Yes, it is possible to eat at McDonald’s or your other favorite fast food restaurant without ruining your diet. This feels as though it goes against everything we’re told about healthy dieting. Indeed, eating fast food isn’t really the healthiest move you can make in terms of nutrition. It’s also true that eating it too frequently can make it extremely difficult to control your weight.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you treat yourself to a McDonald’s meal, you’ll be ruining your diet. If you’re using it as an occasional or rare treat, and if you are maintaining a steady weight management strategy most of the rest of the time, your treat shouldn’t do any damage in the grand scheme.
Fast Food Isn’t Ruining Your Diet
It’s easy to point to fast food to explain what is ruining your diet. If you’re having it frequently – several times per week – you could be right. That said, it’s not actually the food itself. Instead, it is your choice to eat it as frequently as you do.
If you are eating a healthy and balanced diet most days, the occasional cheeseburger with fries won’t impact your ability to lose or maintain your weight over the long term. Having a bit of fun and treating yourself to the foods you like is just as important as eating healthy foods within a certain calorie restriction on the majority of days.
Don’t Make Yourself Feel Deprived
Making yourself feel deprived will ruin your diet just as quickly as eating fast food regularly. Remember that if you truly love eating at McDonald’s, then the occasional treat there is going to be a part of your life. You need to enjoy your food, the experience and the taste. It’s important psychologically, even if it does not nourish you with the vitamins and minerals you require.
If your eating habits start making you feel deprived, then your strategy will not last. Eventually, you will decide to break your healthy habits and your promises to yourself. Then, you’ll do it again. Since it’s not something you’ve worked into your strategy, it will be “breaking the rules”. As a result, it is done without restrictions or limitations. It just requires you to accept that you’ve broken the rules. If you make it a part of your rules, it will be kept under your control without ruining your diet.
Learn the calories in the foods you choose to eat and keep yourself accountable for them. Track them as you would the rest of your foods so that you can make sure you’re nourishing your body properly the rest of the time, even when you hop away from healthy foods for the occasional meal now and again, just because.