Written by Brooke Tolman (last updated June 10, 2019)
Eating healthy when eating fast food can be quite the feat. If you plan ahead of time on going out, there are many places online that offer calorie and cholesterol information that can be useful in picking out something to eat. If you don't prepare ahead of time, common sense guidelines help to make your meal healthier.
First thing to be aware of when eating at a fast food restaurant is what you're drinking. Drinking soda can add on a lot of empty calories that you won't be conscious of. Stick to water and if you absolutely don't want to drink water, find something that is sugar free and uncarbonated, such as sugar free lemonade.
The next thing to watch when ordering fast food is what you're getting on the side. Many fast food places now offer a healthy alternative to fries or tater-tots for sides. Ask what those are and try and get something that is healthier than a side order of French fries. If they don't have anything, you're better off going without a side. An order of small fries usually contains at least 300 calories.
Hidden calories are something you should be aware of when ordering fast food. If ordering a salad, get the dressing on the side or if you decide you want a baked potato, get it plain. Things such as mayonnaise, sour cream, salad dressings, and cheese can add up when it comes to the calorie count. You don't usually think of those ingredients individually but you should start too look at your food in parts, rather than a whole.
As when eating anything, portion size should be controlled. Super sizing your meal should never be an option, a regular sized meal at a fast food joint is more than enough. A regular size hamburger is more than enough as well; you don't need a quarter pound or third pound burger to fill you up. That's enough serving sizes for 2 or 3 meals. Eat half of your meal, and then see how you feel because odds are you'll be full.
Don't eat on the go. A problem that a lot of people make when eating fast food is that they order a bunch of food and chow down while driving or doing something else. I know you're getting fast food for a reason, because you're on the go, but if you can, sit down and eat. It will help you be more aware of what you're eating and how much your eating and really enjoy what you're eating. Mindful eating helps you to digest better.
Making healthy fast food choices can seem hard at first, but in the long run you and your body will greatly appreciate it. Deciding to eat healthy will help to get rid of that sluggish feeling and give you more energy, as well as make you look better. Think about the positive outcomes next time you go out to eat and order smart.
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