4 Weight Loss Friendly Fast Food Swaps Nutritionists Want You To Do
Finding time to eat three healthy meals each day can be a challenge. Even if you focus on preparing healthy meals ahead of time, you probably have days when you don’t have time. Sometimes you might be late for work and just want a quick, quick meal. That’s where fast food chains like McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, and Dunkin’ come in. Unfortunately, as you probably already know, fast food chains are far from the healthiest option. That’s because fast food is typically full of unhealthy chemicals and synthetic ingredients. They are also high in calories, heavily flavored and nutritionally infertile.
The good news is that it’s possible to make healthy choices even when you’re dining at your favorite fast food restaurant. To learn more, we spoke to Mary-Ellen Sabat, a nutritionist and ACE-certified trainer at BodyDesigns by Mary. She believes that while it’s best to prepare fresh groceries and pack them on the go, you can still replace some of your fast food picks with healthier options that contain the nutrients your body needs. Learn more below!
McDonald’s Big Mac, fries and coke
A Big Mac – one of McDonald’s most popular offerings. While tasty, the Big Mac isn’t the healthiest meal. Thankfully, there’s still a healthy trade you can make next time you find yourself in the Golden Arches. “At McDonald’s, a healthier substitute for a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke (910 calories) would be a Grilled Chicken McWrap with a side salad and water (390 calories),” explains Sabat. This meal is better, she says, because it contains more fresh vegetables and lean protein. And the Grilled Chicken McWrap is low in calories. It’s a win-win situation!
Wendy’s baconator, fries and coke
Unfortunately, bacon is a food that promotes heart disease. That’s why Sabat says you should swap your Wendy’s Baconator for something healthier. “Instead of ordering a baconator with fries and a Coke (1380 calories),” she suggests, “a Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich with side salad and water (425 calories) could be a weight-loss meal.” Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich is better than a baconator because, like McWrap, it has fewer calories and contains more fresh vegetables and lean protein.
Chick-fil-A’s Original Chicken Sandwich, fries and coke
“At Chick-fil-A, a weight loss meal might be a grilled chicken sandwich with a side dish [a] Fruit cup and water (320 calories) instead of an Original Sandwich with medium fries and a Coke (1,090 calories),” explains Sabat. While a fried chicken sandwich like Chick-fil-A’s Original Sandwich may be tempting, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich is better for you in the long run because grilled chicken loses a lot of the unnecessary fat during the cooking process. Or try the Cauliflower Sandwich by Chick-fil-A!
Domino’s Big Cheese Pizza and Coke
Who doesn’t love a good cheese pizza? They’re delicious, but unfortunately, cheese pizza from a fast-food joint like Domino’s is loaded with calories and saturated fat. Instead, Sabat has a healthy swap proposal. “A good substitute for a large cheese pizza with a Coke (2,299 calories) at Domino might be a thin-crust pizza with veggies, light cheese, and a side salad with water (650 calories),” she says. This thin-crust vegetarian cheese pizza is much healthier than a plain cheese pizza because it contains more fresh veggies and lighter cheese, and is therefore lower in saturated fat.
Sometimes you just need a quick meal on the go! Whether you’re at the airport, on a road trip, or booking it from your lunch hour to the office, a bite from a chain might be easy — but it’s rarely the healthiest option. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition for convenience. So next time you’re in a drive-thru, give some of these healthy swaps a try!