Lose Weight Eating Fast Food For Breakfast vs For Lunch or Dinner vs As A Snack ... and 1 more
Edited by Donna, Eng, VC
It is possible to lose weight eating fast food as long as you choose single foods or meal combinations that are in the 300 to 400 calorie range. This restricts you to eating 900 to 1200 calories a day, which is enough of a limitation to have most people to lose one to two pounds a week. However, keep in mind that most junk foods are not that nutrient-dense and can be high in fat, sugar and sodium.
The suggestions below list options from popular fast food restaurants for each meal that are less than 400 calories and that have the least sodium and fat.
Method 1: For Breakfast
Eat just one of these selections with a black coffee or tea for breakfast every day. These options are listed in order from most preferable to least preferable in terms of how low-calorie and healthy the fast food breakfast item is for you. However, be aware that when it comes to nutrition, there is a kind of fast-food irony that exists, which is that foods that tend to be low in calories tend to be super-high in sodium and sometimes added sugar. Both sodium and sugar can trigger metabolic disorders, bloating and weight gain.
- 2A single McDonald's hash brown is only 150 calories per serving. However, keep in mind that a hash brown is very high in fat and starch and has a high glycemic level. So although it can be a temporary fix for hunger at breakfast, you might feel a bit tired shortly after eating it because the starches in the potato break down into pure sugars that some bodies have trouble processing properly.Advertisement
- 6Eat a Reduced Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake from Starbucks at 290 calories per piece. This cake is very low in sodium at 330 mg but it is also a little low in protein at only 4 grams. It also contains a bit of saturated fat at 3 grams, which is a bit harder for your body to turn into fuel, so it is stored in your tissues instead.
- 13Order a Chicken, Pinto Bean and Veggie Salad at Chipotle at 365 calories per dish. This dish, which contains salsa, beans, chicken and lettuce is a superb source of protein at 42 grams and very high in fiber at 14.5 grams. It is also very low in fat. However, this dish is way too high in sodium at 1,160 mg and should be a last resort as a low-calorie choice for breakfast.
Method 2: For Lunch or Dinner
Lunch and dinner are generally interchangeable fare at most fast food restaurants, so the best options, listed from least calories first are collected here. For best results, skip a meal altogether and have a fresh salad that you have made yourself at home instead. However, if you must eat fast food, these are the options that are least likely to harm your health.
- 1Have a Grilled Steak Soft Taco at Taco Bell, which is only 150 calories per taco. This choice is high in protein and low in fat. However, it is also very high in protein. If you want to lower the calories even more, ask for it without sour cream and do not add any hot sauce or other condiments.Advertisement
- 3Have a Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad with the Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette at 210 calories per bowl. This is a good choice of a low-fat, fast food salad and it is low in sugar as well. However, it is also a bit low in protein and very high sodium, which can cause bloating and weight gain.
- 6Order Subway's six-inch Turkey Breast and Ham on Nine Grain Toast and Hold The Cheese is a healthier option at 220 calories. Holding the cheese on this sandwich saves you at least 350 calories in fat. This fast food diet choice does contain 13 grams of sugar and it is also high in sodium at 850 grams. However, this is forgiven because it also comes with many fresh ingredients that contain vitamins such as tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.
- 10A bit higher in calories than some choices for lunch or dinner, the Starbucks Chicken and Hummus Bistro Box is 280 calories per box. It contains chicken, hummus spread, a whole wheat pita and grapes, which makes it a more nutrient-dense choice than most anything else offered in a fast-food environment. It is also very low-fat and contains a satisfying 20 grams of protein.
- 12Order a Quizno's Small Honey Bourbon Chicken Grilled Flatbread sandwich, which is only 290 calories per wrap. It is relatively low in fat at 6 grams, but a bit low in protein at 17 grams. This sandwich is also a bit higher in sugar than most at 14 grams. However, it also contain chicken and fresh lettuce tomatoes and onions. This sandwich wrap comes with two sauces that help elevate the sodium level of your fast-food lunch to 880 mg, but you can lower that by dispensing with the sauces all together.
- 16Order a KFC Grilled Chicken Breast With a Side of Corn and A Side of Green Beans at 340 calories per plate. This is a surprising low-fat meal that contains 44 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. However it is also quite high in sodium at 800 mg. To lower the sodium content and the calorie count, consider having just the chicken breast with nothing else.
- 19Have a Arby's Roast Beef Classic or lunch or dinner at 360 calories. It is high in protein, at 23 grams, but it is also incredibly high in sodium at 970 mg, which or most people constitutes the entire allowed daily allowance. You may have a bit of mustard and also lettuce, tomato and onion on the bun to make it more nutritious, while at the same time adding minimal calories.
- 20Have two medium slices of Domino's Grilled chicken and Jalapeno Pepper Pizza at 390 calories. This is about as high in calories as you can get eating junk food without gaining weight. The grilled chicken is a lean choice and the peppers help boost your metabolism so you can lose weight. However bloating could be a problem when you eat this food because it contains 1100 grams of sodium. One solution might be to eat just one slice of this pizza (1/2 of a take-out servings) and cut your calories down to 195 calories per slice.
Method 3: As A Snack
Fast food places are all about temptation and if you cannot resist being at a fast-food counter because you absolutely must give into a craving, these are some of the healthier, low-calorie snacks you should choose in order to make sure that you will lose weight.
- 1Have a Beefy Mini Quesadilla at Taco Bell which only contains 210 calories per quesadilla. However keep in mind that this item contains a lot of processed cheese, so it is very high in sodium, which is not good for your blood pressure and can cause bloating.
Method 4: As A Dessert or Treat
Desserts and treats tend to be impulse buys or the result of a craving. Here are your best choices for a fast-food treat that is below 300 calories.
- 1Have a vanilla ice cream cone at Burger King at 160 calories per cone. Be aware that is treat is quite high in sugar and sodium and that it is also high in cholesterol, which can clog arteries and cause the liver to malfunction over the long term.
- 2Have a vanilla ice cream cone from McDonalds and consume 170 calories per cone. This dessert treat is a bit high in sugar and sodium, but it does contain some calcium, which is good for bones and the nervous system.
- 3Have a Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie at Starbucks at 170 calories per cookie. The fact that it is flourless makes this a low carb treat but it is still, like most fast food desserts quite high in sodium and sugar.
- 4Order a Wendy's Jr. Chocolate Frosty, which is only 200 calories per serving. This is half the size of the regular frosty and it owes its low calorie and sugar count to the fact that it contains a great deal of crushed ice.
- 5Eat a McDonald's Apple Pie at only 250 calories per pie. Be aware that this is a high glycemic food that could have an impact on your blood sugar and that it also contains quite a few additives and colorants that are not the best for your general health.
- 6Order a McDonald's Orange Mango Smoothie, which is 250 calories per serving. It is made with real fruit and blended with a great deal of ice, making it a good low-fat choice, even at 16 ounces. However, this drink is, like most fast food drinks, quite high in sodium
- 7Have either a chocolate Fudge or Caramel sundae from Burger King at 280 calories per serving. Be ware that this treat is very high in sodium and sugar and can sabotage your weight loss goals.
- 8Have a Strawberry Sundae at McDonalds at only 280 calories per serving. This is high in sugar and sodium but it is considerably lower in ingredients that are harmful to your health than many other types of sweet treats.
- 9Buy a Starbuck's Oatmeal cookie at 290 calories per baked good. Although oatmeal is high in fiber and quite good for you in terms of being a good source of protein, this cookie is also quite high in fat and saturated fat.
Tips and Tricks
- Drink at least ten glasses of water a day when you are trying to diet by eating fast foods because you are going to need to flush quite a bit of sodium out of your system
- Take a good quality multivitamin and mineral complex while you are on this diet to offset any malnutrition that could occur as the result of consuming only junk food
- Drink a glass of water into which you have stirred a fiber supplement or flax seeds to keep your intestines in good shape
- Be sure to exercise every day for at least an hour a day to keep your bowels moving and your cells at peak respiration so that any chemicals or additives in the junk food are expelled quickly from your body through breath, sweat and elimination
- Do not consume diet drinks with any fast food orders as they contain sweeteners, chemicals and colorants that are poisonous to the liver and the kidneys and that cause bloating and weight gain
- The fewer condiments you put on any type of fast food, the more you will be cutting carbs, sodium and empty calories from your fast food meal.
- Ordering off of the kid's menu can help you lose weight.