In the twenty-first century people seem to be moving faster then ever. I guess that makes sense. I mean aren’t we all supposed to be driving flying cars, commuting by jet-pack and taking vacations to the moon by now? The point is, in this fast paced society where people get upset when it takes thirty seconds for something to download on their computer; nothing seems to move fast enough. Add to this, jobs with crazy hours or frequent commutes across town or across the country and you begin to see why so few people find it easy to eat at home regularly.
With the above in mind you can see why people end up opting for fast food so often. Add to this that most of these fast food options are loaded with fat, salt, and sugar (all the things that taste so darn good) and you can see why this stuff can seem hard so to pass up. Below I am going to outline a few basic ideas that will help you make better choices when eating out. Then I’ll make specific recommendations for when you find your self standing at that fast food counter or even worse the dreaded drive through window. I’ve touched on some of these ideas before in some of my other articles at www.hybridfitness.tv so if this sounds familiar, good you’ve been listening.
First if you are at a restaurant for a special occasion and this is not just a meal on the go, then forget the rules and enjoy yourself. We all need to cut loose once in a while. If we don’t we may go crazy later. The place to start cleaning things up with restaurant dining or eating in one of those international food courts is to limit your Carbohydrate consumption. Contrary to some peoples feelings, carbohydrates are not evil or bad in and of themselves. They are however easy to over consume so avoid having too much bread or pasta and remember just because it came with your meal, does not mean you have to eat it. If you have the option, choose extra salad or veggies instead of bread or pasta and have the dressing, (preferably oil and vinegar) on the side. Be sure to have a nice portion of protein (beef, chicken or seafood) as the main course.
Another strategy is to plan your meal before you even go to the restaurant. For planning purposes, I like this site www.dietfacts.com. When you are eating out, you can go to the restaurants tab and find many national chain restaurant’s menu items, and their corresponding calorie values. If you know you are going somewhere in particular, you can check out the menu and make a decent selection ahead of time. Strategies like this this will be far more likely to make your efforts successful.
Now let’s cut to the chase and see what we can do at the real fast food joints. These days just about every fast food joint has a salad option. Skip the ones with fried meat in them. While you are at it avoid all fried food options completely. And if you find yourself eating a salad that comes in a giant, edible, bowl. Do not eat the bowl. Besides the fruit and salad options that you may be able to find here is a list of what to look for at the major fast food chains.
- Light Chicken taco
- Light taco salad (skip the chips and or bowl)
- Light chicken burrito supreme
- Light bean burrito
- Plain hamburger*
- Grilled chicken sandwich
- Grilled chicken salad
- Egg McMuffin
- Grilled Chicken sandwich
- Plain Hamburger*
Jack in the Box
- Chicken Fajita Pita
- Plain Hamburger*
- BK Broiled chicken sandwich (no mayo)
- Plain hamburger*
- Turkeybreast, small potato and steamed veggies
Deli Chains (Togo’s, Subway, Quiznos, etc.)
- Turkeysandwich with extra meat, extra veggies, no mayo, no cheese, on wheat or rye bread (have the oil & vinegar and mustard)
* Ordering a couple of plain hamburgers and throwing away one of the buns is an easy way to create a better burger in fast food land. I actually do this with Egg McMuffins as well.
PAU for NOW