Running to your favorite fast food is cheap, quick, filling, and tasty. The downfall of frequenting your favorite fast food joint is the load of calories, fat, and sodium that can max out your daily allotment. By following a few simple tips, you can make the most out of your trip to a fast food restaurant.
1. Moderation: Since most fast food is high in calories, trans fat, saturated fat, and sodium, limiting how often you frequent a fast food restaurant is key. It is okay to indulge in french fries and cheeseburgers every once in a while, but in order to be healthy it cannot be a regular habit.
2. Make careful menu selections: Pay attention to the descriptions of how the menu items are prepared. Look for grilled, baked, or steamed over deep-fried, batter-dipped, creamy, or crispy. Choose leaner meats, more fruits and vegetables, and low-fat condiments.
3. Drink water with your meal: soda is a great source of hidden calories. There are about 140 calories in a small can of cola. Try adding lemon to your water or drinking unsweetened iced tea.
4. “Undress” your food: calories are also hidden in condiments such as salad dressings, cheese, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. Try asking for your sandwich plain and adding the condiments yourself to control how much you take in.
5. Eat mindfully: listen to your body and it’s internal hunger cues. Only eat when hungry and stop when you are full. By eating slowly and enjoying your food, not only will you will feel yourself getting full, but you will eat less while enjoying your food more.
6. Things to avoid: super sized portions, extra salt, adding bacon, extra cheese, and buffets.
Most fast food restaurants have their nutrition information posted online – plan ahead by looking at their menu online and deciding what items best fit in with your daily intake!