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The Fast Food Struggle

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Ethan Quant. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.

I remember thinking I would never be able to give up fast food when I began my health, wellness and fitness journey. However, I firmly believed that if I wanted to have my dream body, I would need to break my addiction with burgers, fries, milkshakes, pizza, chicken wings and...well, you get the picture.

It was to the point that every weekend I would promise that I was starting fresh on Monday. This was my way of permitting myself to live a self-indulgent, unhealthy lifestyle on the weekend. Often this meant that I would eat poorly on the weekend – gorging myself full on all of the fried, fatty foods that I was about to say goodbye to forever... or so I had hoped.

Surely, Monday would arrive and I would get back to eating healthy food. Needless to say, by Wednesday afternoon I was at the drive-through window justifying my recurrent relapse. I gave myself reasons why it was OK to fail and accepted that I could never achieve my goal. I tried to make peace with that notion, telling myself, “real men don’t have abs of steel”. Then, after a couple of months of hollow self-acceptance, I was again convincing myself that I could attain my dream body. “Perhaps, if I could just quit the fast food cold turkey I would increase my chances for success”, I thought.

I didn’t know at the time, but I was setting myself up for continued failure. The truth is that I had no real chance of success, because like anything worthwhile, it takes time to change your lifestyle. Certainly, I was going about it all wrong. I was hoping for instant change, disregarding the process and failing at every turn.

Of course you know by now that I eventually found my way and was able to successfully overcome my addiction to fast food. I am going to share with you the secrets to my success, which really aren’t secrets at all.

1 Set realistic goals

Regardless of what anyone says, it’s OK to set your bar low, especially when you are just starting out. In fact, setting health, wellness and fitness goals that are attainable is a key element to being successful. This is very important when you are viewing it in the context of lifestyle modification and behaviour change. Therefore, if you are like I was and eat fast food every day, try limiting your indulgence to one or two days a week at first. Cutting it out abruptly would be difficult for most of us, so it’s best to start off small.

2 Don’t be so hard on yourself

As a person who has achieved a degree of success on this journey, I know all too well how hard it is to remain committed. The truth is that you are fighting against a very powerful and merciless machine of a fast food industry. Because of their seemingly unlimited marketing budgets, coupled with the addictive properties the foods are made with, breaking the habit is an uphill battle. Thus, in the event you find yourself at the drive-through window again, don’t be hard on yourself. It’s completely understandable that it is all a part of the process. Just recalibrate and get back to your health, wellness and fitness journey.

3 Adjust goals as needed

Let’s imagine that you set a goal to abstain from fast food for two days out of the week if you previously ate it every day. If you notice that you continue to fail at lasting the two days, adjust the goal to either one day, or simply skip eating the fries instead of the days. It’s OK to adjust your targets after you set them, and you are not less committed because of it. You want to put yourself in the best possible position to succeed.

Hopefully, you find this helpful. Remember, if you or anyone you know needs help with this process, feel free to reach out to me on social media @ethanquant.

• If you need help navigating any part of your health, wellness and fitness process, you can contact Ethan Quant at ethan@elite-wellnesssolutions.com or on Instagram at @ethanquant.

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