4 Ways to Make Healthier Choices at Fast Food Restaurants

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Speed and convenience are the top two reasons people go to fast food restaurants, whether you’re hitting the drive-thru or walking inside.

Fast food restaurants themselves are around every corner, making it easy to satisfy your hunger if you’re on a busy schedule or tight on time. To get a meal requires no preparation or cleanup, nor does it take a huge chunk from your wallet.

It’s no secret that eating fast food on a regular basis isn’t healthy, but you don’t have to feel guilty for a visit every now and then. Keep reading for ways you take advantage of the cost, speed and convenience of fast without sacrificing health.

Fast Food Healthy Eating Tips

1-Read the Menu Carefully Before Ordering

When looking at the menu, consider the calories and what ingredients you want to add or subtract for your personal needs. Try to view the menu ahead of time online. Many restaurants have apps that provide a detailed nutrition breakdown for each menu item.

2-Cut Back on High-Calorie Add-ons

Add-ons like cheese, bacon, mayo, full-fat salad dressings and dipping sauces add a lot more calories and fat to your meal. You can ask for them to be removed or used sparingly, or use alternatives such as mustard or hot sauce.

3-Choose Smaller Portion Sizes

Fast food restaurants let you supersize almost anything. Even though getting a good deal for more food may sound tempting, you likely don’t need it. Even restaurant chains that advertise healthier foods still offer portions that are large enough to yield 600-800 calories per item. Instead of supersizing, be mindful of your portion sizes. If you get full before finishing your meal, save the rest for later and allow yourself to stop eating.

4-Choose Healthier Sides and Drinks

Instead of the high-fat, high-sodium chicken nuggets and French fries, opt for a side salad, a fruit bowl or a fruit and yogurt parfait. Try to limit the shakes, blended drinks, soda and designer coffee drinks and instead ask for a small lemonade or a medium Coke Zero.

Mindfulness is Key

Although the suggestions above are meant to help you eat healthier at fast food restaurants, don’t feel guilt over the occasional fast food sandwich or French fries. The key is to be mindful about what you are eating, give yourself flexibility and kindness, and make overall healthy choices that support your health goals. Moderation, not elimination, is important.

For more tips on eating healthier at fast food restaurants, click here.

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