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More Than a Third of Americans Eat Fast Food Daily

By Sandy Schroeder

Are you one of the three people who scoot through their favorite burger place or do takeout dinners daily? Judging by the volume of fast food ads on TV, we know there’s a lot of action, but what about the impact on weight and increased risk for heart attack, stroke or diabetes?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates American adults consume more than 11 percent of their total calories from fast food. These calories and unhealthy fats often show up as obesity, which can subtract 10 years of life, and 20 years of quality of life, according to Canadian researchers.

More Scary  Math

New studies published in Lancet say very obese men, ages 20 to 39, die eight years sooner than their trimmer peers. They also lose about 16 years of quality daily living.

How to Outrun Fast Foods

If you really want to change your ways, look for ways to eat better.

Lose those fast food coupons - Take a new route home to avoid your favorite franchises and start reprogramming your tastes. I can tell you from extensive personal research, when you stop eating fast foods the taste for extra fats, salt and sugar changes. Later they may taste too salty, greasy or sweet. Retrain your taste buds with your favorite juicy fruits and vegetables seasoned with herbs and olive oil.

Shed pounds with exercise - Researchers say losing as little as 10 pounds, and working out 30 minutes every day, can cut the risk of diabetes by as much as 60 percent. Find a routine that fits right into your schedule and feels like fun, not work. When you start to lose pounds, reward yourself with new shoes or jewelry and a size smaller jeans.

Get moving and keep moving – In addition to workouts, stay active all day. Take short breaks every hour that you sit at work to walk or stretch. Bike instead of driving wherever possible. Polish off a few tasks at home every day, running the vacuum, scrubbing the floor or trimming the bushes.

Eat more whole foods - Work on home-cooked meals for breakfast and dinner and carry snacks during the day. Make your farmers market a regular stop and eat fresh whole fruits and veggies instead of processed frozen meals, canned pasta, chips, cookies and pastries.

Dodge the calories at work - Bring in your favorite nuts, seeds, and teas. Skip the pizza or burger lunches and make lunch a fitness picnic with salads, fruit, string or cottage cheese, and a brisk walk.

However your efforts work out, don’t give up if you find yourself pulling into your favorite burger joint. Allow a little room to cheat, but then get right back on track and outrun those fast food demons.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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