When we have a long day or are just short on time it is too easy to resort to fast food, eat in your car on the way to wherever you’re going and keep on moving! First of all, we should eventually find a way to make sure we have healthy food options readily available when we need to eat, but this comes with time and practice. In the meantime, there are steps we can take to stay on track with our fitness and nutrition goals if we happen to have to hit the drive through! I am going to talk about some different options we can choose at various popular fast food chains.
While Chick-Fil-A isn’t all that terrible when stacked against other fast food joints, it can still be a hard hit to the diet. Try the combo of grilled nuggets and the superfood broccolini and kale salad.
· Replace regular nuggets or chicken sandwich with grilled nuggets (not as delicious, but just as quick and easy and actually pretty killer taste)
· Rather than waffle fries (I know ☹) try the super salad with kale. Far less carbs than the fries and WAY more nutrient dense!
· We also really want to avoid having a soda and other sugary drinks with our lunch. Have some water!
Most of the Wendy’s menu would be off limits as we would want to avoid burgers, sandwiches and fries, basically all the things that make us feel all warm and fuzzy for about 10 minutes and then feel terrible shortly after. I recommend the Southwest Chicken Salad with avocado. The only suggestion is to go light on the dressing as there is likely a good amount of fat and sugar in it. There is already plenty of healthy fat coming from the avocado so the dressing would be a little overkill.
· The southwest chicken salad with avocado is a great meal to get a variety of nutrients and will fill you up.
· The chicken adds a ton of protein, the lettuce blend and tomatoes give you some vitamins, the avocado gives you healthy fats to give you long lasting energy that will keep you feeling good for the rest of your day!
The almighty mecca of fast food. The Big Mac and the famous golden fries. The burger and fry combos will surely satisfy your hunger as they’re loaded with fat and carbs. The feeling of satisfaction will be short lived when the carbs burn off and suddenly, we feel like we need to take a 4-hour nap! Similar to Wendy’s, salad is the way to go here. I recommend the Southwest Chicken Salad.
· The salad is lower in calories so adding in some apple slices would give you a little more substance.
· The romaine lettuce base with spinach and kale loaded with B vitamins. Plenty of protein from the chicken and a variety of nutrients from black beans and peppers. Make sure we go light on the dressing!
· This is a lighter option so would probably be the best option for a quick pick-up lunch
In-N-Out is one of the most beloved fast food chains of the West Coast. We all need to get our In-N-Out fix. We can taste that delicious burger patty with the crisp thin-cut fries and feel somewhat good about it. We’ll get the double-double (protein style) and an order of fries.
· Get the burger “protein style”. This is the same burger but wrapped in lettuce rather than a bun.
· In-N-Out is said to use a higher quality beef and they make their patties daily inside the restaurant. We’ll just ditch the bun to lighten up on the carbs because we’re gonna get plenty with the fries!
· Their fries are fresh cut from real potatoes and cooked fresh as they’re ordered.
I know that we’ve basically taken everything off the menu that is “delicious” but that’s not what we’re after. We’re looking for a solution to needing a quick pick-up meal and sticking to our nutrition goals that we’ve set out to accomplish. If lack of time is your typical quandry, then here is a brief helpful guide! Also, I am not suggesting that you eat this stuff everyday to be healthy. These meals are still not ideal. Ideally, we want to prepare our meals ourselves with the nutrients we need. Only if we HAVE to hit the drive through, we have the best options possible.
I hope this is helpful and you all keep on track and crush your goals!