With so many tempting high-calorie food options at our disposal, it can be really tough to eat healthy all the time in our modern world. The problem is compounded if you’re short on time or money, or you have a car full of hungry kids. For these reasons, many people end up turning to fast food for fuel, even when they are trying to watch their weight. Fortunately, most fast food establishments are aware of the demand for healthy options and offer some meals that aren’t too heavy in fat or calories. Use the following guide, organized by fast food restaurant, to find healthy and filling meal options for when you’re on the go.
Meal 1: Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich and Fruit & Walnuts (560 calories)
The 350-calorie Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich offers 18 g protein, 9 g fat (including 2 g saturated), 42 g carbs, and 820 mg sodium. The bun is made with 8 g of whole grain, adding 3 g of dietary fiber. Leave off the mayo and reduce the calorie and fat content by 50 and 6 g, respectively. Add Fruit & Walnuts as a side for more fiber, protein, and deliciousness for another 210 (mostly healthy) calories.
Meal 2: Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (with low-fat dressing) and Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait (470 calories)
McDonalds’ healthiest salad, the Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken, has 290 calories, 27 g protein, 8 g fat (including 2.5 g saturated), and 650 mg sodium. Note that this is without dressing. Add Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing for just 30 more calories (and 3 g fat). For desert, try the wholesome Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait, adding 150 calories and 2 g fat (1 g saturated).
Meal 3: Veggie Burger and Garden Salad (450 calories)
Vegetarians take note: Burger King is the only fast good chain that offers a veggie burger, and it is pretty darn tasty, served up with lettuce, tomatoes, red unions, ketchup and mayo. Even omnivores can appreciate the BK Veggie Burger’s lean nutrition label, which includes 410 calories, 21 g protein, 48 g carbs, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), and 960 mg sodium. You can add a Garden Salad for only 40 more calories. Leave off the mayo from the veggie burger and add half a packet of Light Italian Dressing to the salad to get the same total calorie count.