Fast Food and Obesity – What Is the Connection?

A sluggish metabolism does in fact affect your ability to burn calories. If you have a faster burning metabolism you might tend to burn calories at a higher rate and therefore not gain weight. The bottom line is, obesity in children and adults is climbing at an alarming rate and fast food does not help.

Fast food chains usually serve a larger portion than you would serve yourself at home. Over time, your body adjusts to the larger amount and you start wanting to eat more than is necessary on a regular basis. That of course can contribute to weight gain. You start eating a lot more than you need, and not even realize it.

Whether fast food causes obesity is only part of the problem. No matter what your weight, fast food is just not good for you. It contains high quantities of sodium, bad fats, sugar in some form, and chemicals (including MSG which is bad for you). One expert I heard said that the chemicals in the food are designed to make you crave that food and it can actually be like an addiction. You keep coming back for more. When you eat that nice juicy burger which tastes so delicious, it is usually the chemical flavoring in the food more than the meat itself that you are really enjoying.

Often prepackaged foods are no different. Many contain so many artificial flavorings (chemicals which are what make the meal taste so good), and fats and sugar. The eBook Healthy Urban Kitchen is a terrific way to learn to cook more healthy and lose weight doing it.

Avoid fast foods, and prepackaged foods. Eat and cook from scratch. When cooking a meal, prepare at least two meals at once. Freeze one and use it another day. That will help take away the urge to buy something already prepared when time is a factor.

Healthy Eating For Children – Preventing Obesity in Children

Frozen and prepackaged foods have become the norm for many families. Kids love the taste and it is so easy to prepare. The trouble is these types of foods are loaded with chemicals. The chemicals are what give it such great flavor. But, chemicals are not food and they are not good for you. These types of food encourage unhealthy lives and weight gain. It is important to cook from scratch.

Below I list several things that you can do to build healthier, slimmer lives for you and your children.

  • Take things a step at a time. Do not change everything overnight. It will be too overwhelming for your child and you.
  • Whenever cooking from scratch, double or triple the servings. Freeze the extra for future meals. It does not take that much extra time to double/triple it and it saves a ton of time later. When you know you have something in the freezer already prepared that you can heat or cook, it helps avoid the temptation to stop by a fast food chain.
  • Get your children involved in choosing meals and snacks and let them help make them. A good book of healthy, tasty recipes is Real Food for Healthy Kids.
  • Set the example. Do not expect your children to change if you are not changing.
  • Soda in any form is bad for you. It is either loaded with sugar or sweetened with chemically altered substances. Slowly start replacing it with filtered water.
  • Try to eliminate sugar as much as possible. Use fruit to replace the sweet cravings.
  • Allow less TV and computer. It really affects their growing brain in a negative way when used in excess.
  • They should be playing/exercising outside in the fresh air and sunshine. You need to be outside also. Get some form of exercise with them. It can be a great stress reliever.
  • Breads and pastas should be kept to a minimum. That can really pack the weight on for many. Quinoa and millet, cooked like rice can provide a tasty grain with your meal.
  • In the last several generations, we have seen a decline in quality foods, home cooked meals, getting enough fresh air and sunshine. It is time to take back control of our lives. Our children and their subsequent generations depend on it.

While the information above is a great start, there are many more things you can do to help your children. I will write more in future articles.

Healthy Eating for Children

We all know that we are supposed to eat healthy foods. We try to make sure that our children are eating healthily. But how do you know that the healthy eating ideas for children that you’re preaching are actually being followed by your children? After all, you’re not watching them 24 hours a day.

To a large extent, healthy eating for children needs to become the natural way for your children. Once something becomes a habit, then we will tend to follow that habit. It’s not just bad habits that we follow – good habits are often followed just as easily!

How to make healthy eating for children into a habit

Start by setting a good example yourself. You won’t be able to preach healthy eating for your children if you’re constantly snacking, eating chocolate cakes and slurping down sugary drinks. Your children will see straight through any attempt to get them to “do as I say, not as I do”.

Go through your cupboards and seek out any foods that aren’t healthy for either you or your children to eat.

Throw them out!

Then make sure that you don’t simply replenish them the next time you visit the supermarket.

If your children have become used to not eating healthily, you may need to start training them gradually. Cut out the sweet snacks, replacing them with healthy fruit instead. Make sure that you do the same – your children will soon start a revolution if you’re snacking on a packet of potato chips whilst they have to “make do” with an apple.

Variety is key. Don’t just stock up on apples as the only fruit. And don’t just stick with one variety of apples. Ring the changes and your children will start to eat healthily as a matter of course.

The same goes at meal times. At breakfast time, wean your children off sugary and chocolaty cereals. Maybe start with alternate days. Again, variety is the key to healthy eating for children and adults alike.

Evening meal is another time that you can start introducing healthy food. If your children turn their noses up at vegetables, consider using your blender to mix the vegetables into the gravy or sauce that you’re serving. Also remember that lots of foods can be served different ways. Even the way you slice a carrot can make a difference! Mushrooms can be eaten cooked or raw. They can be chopped small as a garnish.

If your children won’t eat foods like cabbage when they’re cooked, think of using it in coleslaw instead. Raw cabbage has lots of vitamins and tastes nothing like the cooked version. When you’re thinking about healthy eating for your children then you sometimes need to be sneaky like that!