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We have all tried to drop weight at one point or another, but one of the biggest hindrances to our diet is how busy we are. With a lot of fast and tasty options available at drive-thru restaurants, it can be hard to stay away from them when you’re always on the go. Fast food has also been blamed for an increase in obesity rates around the world since most of the options are high in calories.

But what if we told you that you could actually lose weight by eating fast food often? That’s the promise of the Fast Food Diet, which knows that giving up fast food and other forms of eating out just isn’t that realistic. How does this plan work and how is it possible to lose weight while eating fast food? Let’s take a look behind the diet that’s increasing in popularity as it has worked for some.

Behind the Fast Food Diet

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The architect of the Fast Food Diet is Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist that has been featured on many different health programs in television and radio. Sinatra has written many books about weight loss and increasing your heart health, and “The Fast Food Diet” is among the most popular, having been released in 2006. Being a busy doctor himself, Sinatra knows how hard it can be to avoid eating out.

Sinatra has also said he has seen a lot of people struggle to lose weight as they try to restrict themselves too much and end up failing. Even the feeling of eating fast food, even if it is a healthy option, can be satisfying for those that find themselves at fast food restaurants often. That’s where the diet comes in, and you’re still able to indulge while still losing weight.

How the Fast Food Diet Works

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Sinatra says that to effectively lose weight while on the Fast Food Diet, you’ll need to eat healthy at least 80 percent of the time while indulging in the other 20 percent. The diet says that you will eat five times each day, with three meals and two small snacks to keep you going. However, you should be avoiding fried foods at all cost and sodas, which can be hard to pass up if you are sitting at a fast food restaurant.

Even though you are eating at fast food joints, there are still plenty of healthy options at many of the major chains. You don’t have to count calories, but you should still be mindful if you want the best results. With fried foods and soda off of the menu, it will make it easier to cut calories. Let’s take a look at some of the healthier fast food options and their calorie counts so that you can get a good idea of what to eat:

McDonald’s

  • Single Hamburger (250 Calories with All Non-Cheese Toppings)
  • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait (160 Calories with Granola)
  • Small French Fries (230 Calories with No Ketchup)
  • Bacon Ranch Salad (260 Calories with Grilled Chicken)
  • Six Chicken McNuggets (280 Calories with No Sauce)

Burger King

  • Veggie Burger (340 Calories with No Mayonnaise)
  • Whopper Jr. Sandwich (290 Calories with No Mayonnaise)
  • Chicken Whopper Jr. (270 Calories with No Mayonnaise)
  • Four Piece Chicken Tenders (170 Calories with No Sauce)
  • Garden Salad (25 Calories with No Dressing)

Taco Bell

  • Two Soft Tacos (280 Calories with No Cheese)
  • Two Fresco Tacos (280 Calories)
  • One Fresco Burrito Supreme (340 Calories)
  • One Cantina Bowl (510 Calories)
  • One Gordita Supreme (270 Calories with Chicken)

As you can see, there are plenty of healthy fast food options at the three most popular restaurants, and it’s the same way with most of the other major chains. Eating at those three alone, you can have a daily menu that tastes good and won’t be making you put on weight. If you stop at McDonald’s for a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, then follow it up with lunch at Burger King for a Chicken Whopper Jr. and finish with two soft tacos at Taco Bell, that’s only 710 calories, leaving you plenty of calories for the two snacks.

What to Know About the Fast Food Diet

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While heading out to the fast food joints on a daily basis is going to be satisfying, there’s always the temptation of ordering away from the low calorie side of the menu. As long as you can keep away from those meals, you should be able to lose weight quickly. The other hurdle that you’ll have to get over is the portion control. Since the meals are already made for you, you might not be used to eating less compared to when you were eating at these restaurants before.

Like most diets, the Fast Food Diet is all about changing the way you look at food, eating enough to get through the day instead of revolving your day around junk food. It will take some getting used to, but eventually your body will be more accustomed to the smaller portions and you’ll be able to lose weight.

Overall, it might not be the healthiest plan as most fast food is highly processed, even down to the fruit. That’s where the Fast Food Diet has received some low marks from experts, as there is a lot of food that is filled with high sodium levels. If you have heart problems already, you might want to look for a diet that revolves mostly around whole foods like fruits and vegetables. There also aren’t as many low calorie choices as high calorie ones at fast food restaurants, so you might get tired of eating the same grilled chicken salads over and over again.

The Fast Food Diet is supposed to last for six weeks, though many people that have been successful on the plan find themselves still eating out often and picking the low calorie options on the menu. There is a chance at regaining weight if you get used to eating fast food on a daily basis and start to go back toward the higher calorie meals. Adding exercise is going to help as it can help you kick your cravings for junk. Sinatra says you don’t necessarily need exercise to lose weight, but suggests getting 30 minutes of walking per day.

Summing it Up

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It sounds crazy, but the Fast Food Diet can actually help you lose weight. Since it comes down to how many calories you are eating, consuming 800 or so per day from fast food is doable, it just takes a lot of knowledge of fast food menus and avoiding temptation. One good part about this diet is that it seems to be getting better as the years go on. Fast food companies realize that people are trying to lose weight, and have plenty more healthier options than they did when the book was first released a decade ago.

Obviously, the healthiest option is going to be a diet that is based mainly around fruits and vegetables and meals that you prepare at home, but that’s not going to be possible for a lot of us. If you find yourself constantly traveling or not having any time at home to eat a healthy meal, the Fast Food Diet can be beneficial. You should focus on staying away from some of the options in the menu that are low calorie if they aren’t healthy overall. That means, don’t rely on burgers to make you thin.

As always, you should consult a doctor to see what types of foods you should be eating with hopes of losing weight. A Fast Food Diet might not be the most beneficial depending on your needs, and people have experienced some digestive problems when eating too much processed food. Also, keeping exercise as part of your daily routine is going to help you even further in terms of weight loss and overall health.


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