10 Best Fast Food Choices For Dieters
Over recent years many popular fitness beliefs have been proven to be misconceptions. One of the most common misnomers that still exists today is that you must eat only foods traditionally defined as “clean.” These foods include chicken breasts, broccoli, brown rice, sweet potatoes and egg whites.
The truth of the matter is that fat loss, like many things in life, is a numbers game. If your maintenance caloric level is 2,500 calories and you eat 2,000 calories worth of Big Macs, you will still lose weight (though your lack of micronutrients may hurt you in the long run).
On the other hand, if you eat 3,000 calories of chicken, eggs, and broccoli you will gain weight. While both options are considered extremes, eating a variety of micronutrient dense foods combined with macronutrient friendly items will allow you to stay on your diet without feeling all of the constraints that generally come along with a strict “clean” diet.
Eating a salad for every meal won’t make you ripped or shredded, just as eating pizza won’t kill your diet if consumed in moderation.
But not all of us can bring prepackaged food in Tupperware containers for every meal of every day. Let’s say your coworkers want to grab lunch, or your girlfriend insists she wants to leave the house and eat out. The following are a list of some macronutrient friendly food items found at your favorite national restaurant chains that won’t kill you diet.
Choice #1 – McDonald’s Egg White Delight McMuffin
- Calories – 250
- Fat – 8g
- Carbs – 30g
- Protein – 18g
Let’s start with the most notorious of fast food restaurants: McDonald’s. While many of your common McValue items contain exorbitant amounts of fat, the Egg White Delight is a solid option to start your day with. It is better than reaching for the Apple Fritter or Bagel with Cream Cheese.
Choice #2 – Burger King Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich w/o Mayo
- Calories 290
- Fat – 6g
- Carbs – 33g
- Protein – 29g
Your buddies opt to grab Double Whoppers at lunch. Instead, you slyly order the Tendergrill and nobody even flinches. With 29g of protein, it’s a solid way to get some protein while keeping the fat content low.
Just because you’re losing weight doesn’t mean your dietary life has to be confined to plastic containers filled with dry chicken breast and steamed broccoli.
Choice #3 – Taco Bell Fresco Chicken Soft Taco
- Calories – 140
- Fat – 3.5g
- Carbs – 16g
- Protein – 10g
Put down that Crunchwrap Supreme! These fresco soft tacos from Taco Bell are low enough in calories that you can eat 2 or 3 and not leave feeling guilty. With low fat, moderate carb and moderate protein, these tacos allow you to leave the dry chicken breast behind at home. Top with some fire sauce to add some flavor.
Choice #4 – Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Calories – 320
- Fat – 5g
- Carbs – 40g
- Protein – 30g
Enjoy a chicken sandwich that is both filling and macronutrient friendly. Top with some 10 calorie buffalo sauce and you won’t be missing wing Wednesdays any longer.
Choice #5 – Carl’s Jr Original Grilled Chicken Salad
- Calories – 280
- Fat – 12g
- Carbs – 26g
- Protein – 18g
A lot of salads commonly found at fast food restaurants contain high amounts of fat and little micronutrient value. This salad on the other hand contains grilled chicken breast with an assortment of vegetables, including tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and a mix of lettuces. This helps you get in your micros. Top with some tasty low fat balsamic dressing to finish it off.
Choice #6 – Jack in the Box Grilled Chicken Strips
- Calories – 250
- Fat – 7g
- Carbs – 5g
- Protein – 43g
Are you on a low carb diet and looking for a protein rich source in a pinch? Look no further than these grilled chicken strips. They will knock out a good portion of your daily protein intake. Dip in some mustard or Frank’s Red Hot to add some low calorie flavor to your meal.
Choice #7 – Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
- Calories – 230
- Fat – 6g
- Carbs – 28g
- Protein – 13g
Before you order that Grande Caramel Frappucino, consider picking up this breakfast sandwich for 50 calories less. This sandwich is a low calorie, low fat item to help kick start your morning and won’t make or break the rest of your diet for the day.
Choice #8 – Subway 6” Inch Subway Club
- Calories 310
- Fat 4.5g
- Carbs 46g
- Protein 23g
Looking for some variety in your lunch? The Subway Club contains turkey breast, roast beef, and Black Forest ham in one sandwich, along with veggies of your choice to keep your daily vitamins and minerals in check. Top with fat-free honey mustard to give it that extra kick.
Fat loss is a numbers game. If your maintenance caloric level is 2,500 calories and you eat 2,000 calories worth of Big Macs, you will still lose weight.
Choice #9 – El Pollo Loco Ultimate Double Chicken Salad
- Calories 340
- Fat 10g
- Carbs 20g
- Protein 47g
This Mexican-inspired salad contains a double portion of fire-grilled chicken along with pico de gallo and an assortment of veggies packed high in micronutrients and protein. You can’t go wrong with this as an alternative lunch item.
Choice #10 – Del Taco Al Carbon Steak Taco
- Calories 150
- Fat 4g
- Carbs 22g
- Protein 9g
Feeling like you need a little steak in your diet without emptying your wallet or breaking your diet? Go grab a couple of these Al Carbon Steak tacos to satisfy your Taco Tuesday urges. Top with any hot sauce and your lunch is good to go!
Just because you’re losing weight doesn’t mean your dietary life has to be confined to plastic containers filled with dry chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Don’t be the guy that is always left out at lunch because he’s “eating clean.”
Although meal prepping is always a sure fire way to succeed and reach your nutrition goals, these options available at any of your national fast food franchises will aide you in sticking to your goals while still being able to leave the office.
Don’t eat “clean”… eat smart and retain your sanity!
Editor’s note: Looking for another solid meal option that is quick, easy and nutritious? MTS Macrolution meal replacement is fiber-rich, contains high quality healthy fats and has 21 grams of protein per serving.