Happy December! We’re only 21 days away from Christmas. Yikes. Do you have your Christmas shopping done? Started? I feel like it is creeping up extra fast this year. I’ve actually done pretty good getting gifts checked off my list so far. But that is mainly thanks to Amazon. I swear that buy in one click option is life. I hit up Cyber Monday but have bought most of my stuff before or after. I have most of my family done and just a few people left on Josh’s side.
With the holidays comes lots of travel. And with travel comes lots of eating in the car. And we all know what that means. Gas station snacks and drive thrus. These two things do not typically set you up for health success. However, I admit gas station snacks is what makes a road trip do-able. I’m not perfect.
So I’ll let you have your snacks, but what about meals? Is it possible to eat healthy at fast food restaurants? The answer is YES. And no worries, I did the research for you and have some of the healthiest options that are my go to choices at some of the most common fast food joints.
Oh, the good and faithful McDonalds. Around every corner. Did you know that McDonalds is not the most common fast food restaurant out there? I thought surely it was. But is actually Subway. There are a butt ton of Subways. But I digress. I hadn’t had McDonalds in forever until this summer when we were traveling a lot. I was so happy when they decided to serve breakfast all day. That means we can all get two of the healthiest options anytime now! The best choice here is the Egg White Delight.
It clocks in at 250 cals, 7 fat, 27 carbs, and 18 protein. Not bad, not bad. I will say that some McDonalds do not serve the egg whites after the usual breakfast hour of 10:30 which really stinks but some will go out of there way to make you what you want. If they are unwilling (annoying) then go with the second best option, the Egg McMuffin. The nutrition for it is 300 calories, 13 fat, 31 carb, and 17 protein. I typically ask for no ham which will lower all that even more. Since McDonalds are so easy to find, I am so glad I found an item that I feel good about eating!
If I thought I hadn’t eaten McDonalds in forever, it has been double that since I had Taco Bell. Again, until this summer. I think being pregnant really opened up a fast food Pandora’s box! But I still tried to be healthy. And here at Taco Bell you have a pretty tasty option. Go with the Soft Fresco Tacos. They have a chicken and a steak option. The macros for the steak are surprisingly better. The Steak Fresco taco is just 140 calories, 4 fat, 17 carbs, and 10 protein. The chicken is 150 calories, 6 fat, 16 carbs, and 9 protein. Not too shabby.
I admit, last time we ate here I added in a side of the Cinnamon Twists. I didn’t think they even made them anymore. I remember they use to be included with the kid’s meal. I didn’t think I really loved them but I sure scarfed down the whole thing. Oops!
For most my life, if I had no choice but to go through a drive thru, I’d stick with Wendy’s. It just seemed better for you and less greasy. And it does have some of the best food choices that a lot of the other fast food joints do not have. Like one of my favorites, their chili. I know some people are sketched out by eat fast food chili but guys, it’s good. Don’t deprive yourself. If you want quality food then you won’t care about any of these places. The small chili is just 190 calories, 5 fat, 16 carbs, and 15 protein. You can add a baked potato as a side with that.
A fun choice that you don’t see at most fast food restaurants. The macros for this will depend on if you add butter and/or sour cream, and how much of both you slather on. I also really like to get the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap. It’s yummy! I usually ask for light on the honey mustard since that is what will spike the fat and calories. But just for reference, the wrap with no dressing at all is 230 calories, 7 fat, 21 carbs, and 20 protein. Easy to eat on the go (guess that’s why it is a “go wrap”) and quite tasty.
Josh and I don’t eat at Burger King. He doesn’t like it and I have to admit, it has never been my favorite place either. So we haven’t been in so long that I don’t even know what I would get. But I did some digging and decided if I do go anytime soon I’d get the basic Whopper Jr, no mayo.
I think a lot of us automatically assume that burgers are not a good option and always go straight for the grilled chicken. But did you know the grilled chicken sandwich here has more calories than the burger?! Yep! So get the Whopper Jr with no mayo and you are looking at 240 calories, 10 fat, 27 carbs, and 10 protein.
Oh, Chick-Fil-A…the food ordained by God himself. No, but really. The company’s late founder S. Truett Cathy created this business and made choices with his Christian beliefs. It has carried on and it has thrived because of it. The staff is always the friendliest you will ever meet (especially for fast food) and the restaurants themselves always seem extra clean and tidy. They are closed on Sunday’s, while inconvenient for those Sunday cravings, it is cool that the company has continued that tradition along to honor the Sabbath. They still do better than most restaurants that are open seven days a week. Crazy, huh? They have lots of healthy options available too. One of my favorites is the grilled nuggets.
I know, I know, the fried ones are freaking amazing, but the grilled ones are way macro friendly. For twelve of these bad boys you are only eating 210 calories, 5 fat, 3 carbs, and 38 protein. Wowza. I also like the Grilled Chicken Sandwich ( 350 calories, 14 fat, 29 carbs, and 37 protein), and the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap (340 calories, 13 fat, 30 carbs, and 37 protein with no dressing). I sometimes do go for the regular fried nuggets but try to get the fruit cup instead of the fries. But sometimes I don’t and the fries are delicious. You can’t go wrong there 🙂 PS!! Go easy on the sauces here. I found out that my favorite Polynesian sauce is 110 calories per little packet. Say whaaaaa?! No thank you! I stick with ketchup now!
And last but not least:
I do not grace Arby’s with my presence very often either, but I recently tried out the Turkey Gyro Sandwich. I love me a gyro though I don’t think I ever pronounce it right. Oh well. The turkey one here was quite good. It is 470 calories, 20 fat, 48 carbs, and 25 protein. A little high in fat, but compared to other options, not that bad.
The “healthiest” option is the Chopped Roast Turkey Salad. It is only 230 calories, 13 fat, 8 carb, and 23 protein. But I have to admit, I don’t love getting a salad when I smell curly fries and they definitely aren’t easy to eat on the go. The Classic Roast Beef Sandwich is not bad at 360 calories, 14 fat, 37 carbs, and 23 protein. I am off and on about roast beef but that is a good pick.
So there you have my go to options for surviving this holiday season’s fast food drive thrus. There are good choices, you just have to look for them (or look to me to look for them for you)!
You can easily find all the nutritionals online for every restaurant, so before you hop in the car, or better yet, when bored sitting in the car, do some research and figure out what you want and what you will get before arriving so you make a healthier and informed decision!