Make healthy fast food choices

fast foodWith our busy lifestyles, it can be hard to find time to prepare and eat a meal at home. When we are on the go, it is easy to stop by a fast food restaurant and pick up a meal.  These fast food restaurants can be quick and easy, but are not always the best for us.

Many experts advise to avoid fast food completely, but sometimes there are no other options. So if you are in one of those situations where fast food is your only choice, follow these simple guidelines for eating healthy at a fast food restaurant.

  • Drink water with your meal. By swapping out a regular soda for water, you can save about 425 calories and reduce your sugar intake. To add a little flavor to your water add some lemon or have unsweetened tea, if it’s an option.
  • Special order. Order condiments on the side, like mayonnaise, dressing and spreads.  This way you can control the amount of sauce you use on your food. This will allows you to avoid high-calorie sauces on your food.
  • Avoid supersized portions. Order smaller meals if possible, since most fast food meals can average 1,000 calories or more. Take half of your meal home or divide the meal with someone else.
  • Avoid adding bacon. Although it is appealing to add bacon to salads or sandwiches, it has very little nutritional value and is high in fat. Instead try adding pickles, onions, tomatoes, or lettuce for extra flavor.
  • Smart swaps. Craving a chicken sandwich? Try a grilled chicken salad instead with the dressing on the slide. This site gives great healthy alternatives to your fast food favorites.

Following these guidelines while eating at a fast food restaurant will help you make better decisions. If you know you will not have time to prepare a meal and will have to rely on fast food, plan ahead. Planning ahead can keep you from overeating or making poor decisions while at the restaurant.

Before going to out to eat, choose a fast food restaurant that has healthy options, such as allowing you to swap fries for applesauce or a soft drink for milk. Look at the fast food restaurant’s website for the nutritional information of its meals; this will let you to make smart decisions when ordering. Make healthy choices the rest of the day if you know you will be eating out. Try to walk an extra 15 minutes or swap your morning doughnut for low-fat yogurt and fruit.

Do you have any tips on how to eat healthy at fast food restaurants? Please share so we can all stay healthy while eating out!

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