The average American eats fast food 3 times per week. That can add up to as much as 190,000 calories per year (which equates to 54 pounds of weight gain if not worked off in physical activity).
Wow! The average American's 159 trips to the drive-thru can really add up in more ways than one.
Here are some strategies to help you drive past the drive thru.
- Discuss the changes you want to make as a family. If everyone is accustomed to hitting the drive thru after soccer, dance and karate practice each week, they might be a little surprised or a little mutinous if you drive straight home without any explanation. Healthy nutrition should be a family affair and everyone deserves to know the reasons behind the healthy changes.
- Emphasize the monetary as well as the health benefits. Money and time are the big motivators in our society. So use that to your advantage. Calculate the money you can save by avoiding the drive-thru. You may even want to make plans for a fun family activity or "stay-cation" with the drive-thru funds you save.
- Have a planned menu in place. More often than not, the siren-song of the drive-thru is extra tempting when we don't have dinner planned. Take a few minutes each week to write down that week's menu. Again - family input here is key if you want them on board.
- Plan B. There will inevitably be times when you find yourself out longer running errands than you expected, or you forgot to get dinner into the crockpot that morning. Instead of hitting the drive-thru, hit the grocery store instead. Have everyone choose their favorite sandwich item, grab some whole grain bread and some fruit, and Viola! you have a quick, healthy dinner to enjoy when you get home.
- Emergency car food. As for the times when you are far from home, stuck in traffic, or dying of hunger with no grocery store in sight, keep a few things tucked away in the glove compartment of your car. Dried fruit, nuts, individual nut butter packets, pretzels or whole grain crackers and water bottles are great ways to stave off the crave and keep you out of the drive-thru line.