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We won't lie: Fast food is plenty delicious. And it's easy and often cheap. And, of course, it's fast. All of those things make it really hard for most of us to give it up. So if going without the Golden Arches isn't realistic for you, start by simply swapping in one healthy meal that you plan or make at home for one fast-food stop as often as you can manage.  Some people will be able to make the swap once a day; for other people it'll be once a week or once a month. It all counts--and you have to start somewhere.

The reasons why planned meals you make yourself (ideally using the whole, unprocessed foods you learned about in Swap #3) are better than fast food is that they are very likely to be lower in calories, fat, sodium, and extra chemicals you don't want. By bringing a sandwich for lunch, or eating breakfast at home instead of having a Denny's Grand Slam, you are controlling what you're putting into your body.

Try, too, to pay attention to how you feel after you eat fast food. These meals are usually so processed that while the food may fill you up for a bit, you're likely to feel hungry again very soon, causing you to eat more. This also means that this fast, processed food usually won't keep you going long enough to give you energy for your workouts.

This is one of 10 swaps you can make that will get your eating on track and give you enough energy to fuel your workouts. If you make all 10 swaps, you'll be well on your way to a healthy diet.


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McDonald's photo courtesy of Tony Fischer/Flickr