I Gave Up Fast Food for 30 Days
All my college friends knew me as a crazy chicken nugget lover. No, no tender (and healthier) Tyson chicken nuggets, I'm talking about McDonalds nuggets.
I was a Division 1 student in college, and even after a running test, in which I had to go through inhuman sprints at crazy intervals, do you know what I longed for as a reward after such a hard workout? Nuggets. The transients knew me by name and my then boyfriend even bought us the 20-piece box for our Valentine's Day meal – how romantic?
To dive a little deeper into the beginning of my desire, as an adult I was not really allowed to eat food from popular fast food places. I had The Mother, who every time I saw the glowing golden bows, said, "There's food at home," as we drove through the crowded traffic.
When I told my family and friends that my first job would be in a health and nutrition center, I was all excited and looked like I was saying why you are. It was no secret that a couple of times a week I treated myself to a Taco Bell $ 5 Nacho Fries box, the $ 5 Go Biggie Bag from Wendy's or a McDonald's 2 for $ 5 mix & match deal.
I wanted my eating habits to change because, for the first time in my life, I kept thinking about the next chance to eat. My eating habits were out of control because fast food was not as full as "real food". I would wake up famished after a night of Wendy's and peel off a bowl of cereal, cereal bars in the office and fries I shopped downstairs in our lobby, or anything else I could get my hands on, sounded good.
With this challenge of giving up fast food for 30 days, my body had changed significantly from my previous abdominals and legs. I did not get "fat" in my eyes, but the swelling on my face, stomach, and even my legs showed up. The way I knew it would be bad was to look at the photos and see the small differences in bloating on my face. In addition, I felt run-down and tired all the time. My goal was to reset my craving for fast food and to better understand how often I consumed it. Let's see what happened when I did without fast food for a month.
What I ate
I stop with the cold turkey. Right. No Baconators or Doritos Locos Tacos or my beloved chicken nuggets anymore for 30 days. However, I have not been fully fed on cabbage-eggs-with-lemon-water from the beginning. I still ate the foods that I normally enjoy, but try to make healthier improvements.
Instead of a fried buffalo chicken sandwich with fries, I got a buffalo chicken salad and shared the fries with the table. I bought salad blends in the southwest of Trader Joe's instead of Taco Bell when I wanted something spicy. I drank more tea than soda or sugar-and-cream-filled coffee because I wanted something sweet and caffeine-rich, but without so much sugar, dairy, fat, or carbonation.
Instead of eating a piece of pizza from Joe on my street corner every Friday, I only ate the greasy, delicious piece in the 30 days. I made homemade beef and broccoli from the frozen bag of a Trader Joe instead of a take-away option. I do not think Asian dishes are fast food, but I wanted to know if there was a version that made me feel less bloated.
While shopping I bought whole grain versions of bread and pasta and even gluten-free versions of mac and cheese, because I noticed that the bread also gave me the feeling of bloating. Whenever I went out to eat, I ordered kale salad whenever I had the opportunity (with steak in restaurants or home-cooked chicken) and added my favorite tips to the kale. At the end of the month, I longed for the kale salad, which became my favorite option for lunch rather than my usual half-sandwich, half-mac and cheese-combo meal.
In the middle of the month I weaned myself from soda, and I longed for citrus water. I am usually unknowingly dehydrated and now my skin feels great. Now I do not even think about being hydrated anymore. I used to walk for hours (sometimes days) without anything watery, and now I enjoy drinking before noon with some glasses.
How it felt for my body
A clean diet is a real thing. I can honestly say that I felt "clean" for the whole month. I was much more energetic. My schedule was pretty much the same as it was in the past few months, but I had an unexpectedly high amount of extra energy. Enough to take part in some workouts!
Basically, if I only ate fast food, any physical activity did not last long because I was getting tired and stopped. After being forced to do workouts all over college, I swore I would not exercise because I was so burned out. This month, however, I was trying hard to find activities that could make me tired, rather than plunging into the ground through everyday turbulence.
My desire became less and less frequent, and I actually longed for the delicious, clean foods that I had consumed myself. The only craving for fast food I yielded to was Chipotle. But I did not get any queso or extra cheese and switched my bowl to a salad with the same toppings, but there was more salad. I longed to feel full but not "stuffed" and did not force myself to finish every bite of my food unless I was really hungry. This challenge actually taught me to eat more attentively. It's crazy, even like that path When you eat your meal, you can determine how your body will process it both physically and tastefully.
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How it changed my feelings
The only time I was really upset about this cleaning was when fast food was given to me free of charge. Working in food media gives me the opportunity to try free food, but also after handing over one free Wendy's gift card and food, I have managed to survive the day unscathed with the call of my cleaning.
My mood also changed in a way. I noticed that I slept much harder this month. I woke up refreshed and not so tired. This resulted in less moody behavior and less irritation when something frustrating happened at work or in my private life. Eating can definitely change your mood and my better eating habits have led to a more positive mood.
How it changed my appearance
I remember that my hair and skin sometimes felt slightly greasy during my fast-food attacks. Surprisingly, my skin was much drier this month. I am not sure if it has anything to do with my diet, but I had the driest face, the driest arms and legs for the whole month. No small lotion has not improved, but it felt like my body could not drive anything through my pores. In the right sense!
At the end of the month, I noticed that my face, arms, stomach, and legs were puffing. My jaw was just as pronounced as it had been before swelling, and the workouts I was doing, as well as the diet without bloating, returned my flat stomach. I even noticed that my leg muscles became more defined and the puffiness on my hips subsided.
How it felt to eat fast food after 30 days
Would you like to know what happened when I ate fast food after 30 days? I was totally sick on my stomach. I was so excited to return to my S'Awesome sauce nuggets and fries and top it off with a mini bacon burger and an orange Fanta. There is no denying that a big meal will be paid for only $ 5. But the physical sense of "satisfaction" had definitely changed.
I was only in the middle of the fries when I felt full. I paused and went back to the fries. Had to take a break to eat the nuggets. I managed to drink a little of my drink, but in a way I felt defeated. My new diet did not make me eat more. I just ate more filling food. The food I had eaten had no problem in feeling full. But I could not help being angry that I was wasting money on my food delivery, so I took another break to get to the burger. A meal that I had at least three times a week was now impossible to finish. One day after eating, I felt the same flatulence that I felt for a few months immediately before my cleansing.
The day after eating fast food again, my face and hair felt greasy again. I was freshly showered and clean, but I did not feel it. I felt terrible and ran downstairs. Instead, my body literally craved these clean foods, something I never thought I'd write. I think the red meat and bread had a big part in the feeling of sickness because I had cut it out for almost the whole month and I am definitely not looking forward to feeling like that again soon.
How will I implement these changes in the future?
I've learned a lot about my diet and what the body can do with the fuel you give it. I used to joke about the sentence "You're what you eat," but now I know it's true. I was bloated and greasy, and that was because my body told me not to eat so much of these foods.
Well, I do not think people should NEVER eat fast food, that's not my point. But for me, the fullness effects of a fast food diet were hard to bear, and I needed a change. I just was not sure if I was aware of it and passed it on to my body. However, I had no idea that a simple diet change could improve my overall mood and motivation. The food I ate and liked really shocked me.
In the future I will try to stick to eating fast food every two weeks, or when it is needed and I need something cheap and fast. Fast food is definitely something I like, and I do not plan to give it up again on cold turkey.
I am a young woman in her mid 20s and I want to enjoy her to the full while I eat what I want. Sometimes fries with S'Awesome sauce. Sometimes that's a cabbage salad. Who knows, maybe one day I'll change my wedding dinner from chicken nuggets to vegetarian nuggets?