by Matt Weik
Just because you want to grab a quick bite to eat while on the go doesn’t mean you have to completely blow your diet. In fact, if you make wise choices, you don’t need to feel bad at all for hitting a fast food restaurant. Unlike most people, you won’t be ordering the hypertension special with a side of diabetes. Instead, you’ll be ordering the clean gains with a side of abs.
Don’t believe the hype that all fast food choices are bad for you. I should know, I ate at tons of fast food restaurants when I was traveling every week for MET-Rx. And guess, what, I was still lean thanks to the choices I made—or rather, the modifications I made to the meals. This article will showcase some ways for you to grab a quick bite to eat at a fast food restaurant while you are out of town or on the go. Utilize these tips to keep your waistline and gains in check.
1. Lettuce burger
If I was in the mood for a burger (it didn’t matter what chain I stopped at), I would order a burger—no regret. Rather than getting the carb-filled version, I would ask them to substitute lettuce for the bun. Not only did it give me some green leafy vegetables for the day, but it also eliminated a huge percentage of the carbohydrates I would have consumed in that meal. The lettuce bookends of my sandwich actually added a nice crunch to the burger yet still kept everything nice and tidy in between both leaves.
2. Skip the bun all together
When I wanted to use my carbs wisely, I would hit up a fast food restaurant and get a burger or grilled chicken sandwich sans bun to keep my carbohydrates lower. There are even some places like Chick-Fil-A where I could order just a plain grilled chicken breast and only be charged for that item. It wasn’t like I would purchase a sandwich at full price and then toss the bread in the trashcan, ultimately tossing away money. Save money and weight gain by asking at the register if you can just order the protein source by itself.
3. Choose your sides wisely
I don’t think I need to remind you how terrible French fries are. If you have ever watched the documentary Super Size Me you would know what happened to the McDonald’s French fries. Let’s just say they were just fine sitting out for several months without any mold growth or discoloration at all. So, skip the fries. Here’s an easier way to remember what NOT to choose as a side—if it’s fried, skip it. That means no hash browns, no fries, no mozzarella sticks, etc. Most fast food restaurants now have quite a few healthy options to choose from. Some of these are side salads, fruit, and yogurt. Pick whichever sounds the most appetizing to you at the time and run with it.
4. Skip the soda
We all know that soda is simply empty calories with no real nutritional value. In fact, soda is a huge reason why many American’s are overweight due to overconsumption. You don’t have to be part of that statistic because almost every fast food restaurant out there has bottled water or the availability of a glass of water if you preferred that. If you preferred something with a little more flavor, order an unsweetened tea. You can either drink it plain or you can doctor it up a little with some Stevia or Splenda and even some lemon.
5. Double protein
A simple way to get in more protein for the meal would be to double the protein. This could beef, chicken, fish, sausage, whatever you choose. Most restaurants will gladly charge you a little extra for the extra slab of protein, but it won’t break the bank in the grand scheme of things.
6. Don’t feel bad asking for a special order
Never feel bad for asking to have your food made a certain way. You don’t need all the condiments that are put on many fast food items. For that reason, don’t think twice about asking them to hold the sauce, dressing, etc. if you don’t want it on your food. Not only will it be made the way you want, but it will be made without all the extra calories as well.
7. Cut the cheese
No, we aren’t talking about farts, we are talking about actual cheese. If you are looking to lower the calorie content of your meal, drop the cheese from the meal. This can be on a sandwich or even your salad if you go that route. The calories from cheese can add up fast and for that reason, it’s recommended to skip it if you are trying to drop body fat.
8. Think thin
Pizza is a food many consider a cheat food. While they are correct, you can still have it without too much regret. Rather than grabbing yourself a large deep dish, go for a thin crust. You can save a boatload of calories going this route and remember, you don’t need to eat the whole thing!