Today I thought I’d talk about something close to my heart. Fast food. Oh yeah, two four-letter F-words. You’d think that I had actually uttered something else the way people look at me when I tell them I still eat fast food. Two to three times a week…
OMG You Eat Fast Food?
You can too! You don’t have to feel horrible about hitting the drive-thru after a long day at the office, shuttling kids, drag racing, or winning a gold medal. It is easier than you might think to eat fast food and still lose weight and get healthy. And I’m going to tell you a little secret.
It’s not where you eat. It’s what you eat.
So here are 6 tips that the mister and I live by when enjoying our jaunts to our local drive-thrus for dinner.Remove the Buns
This is where the majority of your carbs are going to come from. Removing the bun from a burger reduces calories, carbs (including sugar), and a little bit of fat. You would be surprised how much of that stuff is in one little hamburger bun! If you hate the thought of eating a burger or chicken sandwich without a bun, then work your way up to it. Take off half the bun! A sesame seed bun from BK is 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 25 carbs. The same kind of bun from McDonald’s is 180 calories, 3 grams of fat and 33 carbs.
Play the eat this, not that game.
If you eat a bun, don’t eat fries. If you eat fries, don’t have a regular coke. When you opt for one item that will bring your meal into the 30-45 carb range, don’t get anything else that will increase it. I still get to indulge in fries because I don’t get buns. But if I REALLY want that bun, then I don’t get fries.
Chicken is your friend.
Most places these days offer chicken. And you can even have it fried! Just remember rule #2. If you get breaded or fried chicken, bye-bye potatoes or biscuit. Even places like KFC and Chick-Fil-A have grilled chicken options that keep the calorie count lower.
Ask if they have one of those soda machines with tons of options. You’ve seen them! Hundreds of soft drink options (because of the flavorings). But these machines often offer a lot of low or no calorie drink options beyond Diet Coke.
Plan what you are going to eat before you get to the drive-thru. Even if that means parking for a moment. MyFitnessPal is a fantastic, free way to check the nutritional values of anything you want to order. Before you get in the car, type in your favorite restaurant and search their menu and nutrition. Having a plan before you order means not only are you sure to get a meal you want, without having to worry about if you can “afford” to eat it on your diet, but it also has the added benefit of making ordering easier and faster.
Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutes and special orders!
No one likes to be “that” customer. You know, the one who orders three McDoubles with no pickles and no buns (I’m looking at you, hubby). You just know the cashier is silently judging you while you hope they don’t screw up your order. But you know what? They are used to it! A lot of people order weirder things than a sandwich with no bun. I always ask to sub mayo for the nasty vinaigrette everyone is using these days. And you can always order the sandwich normally and just toss the bun if you have the willpower.
It is true that fast food isn’t the healthiest thing out there, but when you are used to eating it frequently, it can be difficult to cut it out completely, or quickly. It is fully possible to still enjoy your favorite foods without ruining your progress.
Daily Dose of Music: