A recent National Health and Examination Survey revealed that approximately one-third of U.S. adults are obese and another third is overweight. After spending 60 days in the United States, we can see exactly why those numbers exist.
Recently both of us have discovered that we’ve been putting on weight due to our extremely poor diet over the past few weeks. At the beginning of this round-the-world trip our plan was to cook for ourselves as much as possible – however due to poor planning and circumstances, we’ve spent the majority of the last 6 weeks in hotels without any kind of cooking facilities.
Fortunately we’ve identified our problem early and it’s time for us to get healthy again before we hit Europe. If you’re planning on visiting the United States any time soon, we’ve made a list of our 5 biggest diet mistakes and hopefully you can avoid them on your visit!
Our Soda Intake
Soda has easily been our biggest downfall so far. Prior to our journey, we were down to drinking maybe one or two cans each week but now we’re drinking it at least once a day if not more. Why? Not only is the price of soda in the U.S. ridiculously cheap (it’s often cheaper than bottled water!), if you’re eating at a restaurant it usually means unlimited refills which makes it impossible to control your intake.
Too Much Fast Food
When you’re on a budget, fast food is usually the cheapest and easiest option when you’re unable to cook for yourself. Unfortunately we’ve gotten a little carried away. Consider these numbers – in 60 days, we’ve consumed McDonald’s 8 times and Panda Express 11 times. That’s over 10 percent of all of our meals and doesn’t include all of the other times we’ve eaten fast food!
Cheese… So Much Cheese!
Everything in the United States is absolutely drowned in cheese! Yes, we love cheese as much as everybody else but unfortunately there can be too much of a good thing and the increase in our cheese consumption has also resulted in an increase in calories and saturated fat into our diets.
Lack of Healthy Options
Again, this comes down to budget and a lack of cooking facilities. Sometimes all we want is protein and vegetables, but finding somewhere to eat that at an affordable price is often next to impossible. All we want is a kitchen so we can cook up a grilled steak or chicken and some fresh vegetables… mmmmm!
Experts recommend that you eat at least 3 regular meals each day, if not 5-6 smaller ones. Because of having to buy our food from restaurants, we’ve been limiting ourselves to 2 large meals on most days and often don’t eat the first one until after midday. It’s a habit that’s crept into our routine over the past couple of weeks and one that we need to eliminate as soon as possible.
Obviously it’s fine to treat yourself to fast food, soda and cheese-drowned meals in moderation but we’ve been doing it all too regularly and it’s having a negative effect on our weight, our energy levels, our quality of sleep and ultimately our overall mood. The time to fix that is now!
Have you struggled with diet/weight issues while traveling or made the same mistakes as we did? How did you overcome them? Let us know in the comments!