Would you like to save a few calories when you eat at fast food (or fast casual) restaurants?
Here are some easy small changes you can make that don’t drastically change your meal (and they don’t include skipping dessert or having a cup of broth instead of a burger).
Here are some suggestions:
- Pay very careful attention to sauce and dressings: “Special” sauces that top burgers, mayo, sour cream, and salad dressing are all high in calories and fat. The amount you get on your sandwich or salad often depends on the “hand” of the person pouring it on. So ask for the sauce or dressing on the side and add it yourself or dip (not dunk) sparingly
- Opt for chicken or fish as long as it’s not called crispy – which is just an alias for fried. Order it grilled, roasted, or broiled.
- Order your burger without bacon or cheese: One slice of bacon adds about 43 calories, but how many sandwiches come with only one slice? One slice of American cheese clocks in at 94 calories.
- Do you really need to have fries or onion rings? Skip them or order salad, fruit, or a baked potato with dressing/sauce/toppings on the side instead. If you absolutely must have fries, order a small or a kid’s size. Large fries can tack on around 500 calories.
- Avoid sweetened drinks: Soda isn’t the only sugary drink. Sweetened tea, sports drinks, non-diet flavored water, juice, flavored milk, and shakes fit the bill, too. A 12 ounce can of coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. Eight ounces of orange juice has 110 calories and 25 grams of carbs.
- In general, order regular instead of large sizes: It may seem like a good “value” but there are lots of extra calories, fat, and sugar in beefed up sizes.
- Avoid combo specials: they might have wallet appeal but you get, on average, 55% more calories for 17% more money. What’s more important, your waistline or your wallet?