You know the drill. Wake-up early to get on the road for your summer road trip. Drive and drive until you need to fill up the gas tank and fuel-up a little yourself. You pull-off the road and...surprise (not surprised)...you’re surrounded by a fast-food festival. That road meal doesn’t have to ruin your journey to better health. Before you order your quickie meal, take a minute to strategize, and you’ll come away feeling confident in your choices.
Save Your Cheat Day With These Tips For Eating Fast Food On the Go
Survey Your Surroundings.
When you enter a fast-food place, look to see if they’ve posted a calorie count of their menu items. More and more places are providing this service. Take your time. Do your math and piece together a plate before you get in line.
Don’t Dig-in to All That’s Big!
If a restaurant tries to upsell with portion size, don’t take the bait! Portion size can be the sneaky culprit of a high calorie count. Likewise, if a restaurant has a particularly popular dish, that doesn’t mean it’s the best dish for you. Order what fits your long-range plan, not just what is cheap or the fad of the day.
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Even if your meal comes with a free soda, don’t take it. Choose water, black coffee, milk or unsweetened tea instead. Sodas, coffee drinks, shakes and sugared juices are calorie bombs. Diet sodas are chemical bombs. Hydrate your body (and brain) wisely.
Does the salad dressing come on the side? What exactly is the special sauce on the chicken sandwich? Don’t be shy to ask questions and see if you can customize your order a bit. Yes, it’s fast food. But, it’s not 1974 anymore. Most restaurants accommodate simple requests to modify standard dishes.
On that note… Seek Substitutions. If the kiddie meal includes fruit slices instead of fries, ask if you can swap things out in your meal deal too. The worst they can tell you is “No.” If the kid’s meal offers the portions and variety you want, consider ordering that instead!
The Great News is fast food options vary nationwide, but some of the more popular places like Panera, Noodles and Company, Chipotle and Subway have healthy legumes, vegetables and un-fried options galore. It’s not too difficult to piece together well-rounded, healthy meals in many fast food chains. Even chains, like McDonald’s, that used to be notorious for high calorie, meat-based meals have stepped up to the plate and provide plenty of options for various nutrition needs. For example, McDonald’s has yogurt, fruit, salads and leaner meats on its menu too and uses healthier cooking oils than it has in the past.
So, don’t panic when you pull-off the exit ramp. But proceed with a little caution. It isn’t difficult these days to eat healthy and fast if you exercise calmness and common sense.