The Lowest Calorie Meals to Order in Restaurants
At times, eating fast food may seem like something inevitable, especially if you’re the type of person who is always on the go. You might find yourself in a tight spot where you choose between not eating and trying to fight against the hunger or stopping at a quick drive thru to satiate your needs. At the end of the day, it’s easy to assume that all fast food is unhealthy for you and although the majority of it is, there are plenty of different low calorie meals you can order.
Fast Food Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Unhealthy!
The first thing to remember is that fast food doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’re visiting Burger King or McDonald’s. You’d be surprised to learn that there are plenty of “fast food” establishments in your area that cater to particularly healthy people, such as juice bars or vegan eateries. All you have to do is conduct a little bit of research into cafes in your area that might have some healthy food that you’d love to try.
How to Order Healthier at Generic Fast Food Restaurants
1. Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
The first safe bet you can go with when it comes to places such as Wendy’s and Burger King is to opt for grilled chicken sandwiches instead of their typical hamburgers. You’ll also want to make sure the bun included with the sandwich won’t add an immense amount of sugars and carbs to your diet, as that’s only going to make the meal more calorie-rich.
The typical grilled chicken sandwich will net you around 360 calories with 32 g of protein and 6 g of fat.
2. Burrito Bowls
We all have that moment where we crave Americanized Mexican food, but it’s certainly not something that would fall within the criteria of your healthy eating plan, unless you’re particularly fussy with what you order. Sure, grabbing a tortilla wrap is very convenient (and quite easy to eat on the go) but it’s one of the least healthy things you can grab from a Mexican fast food restaurant.
Instead, your best bet is to opt for a burrito bowl, which gets rid of the need for a tortilla. You should choose fillings such as veggies, beans, salsa, lettuce, and chicken (or steak). Try to stay away from the overly fattening ingredients such as cheese, sour cream, and even guacamole.
On average, a burrito bowl can be as many as 460 calories with 46 g of protein and 15.5 g of fat.
3. High Quality Sandwiches
Even if you’re on a diet that requires you to eat very few carbs, you’re going to be far better off opting for a high quality sandwich or sub than dealing with mini hamburgers from an established chain. There are plenty of ways that you can get high quality sandwiches, whether you stop off at a small café or butcher, or even from Subway.
The important thing to remember is that although these sandwiches might be deemed as “healthy”, you should always opt for a 6-inch instead of a 12-inch, as you’ll only be consuming unnecessary carbohydrates. Also, ensure that you choose healthier breads such as 9-grain wheat instead of white. When it comes to toppings, you can typically choose from a wide variety of things but your best bet is to either opt for an entirely veggie sandwich or to add a little bit of turkey.
Depending on where you go, you can have a 6-inch turkey and vegetable sub for approximately 390 calories with 23 g of protein and 14 g of fat.
4. Veggie Burgers
As more and more people begin to express their need to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, some fast food restaurants, such as Burger King, have expanded their menu to include things such as veggie burgers. These specially designed patties are typically made out of bean curd and vegetables, but they are created to taste incredibly similar to your traditional idea of a beef patty.
However, it’s important to remember that not all veggie burgers are created equally and there are plenty of varieties that might have more calories than a grilled chicken sandwich or salad. It’s important that you pay special attention to the calorie counts beside all of the items on the menu to ensure that choosing a veggie burger is the right decision.
On average, a veggie burger will contain up to 390 calories, 21 g of protein, and 16 g of fat.
5. Chicken Wraps
If all else fails, there’s always the ability to choose a chicken wrap over the traditional grilled chicken sandwich, if you’re looking for a cool treat that’s easy to eat while commuting. Chicken wraps are also packed with a variety of interesting ingredients ranging from red cabbage to sliced carrots and they offer a phenomenal way to enjoy a protein-rich meal with little calories.
Another advantage to chicken wraps is they typically have substantially less sodium than other items on a fast food restaurant’s menu, which is also essential for reducing your calorie intake.
Depending on the restaurant you visit and how they prepare the chicken in their wraps, you will be consuming approximately 340 calories, 36 g of protein, and 13 g of fat.
6. Fast Food Salads
If there’s one thing that can be said about fast food restaurants it’s that, they typically have an extensive list of 3 to 5 salads that you can choose from. Although these salads might seem healthy at first glance, they can be packed with hidden calories. For example, you can order a taco salad from Wendy’s but it also comes with a full size chili, cheese, and sour cream.
When you’re ordering salads from a fast food place, ensure that you choose ones that come with low fat dressing and vegetables instead of focusing on unhealthy ingredients ranging from croutons to chips and dip on the side.
How to Choose Healthier Meals from Fast Food Restaurants
Aside from taking advantage of the above 6 options for low calorie meals from fast food restaurants, it’s always best to trust your gut and only choose meals that you think will fit in perfectly with your dieting plan. Although it’s always best to prepare a quick meal at home that you can eat while you’re traveling, it’s easy to tell what is and isn’t healthy from fast food places.