How To Eat Fast Food And Lose Weight – We’ve consulted with our dietitians and licensed nutritionists to provide you with informed recommendations on foods, health aids and nutrients to safely and successfully guide you to make better diet and nutrition choices. We only try to recommend products that fit our philosophy of eating better while enjoying what you eat.
When you think of “fast food”, the word that probably doesn’t come to mind is “healthy food”. However, in recent years, many fast food restaurants have begun expanding their menus to offer more than just burgers and fries.
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“Over the past few years, fast food chains have realized that consumers are becoming more health conscious, and to follow suit, they’ve added a ton of menu options for someone trying to stay healthy,” said Genki’s owner Jonathan Valdez, RDN. A spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. and New York State Dietetics.
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If you’re traveling to lose weight, that means you’ll be able to find options that won’t get in the way of your goals.
“Fast food sometimes gets an unfairly bad reputation for being quite unhealthy because of its high calorie density (think lots of calories in a small amount of food),” says Mike Gorski, RD, registered dietitian, fitness trainer, and owner. MG FitLife. “However, losing weight depends on eating fewer calories than you burn, and with a little advance planning and creativity, you can be successful while still eating fast food.”
We asked nutritionists for the healthiest fast food options to help you lose weight. Here are their 19 picks. Read on, and for more on healthy eating, don’t miss Easy Ways to Start Losing Weight Right Now, According to Science.
270 calories, 4.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 540 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 21 g protein
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“At just 270 calories, this sandwich is packed with whole grains and vegetables that provide 5 grams of satiating fiber, as well as 21 grams of protein,” says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, author of
300 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 820 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 18 g protein
“McDonald’s has gotten a bad rap over the years, but not everything on the menu deserves to be in the shade. The Egg McMuffin is a classic breakfast sandwich, only 300 calories and 18 grams of protein to keep you full until lunchtime,” Valdez said. “It’s sharper than other options on the menu at 13 grams of total fat and 6 grams (32% of your daily value), but it’s also better in terms of calories. It also contains zero additives, so you don’t have to worry about getting more fat. Eggs, cheese and Canadian bacon on an English muffin.”
Baked Nuggets: 200 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 660 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 38 g protein
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Fruit cup (Medium): 60 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 1 g protein
“A serving of 12 grilled nuggets contains about 200 calories and 38 grams of protein. Paired with a serving of fruit, this high-protein option makes for a very tasty and satisfying meal, which is important for those on a weight loss journey,” she says. Amber Pankonin, MS, RD, LMNT, registered dietitian and owner of Stirlist. For healthier chicken options, check out these Healthiest Fast Food Chicken Nuggets, According to Nutritionists.
430 calories, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 810 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (10 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 12 g protein
“Packed with 27 grams of protein, this filling bowl contains 420 calories and only 3 grams of saturated fat, making it a macronutrient,” says Silvia Carli, MS, RD, CSCS, registered dietitian with 1AND1 LIFE. “Persia also has 9 grams of fiber. Fiber promotes satiety and passes through the intestines without being metabolized for energy, meaning it doesn’t contribute to calorie intake.”
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300 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 720 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 15 g protein
“Sometimes if you run away from what you want, you’ll want more. So if you’re feeling like a burger, have a burger! But try and keep it simple,” Gans says. “McDonald’s Classic Cheeseburger is only 300 calories, so it can easily fit into anyone’s weight loss plan. If you really want those fries, order the kid’s size for just 110 more calories.”
½ Green Goddess Cobb Salad: 260 calories, 15 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 21 g protein
Turkey Chili: 200 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (9 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 14 g protein
Stock Vector. Illustration Of Meal, Diet, Kitchen, Donut
“A soup and salad combo is a great way to get extra veggies in for the day. I love this particular combo because the chili beans add an extra 4 grams of fiber to the 9 grams you get from the salad (52% Daily Value) and a good dose of protein (just 35 grams), so both options will keep you full and curb your cravings later in the day,” Valdez said. “What’s even better is that Panera portions your meals for you so you don’t have to worry about going over portion sizes, which can often sabotage people’s weight loss efforts without even realizing it.”6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
290 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 840 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 20 g protein
“Remember to balance out your high-calorie coffee drinks with these low-calorie options from Starbucks,” says Gorski. “Some of their coffees can be over 1,000 calories, so find a balance between your favorite beverage and this high-protein, low-calorie package.”
360 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 780 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 34 g protein
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“At only 360 calories but 34 grams of protein, this sandwich should be a filling option,” says Gans.
160 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 500 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 12 g protein
“I appreciate that Taco Bell was one of the first fast food restaurants to post ingredient and nutritional information online. The nutrition calculator is very helpful in finding options that fit your weight loss goals,” says Pankonin. “My personal favorite is the chicken soft taco because each taco has 160 calories and 12 grams of protein. And some menu items can be customized Fresco-style, where you can replace the cream sauce with tomato.”
160 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 5 g protein
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“Oatmeal is always a good choice when trying to lose weight. The high fiber content (4 grams) helps fill you up and keeps you fuller longer. Oatmeal at Starbucks comes with a bag of nuts and dried fruit (skip the brown sugar),” Valdez said. “I’ll usually throw in about half of the nuts for extra omega-3 and some dried fruit to give it a little sweetness. 160 calories with 4 grams of protein may seem low. But when you add Siggi’s yogurt, you’re adding an extra 110 calories and 15 grams of protein.” . A fuller breakfast to fight off a pre-dinner craving.”
350 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 1300 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 31 g protein
“Subway 6” Turkey, Double Meat, No Cheese, Light Mayo, ALL vegetables. It’s my personal go-to because I know what it’s all about, high in protein, moderate in carbs and low in fat, and FULL of veggies,” says Gorski.
410 calories, 14 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (7 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein
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“This breakfast sandwich is packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein—key nutrients to keep you full until lunch,” says Gans.
420 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 1585 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (15 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 34 g protein
“One way to save calories when ordering is to skip the tortilla/rice and go for the salad bowl. A Chipotle salad bowl with fajita veggies (20 calories), beans (130 calories), pico de gallo (25 calories), and lean protein, for example, is only 150 calories steak will make for a meal full of vitamins and minerals,” says Valdez. “All of these options keep the meal relatively low in calories (this meal is only 420 calories and 9g of fat), without leaving you feeling deprived or hungry after the meal. Pro tip: buy it.
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