Fast food is not everyday food!

February 28, 2007 11:39 PM

Hungry Jack's Double Bacon Cheeseburger

Reading about YC’s amazing daily diet got me thinking of my own weakness for fast food. I thought I’d do a quantitative analysis of it. I’ll start with an approximation of the energy that I should be burning up on any given day.

10 mins walking dog
+ 10 mins of other walking during the day combined
+ 10 mins light weight exercise
+ 10 mins cardio stuff
+ miscellaneous activities

+ 16 hours of being awake

~ approx. 5733kJ (1365 cal)
(ref: Healthy Weight Forum, Men’s Fitness)

Now, let’s break down some of my fast food indulgences. First, one of my all time favourite burgers.

Hungry Jack’s (BK) Double Bacon Cheese Deluxe Meal
Double Bacon Deluxe Burger – 2930kJ
Regular Fries – 1565 kJ
Medium Coke – 817 kJ

~ 5312 kJ (1265 cal)
(ref: Hungry Jack’s – burger, fries, coke)

KFC's Chicken

Original recipe KFC!

KFC 2-Piece Feed
2 pcs of original recipe chicken – 1886kJ
Regular potato & gravy – 329 kJ
Regular chips – 1296kJ
Dinner bun – 300kJ
375ml Pepsi – 737kJ

~ 3811kJ (907 cal)
(ref: KFC, Choice Australia)


McChicken Medium Value Meal
McChicken Burger – 1750kJ
Medium Fries – 1540kJ
Medium Coke – 612kJ

~ 3902kJ (929 cal)
(ref: McDonald’s Australia)


6 inch Chicken Parmigiana
6″ Chicken Parmigiana Roll with cheese – 1940kJ

~ 1940kJ (462 cal)
(Ref: Subway)

Fried Kuey Teow

And for comparison to some favourite South-East Asian hawker foods …

Chicken Rice – 2585kJ (615 cal)
Nasi Lemak w/ Chicken – 3682kJ (877 cal)
Fried/Char Kway Teow – 3104 kJ (739 cal)
Curry/Lemak Laksa – 2456kJ (585 cal)
Ramli Burger – scarily high?!

Teh-tarik – rough approximation 472kJ (112 cal)


So as you can see, a lunch consisting any of the above plus beverage and a dessert could easily account for nearly three quarters of my daily burn rate. Eating at Hungry Jack’s would account for almost my entire day’s energy needs! And that’s just one meal!

The lesson – fast food is not everyday food. It almost shouldn’t be once-a-day food either. They would be ok if they keep you feeling full but many of the items above don’t. So we end up piling on more food or snack in between meals to stop the hunger.

And we’ve only been talking about the energy content here. There’s also the sugar, salt and saturated fat content that these foods contain. Having a lot of that ain’t good for the body either.

My personal regime besides having fast foods a maximum of three times a week, involves keeping to three meals a day (unless I’m on holidays!), snacking on fruits instead of biscuits, chocolates and salty tidbits, and exercising.

Having said all that, I still love my fast food. Because damn it, they are oh so tempting and delicious. My mouth watered all the way whilst I was typing this out. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Fast food is not everyday food!

  1. BigZapfer

    Yet one more reason to love Char Kway Teow and Hoe Fun (sp?) 😉

    I think the problem is that all fast food is made on an industrial scale so they have to use allot of cheap ingredients and easy to use cooking process. This makes it cost effective and allows them to be massed produced quickly and easy, but making a healthy and balanced meal is a last consideration. As you pointed out this makes fast food high in not just energy but bad fats, salt, sugar etc and low in useful stuff like proteins, vitamins, good fats etc. This means the products tend to taste really good because your body doesn’t usually have access to them in such large quantiles, it also makes them addictive as your body begins to adjust to such high levels of bad stuff, which it likes.

    Ironically the icon of unhealthy food, the hamburger can be quiet heath. Get yourself a wholemeal bun, a lean chicken / meat burger, grill it, a poached egg, bang on some tomato sauce and mustered and a big helping of salad and away you go. This approach makes it a bit more expensive and takes longer to make, hence it wouldn’t really work as fast food and thats the source of the problem, if it ain’t cheap and fast, it ain’t fast food (mind you subway does alright 😉 )

    I think Asian food is probably a bit healthier because the cooking style lends its self better to being used in a commercial sense. The cooking process is fast and you don’t need the best ingredients to get a good, healthy meal. Plus theres no bread and cheese/cream in the bulk of Asian cooking, from what I know anyway which keeps fat and carbs down.

    Me I’ll stick to subways and Kway Teows and use good ingredients and take some time to cook it right, btw thanks man, now I’m hungry 😉

  2. girlstar7

    Fast food a maximum of 3 times a week, that’s A LOT!! I only eat it if I’m drunk/hung-over otherwise I don’t really crave it. I’d prefer to eat something more healthy like sushi. But the morning after a big night drinking…yep I feel like nothing more than a burger and fries! yum yum!

  3. BigZapfer

    To Girlstar7 thats one of the best ways round a hang over, eats lots of solid food, helps your body process the booze in your blood more efficiently. Think I saw that on brainiac ;D

  4. DeV|LisH

    During uni years i tend to settle for fast food. But now? when back at home i don’t have the CHANCE as mama sure nag so cut it down till once every 2 weeks only >.

  5. mooiness Post author

    BigZapher: dude, I don’t think you read my list correctly – SE Asian hawker foods ain’t exactly healthy either. We don’t eat that stuff everyday. And Subway, although slightly better than most fast foods ain’t all “lean cuisine” like its ads make them out to be.

    girlstar7: yeah alcohol and greasy food goes together VERY well. Provided you are not already throwing it up. Woohoo! And yes I crave fast food. I work it off though. 🙂

    Devilish: wow once every 2 weeks. that’s good discipline.

    shelly: hahah at least I hope I’ve made you think about why it’s so easy to put on weight if we are not careful.

  6. sourrain

    i *heart* mcdonalds’ breakfast
    and kfc
    and char koay teow
    and nasi lemak (doh)
    and chicken rice
    and i think im going to faint from hunger..

    you need to followup on a list of healthy but delish food – not sure where u gonna find like..


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