According to an article published in the USA Today, 34 percent of adults aged 20 and older are obese, and 34 percent are overweight. Americans have become overweight because of unhealthy choices such as not exercising and the foods they choose to consume. Fast food chains have marketed the quick and inexpensive meals that have appealed to Americans; however, these foods are not healthy options. There are quick, healthy options that with a little planning ahead, Americans can have healthier meals.
Prepare Breakfast Ahead
Breakfast is essential to increase a person's metabolism going at the beginning of the day. The human body begins looking for food to function within 20 minutes if the person waking up, writes Seizer and Whitney. Many people do not have enough time in the morning to fix a healthy breakfast and fast food is quick and inexpensive. When people go to fast food places for breakfast they are filling up on sugar and fat filled foods. There are breakfast foods that can be prepared on the weekends and saved for during the week. Homemade muffins, breakfast bars or breakfast cookies can be a healthy alternative. Whole wheat pancakes can be made and frozen and then put in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast.
Pack A Lunch
Fast food chains and some food choices at restaurants can be filled with excessive calories, fat, sugar and are served in larger portions than people should be eating. According to Eric Schlosser of the book "Fast Food Nation" a kid's Happy Meal is actually the serving of a hamburger for an adult, but not many adults order the kid's meal for their meal. A healthier alternative and a less expensive alternative to fast food chains and restaurants is to pack a lunch the night before. Leftovers from dinner the night before can be used, soup and sandwich are easy alternatives, hummus and pita chips, salads and wraps can also be made the night before for a healthy lunch.
Freezer Dinner Meals
After a busy day and after school activities dinner is often a quick stop at a fast food chain, stopping at a restaurant or frozen dinner meals. Prepackaged frozen dinners often contain more sodium than a person should consume in a day. A healthy and quick alternative is to make homemade freezer meals ahead if time. There are many recipes that can be prepared and put in the freezer to be taken out and cooked for dinner during the week. Soups, pastas and one pot dinners make an easy meal to freeze and can be prepared with healthy ingredients. Favorite Freezer Meals recommends that when freezing meals, freeze them into either individual or family size portions, depending on the needs of the family or individual.
- "Nutrition and Concepts and Controversies 10th Edition"; Sizer, Frances and Whitney, Eli; 2006.
- "Fast Food Nation"; Schlosser, Eric; 2002.
- Favorite Freezer Meals: Getting Started
- USA Today: 30% of overweight Americans think they're in normal range