Day in and day out, we are surrounded by fast food restaurants that open early and stay open late. Fast food joints also tend to have coupons, bundles, or combos that have very appealing prices. They are also typically very quick, allowing you to go through a line, grab your food, and chow it down on the go, between meetings, or whenever you have a tight schedule. It can, therefore, be challenging to avoid these convenient meal options when trying to lose weight.
So, here are a few tips to consider next time you find yourself in a fast food line or drive-through, so you can make the healthiest decision and successfully continue on your weight loss journey:
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #1: Don’t Fall For Combos
Although value meals may be cheaper, they typically include oversized portions and extras like chips, cookies, or fries which can set you back on your weight loss journey. Mix and match from single-order items instead to keep the calories down. You may also find that ordering a single item is cheaper because you’re ordering less and not overeating. That one “snack” will also help set your hunger at bay, so you have time to get or make a healthier option later.
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #2: Take Caution With Salads
Salads can be a healthy option depending on their toppings and dressings. Choose salads with varied greens, like spinach, romaine, arugula, and red lettuce. We also recommend you look for vegetable toppings over fat-based ones like bacon and cheese. The more veggies you have on your salad, the more filling and healthier it will be. We also recommend you choose a fat-free dressing, like a vinaigrette or lemon juice with salt and pepper option. If you’re on a Herbal Magic Weight Loss Program, remember that 2 tbsp. of fat-free salad dressing equals 1 Extra when it comes to your food allotments.
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #3: Watch The Add-Ons
Think twice before adding items like bacon, sauces, and cheese to your fast food meal. These additions are easy ways for added calories and fats to sneak into your meal. We suggest adding free flavouring agents such as mustard and Tabasco sauce instead to keep your meal flavourful and healthy.
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #4: Consider Sandwiches Smartly
If you’re feeling a sandwich, we recommend opting for a grilled chicken one with free flavouring aids, like mustard, and plenty of vegetable toppings. When choosing a fish sandwich, avoid those that are battered and fried or contain mayonnaise. When it comes to burgers, keep portions in line by sticking with a single patty and choose the smallest burger patty available as it’s probably the lower-calorie option.
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #5: Monitor Your Starches
Oversized burger buns, french fries, and chip bags can result in added starches all in one meal. Enjoy your sandwich open-faced and pass on fries or chip for a healthier side like apples, yogurt tube, or simple side salad.
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #6: Try The Kids’ Meal
Often times, kids’ meals are not only smaller but they also offer healthier sides, such as apple slices or yogurt — think of McDonald’s new Happy Meal options. Kids’ meals are a smaller, "funner," and usually healthier version of the adult fast food you’re craving, so give it a try next time!
Fast Food & Weight Loss Tip #7: Be Beverage Savvy
Water is always your best beverage option, especially compared to sugary sodas. If ordering a soda, choose diet versions, request the smallest size, and avoid refills. In the cool winter months, we also recommend considering a tea option, if you’re craving something other than water. This will add flavour to your meal, while usually lasting long after your food is done so you have something to sip on until you get to the healthier meal. If you’re following a Herbal Magic Meal Plan, remember to count diet sodas as part of your 3 sweeteners daily limit.
Here is a good reference for a Herbal Magic-approved meal at a fast food restaurant:
Children’s Burger, Apple Slices & Diet Soda
|1 hamburger bun (child size)||1 Starch|
|4 oz. beef patty||1 Protein|
|½ cup apple slices||½ Fruit|
|8 oz. (1 cup) diet soda||1 Sweetener|
We hope you found these fast food weight loss tips helpful! For more weight loss tips & considerations, check out these other articles: