Perhaps it’s your less-than-flexible road-trip partner who is providing the car, the driving and the eating choices, which means you’re stuck with fast food, sugar packets, or nothing at all.
Or, we’ve all been to long concerts or sporting events that prohibit outside food, and there are also those rare occasions when you’re just too busy for anything beyond the convenience of fast food (hmmm, let’s see—fast food, or a bag of Styrofoam packing peanuts with ketchup packets for lunch? Decisions decisions!).
But, no matter the reason for partaking in all of fast food’s sugar, trans fats, sodium and weird chemicals, your thought process at the ordering window is always the same: how do I do the least amount of damage to my eating program and still feel satisfied? After all, the industry is known for packing in the calories.
For instance, while a Burger King Whopper with cheese and medium fries may seem like little more than a quick snack, that “quick snack” contains around 1210 calories—and most of them come from saturated fats and simple carbohydrates.
So, rather than winging it and hoping for the best the next time your buddy with the car insists on yet another visit to Bob’s Bulging Grease Burgers, try these tips to help you save calories and stay healthy.
Fast Food, High Protein and Other Hidden Surprises
Despite the unhealthy nature of fast food, it can be a surprisingly good source of protein, which of course is good since protein is what you need for lean muscle and calorie efficiency.
However, the terms fast food, low-fat and low calorie are rarely used synonymously, which means you need to look beyond protein content when you order. This includes minding fat, sugar and all other sources of “hidden” calories, most of which fast food restaurants either have posted on their menus, or on their website.
For instance, does the burger you are thinking of ordering come with sauces that can be omitted to reduce calories? Remember too that many sauces contain ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup (ketchup is one of the worst offenders), and even salads can come with enough calorie-dense dressing to nullify much of their nutritional benefit.
This means you need to include all sides, sauces and dressings rather than just what is listed on the basic version of what you’re ordering. Of course, in the event of there being no nutritional information available, use common sense and stick with the basic burger with limited sauces rather than ordering the Super Greasy Bacon Bomb with everything, hold the lettuce.
Likewise, look for options which would naturally be healthier, such as a chicken sandwich or chef’s salad. Keep in mind though that while most of the time a chicken or fish sandwich is the healthier option, if it is deep fried, the advantage goes out the window.
In fact, due to the added calories and trans fats deep frying produces, it is best to just stay away from anything deep fried on the menu, no matter how good it tastes!
However, just because food is “fast” doesn’t mean you have to pick and choose through menu items in search of the lesser of two evils, since there is another option when it comes to healthy fast food.
“Fast” Food Can be Healthy Food
While you can find menu items in fast food restaurants that are both satisfying and low calorie, almost none of it is genuinely good for you. This is because fast food is designed to deliver maximum calories for the lowest cost, which usually means using loads of processed, unhealthy ingredients.
However, at Eat Rite Foods we don’t believe “fast” food needs to be unhealthy food at all. In fact, while we may not have a drive-through complete with enormous clown to shout your order into, we do have the next BETTER thing: real, chef-prepared meals made from fresh, whole, never-processed ingredients that you can pick up or have delivered at your convenience.
And, with full disclosure of all calories, carbs, fats and proteins along with options to fit most eating programs, we remove the guesswork of eating out.
So, forget greasy fast food, ketchup packets or packing peanuts and instead, give us a call.
We’re here to help.