To most people in the health and fitness world, the concept of “fast food” is virtually a four-letter word. But let’s face it. Sometimes when you’re traveling or short on time, grab-and-go food items are almost too convenient to pass up (“fast” being the operative word). Besides, in most cases, eating something is better than eating nothing.
So, if you find yourself starving for food and stuck for options—but don’t want to completely throw yourself off your healthy food plan—then give these healthier fast food options a try. They may not be ideal, but when you’re in a pinch, they can certainly be a welcome sight.
When the Last Resort Is All You Have: Healthy-ish Fast Food Options
Ask for a black coffee and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich—but hold the bread. You’ll fill up on protein and fat without overdoing it on the carbs (feel free to cut out the cheese, too). If they don’t hold the bread for you, then throw it out as soon as you open up your meal, so you’re not tempted.
You May Also Like: Bread Winner: 4 Healthy Brands to Load Your Pantry With
McDonald’s, Wendy’s & Burger King:
Ask for a salad and water or coffee (or even some fruit from the kids’ menu!). These classic fast food joints virtually all offer salads on their menus now—so good news for you, if you can resist the temptation of their more popular fried and greasy fare. Try to avoid salads that are packed with a lot of cheese, croutons, and other ingredients that can pack on the sugar, salt, and carbs quickly.
This favorite fast-food Mexican joint always offers “burrito bowls” instead of an actual burrito. Simply ask for your favorite ingredients (think meat, veggies, salsa, guac–but hold cheese and beans) in a bowl with lettuce.
Get your favorite sandwich in a bowl. Subway salads are a decent way to get some veggies in on the go while still being portable and relatively low-carb. Just don’t go crazy with the sugary dressings.
Shake Shack (or any burger joint):
Ask for any burger (ideally without ketchup or fried add-ons/sides) without the bun. Some establishments may even offer burgers “protein style,” that is, wrapped within lettuce. Depending on how juicy the patty is, though, you may still find it easier to eat with a knife and fork.