When fast food's the only option
It happens to all of us. We plan to eat healthy, but scheduling conflicts throw off our best intentions. What can you do when fast food is the only food option? I’ll tell you what nutritionists like myself eat when we’re in the same predicament.
Rules for healthy road food
Substitute the Whopper Jr. for the Whopper, and hold the mayo.
Go for the ultimate chicken grill (hold the mayo) over the homestyle chicken filet sandwich. Here "homestyle" doesn’t mean healthy; it means fried.
Chipotle is healthy, but the servings are huge. One burrito is enough for a couple of meals. Dine here with the idea of sharing. Or order your burrito fixings in a bowl and forgo the tortilla entirely. You’ll still have leftovers.
Panera is one of my favorites in a pinch. I order a half roasted turkey and avocado BLT (minus the bacon) on sourdough with a half bowl of low-fat vegetarian black bean soup. Or skip the soup and go for the fresh fruit cup, or order the sandwich on a whole-grain roll. Either way, this swap is a much better choice than the roasted turkey artichoke panini on asiago focaccia (the artichoke’s in a spread).
Fish is healthier — right? The trouble is that mayo is holding the 6-inch tuna sub together. A saner swap is the 6-inch roast beef sub on wheat bread. Better yet, go for the veggie delight on whole-wheat bread.
Remember the code for crunchy? Fried. Skip the crunchy taco supreme and upgrade to the fresco chicken soft taco. A soft taco with all the fixings is lower in fat and calories than its crunchy counterpart.
Bye-bye, Big Mac. The McDouble is a far better choice. Again, blame it on the mayo, the main ingredient in the secret sauce, along with that unnecessary in-between bread layer.
One more time: grilled beats fried every time, especially here, where the "F" rules. So rather than the Original Recipe fried chicken breast, try the Kentucky grilled chicken breast.
Start your meal with some hot and sour soup. It’s satisfying and will help fill you up. Beware of high-fat dishes like orange chicken. Instead, the string bean chicken breast delivers less fat and more veggies for a healthier meal.
I gave you some pointers for pizza in the Rules section above, but here’s a meatier example that still lets you cut the calories and fat in half. Order two slices of the 12-inch medium thin ’n crispy pepperoni and mushroom instead of two slices of the meat lover’s 12-inch medium pan pizza. Have your meat and eat it too! Just don’t order a pie piled high with pepperoni, ham, beef, bacon, and sausage.
Read more in my book, The French Twist: 12 Secrets of Decadent Dining and Natural Weight Management.
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