautiful on the outside as you feel on the inside. Until you learn to love yourself, you will always see ugly in the mirror. And trust me, you’re full of beauty and potential.
- How to Purge Your Pantry of Junk Food
- Kickstart Your New Healthy Diet
- Eat Smart: A 7-Day Healthy Meal Plan
- Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? via the NY Times
Share with us: What’s the hardest part of quitting fast food?
Photo credit: Scott Ableman