Did you know over 12% of a child’s daily calories come from fast food? Americans spend almost $400 billion dollars on fast food a year. That’s a lot of money! Is eating out really all that bad? Well, it can be. However, there are healthier choices you can make. Most people don’t even realize how much they are eating out or how much they spend on doing it.
Since moving back to the states from living overseas, my whole family has put on weight. Our entire life has changed, and I finally sat down to write down the differences in what we are doing in our daily lives. What I discovered is that we are eating out a lot more than we used to and we are moving less. Here are the major differences:
- We were outside all the time in Germany. We walked, rode bicycles, and played no matter the weather. Being back in the states, physical activities are limited due to lack of physical education at school. We went from 1 hour a day to 15 minutes a day. There is a lack of community and playgrounds that we had in Germany. To go outside here in the summer is sweltering and full of bug bites.
- We ate out once a week, maybe twice in Germany, if at all. Fast food really wasn’t convenient. It was actually more expensive than sit down restaurants. We eat out more than 2 times a week sometimes now that we are back home.
- Life was at a slower pace in Germany, and we enjoyed it. It’s so stressful and busy in the states. It’s hard to think about how good we had it without being stressed.
- We traveled at least once a month, and we walked around exploring new places. We loved exploring little castles and villages all over Europe. It was so much fun!
As you can see, the lack of physical activity and increase in fast food is contributing to my family’s growing waist line. It’s important that you know that I never talk about weight to my children. I do talk about healthy habits. I reinforce positive changes and thinking. I do not EVER talk about their weight or my weight around them! When a parent talks negatively about weight, the kids absorb it, and it can lead to a load of problems for that child throughout their life. Weight loss is not the goal! Health is the goal! You have to eat and so do they. It’s all about making healthier choices. You don’t have to be perfect or deprive yourself of some of your favorite foods. It really is all about management!
In an effort to audit my family’s fast food behaviors, I came up with this handy Fast food Tracker! It’s such a great tool, I am offering it FREE to you! It’s designed for you to keep up with when you are eating out and to see how many calories are coming from those meals. Fast food establishments have their menus/nutrition information online so it’s as easy as a click of a button. This really helps bring awareness to your current habits so you can see if you need to make any changes in your choices.
Enjoy! I hope it helps you bring some clarity to your current habits!
Author: Betsy Ramirez
Betsy is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, homeschool mom, & fairy tale junkie, who loves getting crafty. Being on my bike and lifting weights are my therapy. Thinking outside the box is my jam!