Making Time for a Healthier You: Kicking the Fast Food Habit

“We’re too busy and we’re tired.” There, I said it. The life of the average American has become very hectic, so busy in fact that there just isn’t enough time to get everything done, and now we’re paying the price. How so? Our health, that’s how.

We know it too, but our health is still put on the back burner because there are so many other things to take care of. Our jobs often comes first, which can take up at least 9.5 hours of the day if you  incorporate travel time.

Living Hectic Lives

There is also the time you spend getting ready for work each morning and the time spent getting the children ready, too. For many, time is also spent running kids to their daily destination and praying that they don’t become ill during the day (that’s an entirely new ‘can of worms’ that you’d have to deal with).

If you have children, their daily schedule is always on your mind; knowing that after your workday is over, you must pick them up and run them to practice or dance class. They’re usually hungry after a full day of school, so it’s a quick trip through the drive-thru window at a local fast-food restaurant, and although you’re smart enough to know that it’s not the healthiest food for them to eat, there just isn’t time to make them something at home.

Since you’re already there, why not just order something for yourself, too? You’ve worked hard all day, you deserve it.

You rush around taking care of errands: filling the car with gas, picking up a few groceries, getting a bag of dog-food for Max (can’t forget that pets add hours of care each week also). Before you know it, it’s time to pick the kids up from practice and finally go home for the day. It’s almost 7 p.m. Okay, now what to make for dinner?

Do you really want to stand in the kitchen and figure out what each family member will eat without complaining? No. Pizza is an easy way out — everyone likes pizza and there’s no mess,  simply call and have one delivered. Again, it’s not the healthiest meal, but you’re tired and you still have to do a load of laundry or there won’t be clean clothes for tomorrow. Pizza for dinner it is! The kids are happy and they’re not complaining one bit.

Just look at them enjoying that pizza and their favorite soda as they play video games the rest of the evening. In fact, you might join them. It’s close to bedtime and you really want to put your feet up and relax.

Too Busy and the Fast-Food Industry Loves It

Sound familiar? I’m sure it does. We’re too busy and we’re tired, and the fast-food industry loves it. I remember when everyone was not this busy, like during the mid ’70s when I was young. There was often only one parent working outside the home, things weren’t so busy and meals were prepared in the kitchen. “Going out to eat” was not the norm because there was enough time to make breakfast, lunch and dinner at home; plus, dining out meant spending a few extra dollars, so it was smarter to dine in. During this time, the U.S. obesity rate was only 14 percent.

Well, a new report released this week really upset me. This report shows that Michigan’s obesity rate is now 30.5 percent! We are the 10th fattest state. Yes, that number is more than double the rate of the mid ’70s.

I was curious so I immediately looked for the states with the lowest obesity rates and found that Colorado was the lowest at 19.8 percent. No, that number doesn’t make me smile, but I did notice something right away. When I saw that Connecticut, Hawaii and Utah were also lower in the state obesity rankings, I quickly searched the Internet for information on the best and worst “fast food states.” Turns out those same states had the least amount of fast-food restaurants per 100,000 residents! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I know Americans are busy, but it’s time to stop putting your health on theback burner and start cooking some food on it instead! It’s time that we make time … like we did in the ’70s.

Photo credit: Marco Verch

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