Fast Food ≠ Fat Food (Not All The Time, Anyway)

By Adam Kraemer

So one of the final questions I was asked on my old Weight Watchers blog (not that this is a new blog; just a new format) was about driving for Lyft. It wasn’t a technical question so much as a biological one — namely, what do I do for restroom breaks. Well, it’s simple, really. I’ve rigged up a rope and pulley system made out of a space-age polymer that enables me to … just kidding. Usually, I find a McDonald’s or a Denny’s or a Wendy’s or some other business with an apostrophe.

The thing is, being raised right by my parents, I feel bad about using their facilities for free. (On a side note, not a single venue I’ve been in out here locks the restrooms. This is far cry from the New York City fast-food places, where you practically have to ask permission to use a table.) So I try to at least make a rudimentary purchase — often just a diet soda, though I have become somewhat adept at finding menu items that don’t use up all my daily SmartPoints® in one fell swoop. (And by “adept,” I mean that a lot of places now list the calorie count and I can read numbers.)

This is not, however, a blog entry about eating right when at a fast-food place, though I will give you a couple hints: Look for the words “grilled,” “light,” “junior,” and “salad.” Do not be fooled, however, by the “taco salad.” You might as well just split open a burrito and deep-fry the tortilla.

This blog is about utilizing the convenience of quickly prepared food in your own home. (Not to mention utilizing the convenience of having a restroom in your home. I have one in mine, so I know what I’m talking about.)

More to the point, other than the fact that there’s just something about fast food that many of us love — a Burger King hamburger is not the best burger in the world, but sometimes it’s just the thing I’m craving – one major benefit of fast-food restaurants is that word, “fast.” Most of the stuff is precooked, if not totally premade, and you can basically be in and out (get it?) within minutes. There’s a reason people rarely say, “I’m leaving the office now. I’ll just swing by that Michelin-rated French place and grab us dinner on the way.” People I know rarely say it, anyway.

(On a side note, I love Taco Bell. I know it’s nothing like actual Mexican food, but I still think it’s awesome. It’s like if someone had heard about Mexican food, but not actually ever eaten any. Like they were told what ingredients should go into it; they just didn’t have any basis for comparison. Fantastic.)

And I know I’ve even said before that one of the things I really like about the Weight Watchers frozen foods is that I can come home from work, microwave them in less than five minutes, and be eating dinner faster than you can say “Jack Robinson.” (Anyone else think that’s a weird saying? I don’t know about you, but I can say “Jack Robinson” pretty quickly. Heck, he could steal a base faster than I can nuke a meal. But I digress.)

Weight Watchers sympathizes, however, with the dilemma. “Do I swing by Taco Bell or microwave something premade, or do I prepare and cook something and eat an hour from now?” Luckily, not every quick meal is an unhealthy one. And vice versa. Don’t believe me? Check this out. Twenty-four meals you can prepare quickly (around 20 minutes or less) and all low in SmartPoints values (well, the Grilled T-Bone Steak with Easy Barbecue Sauce has a SmartPoints value of 9, but that obviously depends on your portion size. You can also lower it by substituting chicken for beef). Easy dips, easy entrées, even an easy dessert. It’s like they took away all your excuses (and by “your,” I mean “my”).

So anyway, peruse at your leisure. Maybe you’ll find something for tonight. Or tomorrow’s lunch. Or something healthy for the kids to take to school. Or maybe you’ll find something for that next dinner party you’re throwing. Don’t worry; no need to invite me. But if a charmingly handsome man comes in your front door, uses the restroom, and then gets back into his car…no of course that’s not me. I don’t know where you live and I don’t enter people’s houses. Call the cops. That’s just creepy.

Talk to you soon.

Follow Adam on Connect @adam.k

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