Sometimes there’s just no other way: too much to do, no energy or motivation to cook, or no food at home. After all, very few people can or want to make elaborate recipes every day.

So it is not uncommon that we have to resort to fast food options. Some, on the other hand, see eating in a fast food restaurant as a kind of reward for their achievements or as a way to celebrate something special with it.

But let’s just admit it: fast food also tastes delicious in most cases. Most people probably know that it is not necessarily the healthiest option. However, few people are put off by the abundance of fat, sugar, preservative-laden meat and low-nutrient foods. Yet this can affect our physical well-being and consistently worsen our health condition. Indeed, all these “ingredients”, when consumed in excess, trigger the so-called common diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

But even more surprising is that fast food can negatively affect our mood and behaviour. This has been found by several researchers worldwide. It can affect such areas of daily life as decision-making, emotional regulation and cognitive abilities. And this already happens in the womb. So what expectant mothers eat or don’t eat can potentially change their offspring’s quality of life accordingly. That’s why scientists advise paying attention to a diet that is as varied and balanced as possible. As already mentioned, this has an impact on our whole life.

Work-life balance

What also affects our quality of life is the balance between work and rest. After a hard day at work and dinner, you need to relax a little and take a break. If you need to distract yourself and relax, you can try some games at Maybe it will not only be fun for you but also bring you a profit!

But why is fast food so popular? The first point is already contained in the name of this type of food. It is very quick and uncomplicated, which can be very convenient in certain situations. This is also the reason why fast food is often easy to take on the go so that we can enjoy it anywhere.

In addition, the comparatively low prices of fast food make it much more accessible to many people than, for example, a meal in a proper restaurant. But this also increases the risk that we will want to access this option more often. The taste aspect also plays a role, of course. This is where the producers really go to great lengths, using the ingredients that make the food unbeatably delicious, such as added sugar or special sauces. It is even suspected that these components have addictive potential.

Many people are naturally concerned about how their diet can affect their health and well-being. Most, of course, want only the best for themselves and their bodies. But it’s not easy for us to give up those delicious burgers and fries. However, there are some ways to make your diet healthier. The following 5 tips can be helpful in reducing the number of calories and getting more nutrients from even quick meals.

Less is more

If the restaurant offers different portion sizes to choose from, go for smaller ones if possible. For example, there are often burgers with two or even three patties. Just by opting for a burger with one patty, you can keep your calorie intake lower. The same goes for fries and other dishes. Some places also have children’s menus, which logically contain fewer calories. At first, you may find it difficult to get full with small portions, but this is also just a matter of getting used to it.

Many nutritionists even recommend eating four or five smaller meals a day instead of one or two large ones. This is not always feasible in hectic everyday life, but a fixed routine and meal preps make it much easier to implement. You can get through the day with smaller portions, which is good for your digestive system. A positive side effect can be weight loss. And if you go to a fast food restaurant occasionally, you’ll probably only get full with a snack.

The same in green

If you still opt for a standard size on the menu, or if that’s not even a choice, try going for a healthier side dish. French fries, for example, can be wonderfully replaced by a salad, and that goes a long way. Fresh vegetables have many advantages. On the one hand, of course, there are nutrients and vitamins that are abundant in lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. On the other hand, you avoid the harmful deep-frying fats, without which French fries cannot be prepared at all.

Thanks to a lot of fibre, vegetables also give us a better feeling of satiety, which, however, also passes more quickly. But switching to a salad every now and then can help diversify your diet. However, watch out for the salad dressing, it could hide unhealthy oils and sugars. The best options are olive oil with vinegar or lemon juice.

Don’t like vegetables? Then try fresh fruit instead of cake or ice cream for dessert. Some fast food chains offer the option of ordering a fruit salad, for example, or using fruit or berries as a topping for yoghurt or ice cream. They also offer such dishes as rice, jacket potatoes or soups as a side dish. Just try it out, maybe some of it will actually taste very good to you.

Meat? No, thank you!

Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are no longer a trend these days, but rather an integral part of Western society. This naturally has an impact on what restaurants offer. Many operators have vegan options on the menu, and some even have no meat to offer at all. New meat and fish substitutes are introduced to the market seemingly every day, and this variety and competition make for a wide choice, not to mention good taste. Even meat eaters say they are turning more often to the alternatives, which are now almost indistinguishable from the “real” product.

If veggies aren’t for you, you don’t have to switch completely, of course. But it is worth a try. According to the WHO, processed meat is one of the most carcinogenic products, and it tends to have a negative effect on the circulatory system and the liver. Of course, this only applies when meat is eaten in large quantities. Next time you visit a restaurant, order a veggie burger. The vegetable patties and sausages usually taste very good and are also better for your health and for the climate.

Meat can also be eaten differently

However, if we stay with meat, it is important to mention another aspect, and that is the way it is prepared. Many meat products are fried or deep-fried in breadcrumbs. This mainly affects the calorie content. The same piece of meat can also be prepared on the grill, which means that the harmful ingredients can be omitted, but the taste is not lost. Not many restaurants offer this, but if you cook burgers at home, grilling could make a big difference. Many ovens have this feature, so you don’t have to go out in the fresh air at all.

Another important point is that not all meat is the same. If you eat more beef or pork, you have a higher health risk than someone who prefers poultry. So having chicken every now and then instead of veal has a positive effect.

Last but not least: drinks

For many people, a visit to a restaurant is unthinkable without a drink. As far as fast food restaurants are concerned, they do not always offer the healthiest options. Sugar, colourings, flavour enhancers or alcohol. We can’t do without them completely, a cola is simply part of the burger or fries. Even seemingly healthy fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. But how about just taking water every now and then? Your circulation and waistline will thank you. With water, you can be sure that there are no chemical pollutants in it.

As always in life, big changes in nutrition start in small ways. To do something good for our health, we don’t have to give up our favourite foods overnight. Even small steps in the right direction are enough and better than none at all. Pay attention to your own well-being, and if it needs a burger or a cake right now, there’s no point in denying yourself that. Instead, create a variety, and you will notice the impact it has on daily life. Our health will also benefit in the long run if we break the habitual patterns every now and then.