Archive for May 3, 2011

Fast Food = Love-Hate Relationship

Do not eat greasy fatty foods!Why does fast food have to taste so good? Am I the only one that feels this way? There is something absolutely wonderful about a large, fresh from the grill, dripping with cheese, double patties burger. Those crisp steaming golden fries that are gently topped with salt are tremendously tasty. Then to top it off, you get to wash it all down with a delicious fountain soda that seems to taste better with every sip.

With all that being said, let’s get something straight. Fast food and I have a love-hate relationship. I love fast food! Fast food hates me! This is why I made the decision a long time ago that we needed to break up. It was tough in the beginning. After realizing that there were many others options out there I had to move on.

Like many relationships, the two of us had a ton of drama. I was nothing but nice to my fast food. Fast food on the other hand treated me like crap. Have you seen what it can do to the body? (And that’s on the outside) It should be locked up for domestic violence. Obviously this relationship was not healthy. Literally!

Here are the numbers for a Big Mac Meal with large fries and Coke:

Calories: 1350
Calories from fat: 480
Fat: 54g
Cholesterol: 75g
Sodium: 1420g
Carbs: 194g
Sugars: 95g
According to the Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2010, an adult female’s estimated calorie needs per day range from 1,800 to 2,400 calories per day depending on age and activity level. For men the range is between 2,000 and 3,200 calories. Obviously the higher end of the range is for those who are more active and burn more calories throughout the day.

Let’s use a 31 year old woman with a sedentary lifestyle for example. It is estimated that she requires about 1,800 calories to maintain caloric balance. She will naturally burn about 1,800 calories and therefore should consume that number to maintain the balance.

If this same woman were to eat the above mentioned Big Mac Meal then she would have consumed 75% of her estimated calorie needs in one sitting. This would leave her with only 450 calories to consume in that day before she exceeds her balance. A positive imbalance in calories will result in weight gain.

This is why fast food can be so devastating to the body. It chews up a huge number of your daily calorie needs and leaves you with very little wiggle room to maintain your caloric balance. Fast food can also affect your overall health.

Most fast food options are high in calories, fat, and cholesterol. If you also add a fountain drink to your meal then your sugars have just gone through the roof.

According to the American Heart Association, there are several factors that increase a person’s risk for coronary heart disease. The following are several of the factors that you can control:

Tobacco smoke
High blood cholesterol
High blood pressure
Physical inactivity
So you want to limit your chance of a heart attack or stroke do you? Then it’s easy. Don’t smoke, workout regularly, and don’t eat greasy fatty foods that are high in sodium and cholesterol. (Stay away from your unhealthy relationships with fast food) Weight gain and potential health risks are not what I’m looking for in a food option.

You may love Fast Food, but Fast Food does not love you back. Now get out there and Train Your Butt Off!

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