By Chris Hunter
Q: School has me stressed out, and I find myself eating more fast food. How do I deal with my fast-food addiction?
A. Great question, me; addiction, in general, is not something to joke about. Teens are easily susceptible to succumb to the joys of eating fast food, especially after participating in many after-school activities, such as sports, musical practice and jobs.
Temptations from different restaurants — like hot chocolate at Dunkin’ Donuts, fries from McDonald’s, burritos from Chipotle, and the wax pumpkins at JoAnn Fabrics — make students crave bad food. Here are some ways to quit your fast-food addiction.
Here’s the situation: you’re hanging out with your friends and they say something along the lines of “Let’s go to Panera!” and you say, “Leave me alone; I’m in the bathroom,” and they say, “OK, but we’re going to Moe’s after you’re done.” So now you’re stuck going to a restaurant with unhealthy choices and tempting desserts.
Here are a few tricks to help manage that.
Blindfolds. If you can’t see the food, how can you pick out something to buy? Companies sell so many of their desserts due to the heavenly look of their chocolatey foods.
Now some of you may be saying, “But Chris, I’ll look like a fool with a blindfold on in the restaurant.” On the contrary, you’ll have the last laugh in 10 years, when your friends are morbidly obese and you’re lost in Moe’s because you forgot to take the blindfold off. Sometimes people forget to put the blindfold on before they go into the store; in order to combat this, apply the blindfold before you drive there. Your friends will be impressed with your confidence in your ability to drive with only four senses.
If a blindfold is too “chic” for you, then I highly recommend the foolproof “tying your hands behind your back” method. Without the ability to pull cash out of your wallet, the restaurant is forced either to give you the food for free or call the cops on you. Either way, you’re making progress toward breaking your fast-food habit.
For the ultimate fast-food-habit-breaking combo, combine both of my tactics — blindfold and bound hands — for what I like to call “Kidnap for a Big Mac.” Sit in the back of your car in the parking lot while your friends get their food. That way, when your friends are arrested moments later, you will be too stressed out to buy any food!
But here’s some real advice. Exercise is key for a healthy lifestyle. You may be less likely to indulge in bad food if you’re keeping your body healthy with exercise.
Also, keep in mind that most healthy eating is done in the kitchen — your own. It’s very tempting and easy to go to Chipotle after school, thinking that you should reward yourself with fast food after a hard day’s work. But stay strong and eat dinner at home.
Once you’re able to resist getting fast food once or twice, it gets easier. Soon, you’ll be able to turn down fast food easily, and the path to healthier eating begins.