Before I started Eat This, Not That!, I worked at a KFC.There were a lot of steps in between, of course, but KFC was a great place for a fast-food addict like myself. Still, being on the inside taught me a lot about how fast-food companies operate, and most of what I learned was kind of…creepy.See, for fast food companies, it actually pays to sell us more food for less money. We think we’re getting a bargain when we order the combo meal; in fact, it costs just pennies for a chain to produce the actual food that’s coming out of the window. The real costs are in the marketing, so the more money they can wring from each purchase, the better — regardless of how many empty calories they have to stick in the bag.Here are some of the secrets the fast-food industry doesn’t want you to know. Learn them, lose weight and then don’t miss these new 50 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds—Fast
They want to be in charge of what you order
At hamburger chains, “combination meals” make up a whopping 31 percent of all purchases. The average combo packs 1,200 calories, and about ⅓ of those are from predetermined sides that the chain decided on for you.
They all taste the same for a reason
Ever notice how different parts of a fast-food meal kinda taste the same? The burger, the fries, the onion rings, even the shake—they all taste like “fast food.” That’s because they’re all calibrated to appeal to our tastebuds in a way that inspires us to keep eating—not too meaty, not too vegetable-like. The part of our brains called the hypothalamus that responds to food evolved to crave a variety of sweet, salty, and bitter tastes, so we would munch on a variety of foods. But fast food is designed to satisfy all of these taste desires, so you never crave anything else (like a grapefruit, for example).