a weight-loss or healthy diet mean you must swear off fast
food? Not necessarily.
stop for fast food can fit into a healthy diet — if you’re
careful about what you order. Consider the following tips.
sizes small. If the fast-food restaurant offers several
sandwich sizes, pick the smallest. Bypass hamburgers with two
or three patties, which can be close to 800 calories. Choose
instead a regular- or children’s-sized hamburger, which has
about 250 calories.
Skip the large
serving of French fries and ask for a small serving instead.
This switch alone can save 200 calories.
healthier side dishes. Take advantage of the healthy side
dishes offered at many fast-food restaurants. For example,
instead of French fries choose a side salad with low-fat
dressing or a baked potato. Or add a fruit bowl or a fruit and
yogurt option to your meal.
choices include apple or orange slices, corn on the cob,
steamed rice or baked potato chips.
Choose an entree salad with grilled chicken, shrimp or
vegetables. Choose a dressing you like, but be cautious with
the amount. Use half the package or keep the salad dressing on
the side to control the number of calories from added fat and
other unwanted ingredients, such as added salt and sugar.
Watch out for
high-calorie salads, such as those with deep-fried shells or
those topped with breaded chicken or other fried toppings.
Also skip extras, such as cheese and croutons, which quickly
increase your calorie count.
Opt for grilled
items. Fried and breaded foods, such as crispy chicken
sandwiches and breaded fish fillets, are high in fat and
calories. Select grilled or roasted lean meats — such as
turkey or chicken breast, lean ham or lean roast beef.
Watch what you
drink. Many beverages are high in calories. For example, a
large regular soda (30 ounces, or 887 milliliters) has more
than 300 calories. Instead, order diet soda, water,
unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water or mineral water.
Also, skip the
shakes and other ice cream drinks. Large shakes can contain
more than 800 calories.
Have it your
way. Remember, you don’t have to settle for what comes with
your sandwich or meal — not even at fast-food restaurants.
Ask for healthier options and substitutions. And keep your eye
on portion size.