Over the next few weeks, I am excited to present some of my “go-to” fast food options because, well… Like you, I am an average human, and sometimes, the drive-thru means survival. Some days it’s just too busy, and you elect for fast food, or maybe you occasionally love the taste of a McDonald’s French fries. First, one fast food meal will not ruin your nutrition and fitness goals, but there are healthier options to consider when your only option is to eat fast food. Your weight-loss journey or fitness goals do not mean you should swear off all fast food forever, even though some articles and posts you may read say the opposite. It’s about balance, and I am here to talk about “real life.” Here are a few tips to consider when eating fast food to help you stay on track with your nutrition and fitness goals.
Choose grilled items.
Fried and breaded foods are very high in calories and fat, so it’s best to choose grilled options when eating fast food. Some examples of ways I opt for grilled items when eating fast food are choosing grilled chicken from Chick-fil-A, grilled chicken sandwich at Wendy’s, or grilled teriyaki chicken at Panda Express.
Choose healthier side dishes.
Many fast food restaurants offer alternative side items to choose from. Choose healthier side items such as exchanging french fries for a side salad, fruit, corn, steamed rice, or yogurt bowl. Adding some vegetables to your fast food salad or as a side will help you get some nutrients and minerals.
Keep portion sizes smaller.
Most fast food restaurants offer different sizes of sandwiches and side items. For example, choose the small cheeseburger or fries instead of the large one. Ordering smaller portions will keep you accountable without having the option to overeat.
Rethink your drink
Sodas contain a very high amount of sugar which adds up those calories. Large sodas can have up to 400 calories. If you’re in the mood for something besides water, try unsweetened tea, sparkling, or flavored water without added sugars.
It is all about perspective when it comes to your nutrition. Just like eating highly healthy for one day will not show results immediately, the same goes for eating an unhealthy or, as I say, “not as nutritious” meal. One unhealthy meal will not ruin your nutrition and fitness progress, so do not be so hard on yourself. This takes time and consistency. Put that last unhealthy meal behind and move towards healthier eating habits by trying these tips when eating fast food.
If you need that support for behavior change and don’t know where to start, let’s chat!