JOPLIN, MO--It's easy, fast and cheap - but eating fast food can come at a cost to your health. If you don't watch what you're ordering, it can lead to a whole host of problems.
"They just eat out twice a day every day." And Freeman Dietitian Amalee Dykes says many of those diners choose to upsize their meal, adding even more calories to the total. "I researched a lot of the fast food restaurants and across the board, it's about 200 extra calories and so if you were to eat a supersized meal a day for a month, that would be about two pounds you would gain a month. Add that over a year and that's about 24 pounds a year."
Dykes points out that larger portions are likely more food than most people need. "It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to realize it's full or to signal to your brain that it's full. So eating slower can really help decrease the amount of calories you're taking in."
Besides skipping the upsize option, Dykes says you might trade regular soda for diet, or even better just drink water. Also minimize your use of condiments. "Either get rid of it completely or get it on the side and let you add it yourself."
And look for healthier options: grilled or baked entrees instead of fried ... and on the side - apple slices or a salad instead of fries.