There is no way around occasionally finding yourself at a fast food joint. Hey it happens, mainly because life happens. However there is no reason to despair here is a basic guide that will help you navigate through the fast food jungle, based of course on my own struggles through that same jungle.
· Burger Joints – the best thing to order is a grilled chicken salad with no cheese, mayo or sauce. If that isn’t on the menu go with single patty hamburger with no cheese, sauce or ketchup. For a side go either with a side salad or baked potato, no fries and no ketchup and you should be fine.
· Chicken shacks – ok I live in the south and we have some of the finest chicken shacks around, and we have a lot of them. The good thing is most of them have grilled chicken options, in case you didn’t figure it out there is no way you should order fried chicken, or fried anything for that matter. If they don’t have a grilled chicken go with the barbeque option and if your only option is fried order a salad.
· Mexican spots – Mexican food is one of the easiest types of food to make healthy, unfortunately most places don’t make much of an effort to make your selection options healthy. Some of the safest options are grilled chicken soft tacos, black beans, bean burritos, and shrimp tacos. Sadly you typically need to avoid the fish tacos at most places because they are fried and or covered in rich sauce. Oh and skip those chips folks, they can easily add five hundred calories or more to your meal.
· Sub shops – sub shops can be some of the smartest places to hit if you order smart. First stick to the 6 inch sandwich no reason to order anything bigger than that. Stick to the lean meats (chicken, turkey and roast beef) and avoid the high fat options (meatballs, tuna salad, ham). Stick with Swiss or Mozzarella cheese and mustard or light dressing instead of mayo. Skip the white breads and go with a whole grain and heap on the veggies.
· Asian huts – Asian food is pretty easy, stick with steamed, roasted, broiled and stir fry and avoid everything fried and sauce laden.
· Italian parlors – My favorite and much easier to eat smart than you think. Go with thin crust, light cheese and light sauce and keep your toppings to veggies and grilled chicken. If not feeling the pizza try grilled chicken dishes or pasta with tomato sauce and veggies.
Now be careful of the fast food movement to sell us on “healthy” options. They still aren’t good with portion control and you could be getting less calories but with more fat or sugar than you want. Stick to the basics above and you will successfully survive the fast food jungle with minimal wear and tear.