motivationIt’s the Monday of the 2nd week of the New Year and many people have already defaulted on their resolutions. Staying motivated can be hard, especially when it comes to fast food and eating a healthy diet.

You know how it goes…

It’s been a long day. You get off of work and head home in a hellacious commute. An hour or so later you’re  picking up your kids from their after school program and maybe even making another stop before heading home (basketball practice, karate, dance, etc.)… then it’s time to figure out what’s for dinner! You’re tired and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. The temptation to stop off at the drive-thru is strong because it’s both easy and convenient. BUT it’s also almost always unhealthy  and totally against your weight loss and fitness goals. Don’t do it. Bad habits may be hard to break but it is possible to kick the fast food habit by planning ahead.

Here are a few tips to help you kick the fast food habit and eat healthier:

Tip #1 – Start by Making a Commitment

It all starts with making the commitment to change. If your resolution is to lose weight and/or begin eating healthier then you’ve got to commit to kicking the burgers and fries. It’s not always easy to give up something you love, so you’ve got to stay focused on why you want to lose weight and get healthy. When you consistently reminder yourself of your goal and the benefits of your new healthy lifestyle, you will be much more likely to achieve your goal. If you don’t stay focused, the opposite is more likely to happen, and you may simply revert back to your old habits.

Tip #2 – Plan and Prep. Cook Meals Ahead of Time

healthy slow cooker recipesOn those days like the one that I described above – working late or picking up the kids from their activities only to get home late – it’s best to be prepared.  This requires a shift in thinking and a little planning, but once you get used to it then it’s totally doable. I LOVE slow cooker recipes because they’re not only delicious, but they make dinner super easy after a long day. You prep and put everything in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a house that smells divine and a meal waiting to be served. If slow cookers aren’t your thing, you can also take a little extra time to cook some of your meals on the weekend and simply reheat them on the nights you’re busiest. When you know you’ve got a meal waiting for you in the slow cooker (or one you simply have to place in the microwave for a few minutes), it’s much easier to decide not to waste money on fast food.

Tip #3 – Never Get Caught Hungry. Grab Portable Healthy Snacks!

Raw AlmondsDon’t get caught hungry – ever. It’s best to always keep a healthy snack and a bottle of water with you at all times, so there’s never an excuse to grab something from a vending machine or a fast food drive-thru.  One of my favorite portable snacks is an apple and a bag of raw almonds.  The protein in the raw almonds and the fiber in the apple fend off hunger very nicely.  It’s all about preventing the “need” to grab something unhealthy simply because you feel you have no other choice.

Tip #4 – Make Healthy Restaurants Choices When You Do Eat Out

subwayNow, there will be times when you want to eat out or there really IS no other option. When eating out or getting something quick is the only option, try making healthier choices than you’ve made in the past. Places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Fresh & Easy often have ready to eat options that are both quick and healthy.  Some of them even have microwaves in the store, so you can warm up your food in-store and eat healthy and hot on the go.  If you don’t have any of these food stores (or ones like them) in your area, consider the fast food restaurant options that aren’t too be for you. I’m talking Subway sandwiches instead of McDonald’s Big Macs!

Kicking the fast food habit doesn’t have to be torture. You simply need to do some planning and preparation to make sure that you can fend off your hunger quickly, when needed, and keep up by planning your healthy meals ahead of time. You can do it!