5 tips for eating at fast food restaurants when you’re dieting


Fast food restaurants don’t have to be guilty eats when you’re dieting as long as you have our tasty tips for reducing the calories in your favorite treats!

My mother once told me, fast food restaurants, are the greatest invention for working women since the frozen dinner. As a result, I was a chubby kid whose biggest passion was for McDonald’s French fries (extra salt, please).

After gaining more than the traditional first-year 15 pounds at college, however, I realized that my fondness for fast food restaurants had become all too visible. With a nudge from my pre-med roommate, I headed to the college’s nutritionist. She introduced me to CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) dieting. By counting calories and exercising (thanks, UCLA yoga teacher), I banished those 15 pounds and kept them off.

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Today, I’m still a fan of fast food and regularly use CICO. Get the skinny on the five tasty tips I follow to stay on a diet while enjoying fast food restaurants:

  1. Calories count: Before you leave the house, look online and choose a fast food restaurant that has the calorie counts clearly listed on the website. Some restaurants, such as Panera, even have chosen the lowest-calorie items to highlight.
  2. Salads score: Vegetables have virtue, so dig into that bowl of leafy greens. McDonald’s, for example, offers a Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad for 320 calories.
  3. Eliminate extras: That packet of mayonnaise or thousand island dressing? The offer of whipped cream for that milkshake? Just say no. One tiny packet of thousand island dressing, for example, contains between 150 to 200 calories.
  4. Desserts are divine: Don’t deprive yourself if you’re craving dessert. Just plan it into your daily calorie count. At Wendy’s, for example, a Chocolate Frosty Junior has just 200 calories.
  5. Water wins: Should you have milk, juice, a soda, or a coffee beverage? Answer for dieters: Water always wins. Even though a Frosted Frozen Coke® at Burger King might sound like a delicious idea on a hot day, it’s got 190 calories and 44 grams of sugar (gulp) that doesn’t exactly do your body good.

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Ultimately, when it comes to dieting, always check with your healthcare provider. That expert can advise you on any special precautions you should follow, such as lowering your sodium level, avoiding high-fat foods, or steering clear of added sugar.

Next: Burger King resurrects iconic ad, “Whassup!”

Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any tips you want to share? Drop a comment below sharing your thoughts.