Fast Food Choices that Won’t Blow Your Diet

fast food choices for dieters

I was checking out an article in this month’s Cooking Light magazine that suggested  some lighter fast food lunches.  I then found another on their website which discussed their picks for best fast food burger & sandwich choices.  While the choices looked great, some of restaurants were not available in my area.  I decided to browse the menus of the 3 major fast food burger giants and look for some general rule of thumb ways to eat there without consuming vast amounts of fat, calories and sodium.

In the end, one thing stood out as the biggest way to keep things in check, the K.I.S.S. principle (keep it simple stupid).  By avoiding super-sizing and the addition of mayonnaise and other high calorie condiments, bacon, extra cheese, etc., and sticking to the traditional hamburger (or even basic cheeseburger), numbers were reasonable.  Granted you would not want to live primarily on this, but the burgers our grandparents got through the drive-thru as kids are O.K. on occasion.  Also, don’t be shy about ordering a kids meal.  It isn’t like they will I.D. you, and the meals these days often come with apple slices and choice of beverage.

Not a burger person?  All the chains had grilled chicken sandwiches available, just keep the K.I.S.S. in mind here as well.   The same goes for salads.  A side salad with light dressing can make a burger seem more satisfying, but a dinner salad with fried chicken, bacon and high fat dressing can make a burger & small fries look like diet food, when you look at the actual numbers.  The salad shown in the graphic above is the half size Apple Pecan Chicken salad, from Wendy’s, one of the choices from the magazine this month.

Many times, we find ourselves out & in a hurry, but can’t wait to get home to eat.  Rather than trying to get a traditional meal from the Drive-thru, why not grab a value menu choice.  The Fruit & Yogurt Parfait from McDonald’s, a small cup of chili from Wendy’s or Smoothie from Burger King.

Since I work from home & enjoy cooking, I rarely get fast food.   It is good to know though, that if I’m in a pinch & need to make the stop, there are options which won’t blow my diet or give me a banging headache, from massive quantities of sodium.


    • says

      Wendy’s Chili is my fave! I have to get it any time we go there!

  1. says

    I like to order the salad and a burger, but toss the bread. That helps.

  2. says

    Good tips! We eat fast food more than I care to. Might as well minimize the impact!

  3. says

    I actually often find myself ordering a kids meal. Not only does it cut down on the calories and portion – it’s cheap :)

  4. says

    I love Wendy’s chili, but we don’t get fast food all that often, either. My kids won’t want anything healthy, so I usually opt to keep on driving most of the time.

  5. says

    I’ve found a lot of the fresco choices at Taco Bell are diet friendly.

  6. says

    I love the apple pecan chicken salad! And my husband and I always order just a plain (jr) burger whenever we do eat fast food.

  7. says

    I used to be crazy about Wendy’s chili! I wish they had a vegetarian version.

  8. says

    We very rarely eat fast food, but these tips would be great to remember for the occasional exception!

  9. says

    Those are great tips! I love cooking but we do eat out sometimes & it’s great to know there are healthier options. I’ll be keeping this in mind next time we go through the drive-thru!

  10. says

    I generally go for plain salads with grilled chicken, and I avoid the croutons. When it comes to dressing, I use vinaigrettes and dip my fork in it first (for each bite) rather than dousing my salad in it.

  11. says

    The Wendy’s chili is one of my go-to items when we’re forced to eat fast food. Plus, it means I get to eat at Wendy’s, because I love Wendy’s. :) I’ll often get a baked potato to go with it.

  12. says

    When out and in doubt I do wendy’s chili and a baked potato :)

  13. says

    I typically dislike ordering burgers out anywhere because I like mine very well done and no restaurant has ever cooked them to my satisfaction and I end up wasting it (I wouldn’t send something back more than once). I’d rather enjoy a burger my husband makes at home – his are the BEST. :) I usually order something chicken when eating fast food, but I do love Wendy’s chili. Been a long time since I had it too.

  14. says

    My local BK finally started carrying veggie burgers that are really filling. I can eat 1/2 of one and be FULL. Much better than a lot of the options.

  15. says

    I don’t eat a lot of fast food, so when I do, I make the worst choices. French fries and Frosty from Wendy’s is my fave, followed by Mc D’s fries.

  16. says

    I actually like the oatmeal that McDonald’s has for breakfast.

  17. says

    I love this. Sometimes it is hard to tell what would be best to eat when you are out. Salads definitely are not always the best.

  18. says

    when it comes to calories everything counts from the water, juice and dressing you put on your salad. I usually just dip my fork in dressing rather than pouring it all one

  19. says

    I love that you can still eat out and not blow your diet!

  20. Angela S says

    I like the chicken salad on wheat at Chick Fil A.

  21. says

    I love the salads from chick-fil-a and mcdonalds.

  22. says

    I have found that kids’ meals are usually the right portion size. I just wish that there was a greater variety of kids meals. Good post.

  23. says

    I love the Wendy’s Chili, it is really affordable and it does fill me up. I can eat just that and I am good to go! I really like the parfait at McDonalds too!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>