In late 2011, I made the decision to quit eating fried meat. This led to leaving fried food in general. To this day, I have kept up the commitment. Here’s how it happened, and some tips for you to do the same.
Around November 2011, I was at a supermarket, picking up groceries for the month. Just as I was on my way to the checkout counter, I realized that I had forgotten a favorite food: fried chicken. As I went down that aisle, it occurred to me that not only did I forget, I hadn’t eaten fried chicken in a while. Or fries, for that matter, which was also a favorite for most of my life.
Everybody knows that fried food is bad for us. What most people don’t know is how to kick the habit when bad food often tastes so good. So I figured that I might as well keep the unintentional momentum going and stop eating fried food altogether. Just like that, these longtime parts of my balanced lunch and dinner – plus onion rings, mozzarella sticks, etc. — were gone.
That’s not to say that I was perfect the whole time. There are foods that I didn’t know were fried until years after my commitment. I do a lot of walking around, so I tend to stop for a snack or two. Nacho chips were a common snack. And we sometimes have donuts at my business team meetings. Until fairly recently, I thought all donuts were baked. At least I kept the core commitment of no fried meat or french fries.
One of my colleagues has an awesome health brand called Healthy is Sexy. We were at a health restaurant, where she introduced me to oven-baked fries, which led to a funny moment where she tried to talk me into tasting them. I asked why, if they’re baked and not fried, the food is still called “fries.” The speechless look on her face was priceless! Anyway, the fries were great. And it’s been so long since I’ve had fries that I’m in no hurry to start eating them again. So it was a win-win in the sense that I ate something new, and I didn’t break.
My colleague also taught me about frying with coconut oil. Coconut oil is the healthiest oil you can fry food with. It’s the stuff people use in most fast food restaurants that makes fried food so bad.
And yes, I ate some of her coconut oil fried food.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what to say to those of you who want to know how to quit fried foods. I still don’t know what led to my disinterest. What I can do is give you some pointers.
One thing that helps me keep the commitment is to substitute the fried food with something that tastes similar. For those who need a fried chicken fix, there’s always baked and grilled. Mozzarella sticks were good, but string cheese sticks are great. There are baked chips and baked fries (bakes? French bakes? WHY do they still call them fries?!). After a while, you won’t even miss the fried counterparts.
Cutting some foods out of your diet also causes you to open your mind to new stuff. When I first began the commitment, I made a habit of buying one new food every time I went grocery shopping. I also had a habit of going out to eat every so often and ordering something I’ve never eaten before. Would you be open to doing the same? All-you-can-eat buffets are perfect for the latter, as you can take small samples of lots of new foods without paying for or wasting food you don’t like.
Make a nice day!