Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

Handling Fast Food Menus

Posted on: May 7, 2010

I was just reading this article on Yahoo about some of the better choices you can make at fast food restaurants. Some of the author’s suggestions are great but I’m sure there are many additional ways to survive the evils of fast food. I’ll share some of my tips here and would love to hear your suggestions so please comment!

As I mentioned in my post about weekend challenges, planning is key. Knowing how to navigate fast food menus will save you when you find yourself in a situation where the quickie-chains are your only option.

My fast food go-tos are:

At the standard world-wide joints (McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s), you can usually order a 5-6 piece chicken nugget. At all three of these establishments, the nuggets clock in at approximately 50 calories each (or 1 weight watcher point). Score a serving of the nugs and a side/garden salad with just veggies. Top the salad with cut up nuggets and you have yourself a seemingly indulgent fried chicken salad for about 250 calories. Make sure you count any dressing you add. I love BBQ sauce and will fork-dip the BBQ for an extra point or so.

Similar to my nugget-trick, the side salad works wonders to expand the volume of your otherwise high-calorie foods. If I find myself at a pizza joint, One slice will go much further when cut up and placed on top of a salad. The grease and cheese is flavorful enough to replace the need for dressing. This pizza salad takes longer to eat than shoveling in a few slices. And, as you fork the pizza and lettuce goodness into your mouth you’ll realize you’re full much faster than the hand-held pizza slices that seem to disappear in seconds.

How about delis? That’s another place where you can mange pretty well. I either choose regular bread or a low carb wrap if they have that option. If a hoagie roll is my only carby choice, I will rip out the roll innards once I get my sandwich. There is usually far too much bread in these things. I stick to turkey, chicken, or ham (but roast beef is usually safe too) and avoid salami and other fatty meats. Then I load up on the veggies. I love pickles. Getting extra pickles gives my sammy that extra kick and eliminates the need for cheese and sauces.

The popularity of quickie-Mexican joints seems to be rising as well. These are some of my favorite places but can be dangerous if you are unprepared. The tortilla alone at Chipotle contains 330 calories and nearly 7 weight watcher points. Almost all of these eateries will let you forgo the floury wrapping and will serve you your choice of protein in a bowl or over a bed of lettuce. These places will cater to your selection and plop them in a bowl for you. Tips: black beans are a better choice than rice; chicken is usually your safest meat choice; skip the cheese and sour cream, the meat is already flavorful enough; load up on salsa, it’s practically calorie-free. And don’t forget, these things are usually ginormous. You don’t have to eat the whole thing.

Happy chewing!


1 Response to "Handling Fast Food Menus"

I LOVED this post! So very helpful and it reminds us that we CAN make better choices at fast food joints w/o feeling deprived!

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"


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