Fast food is everywhere these days and although you may be eating healthy at home and at work, every now and then we’re forced to hit the drive-thru whether it’s because of unexpected schedule changes or a friend’s favorite pick. You’re forced to stare blankly at the menu not knowing what the healthiest choice is. Even restaurant menus can be confusing with hidden ingredients not mentioned in the description. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy on your next trip to the drive-thru or outing with friends.
-Most fast food restaurants now offer grilled chicken in replace of the crispy fried stuff. Always choose grilled and ask for any mayo or dressing on the side or none at all. Try using ketchup or mustard in place of the mayo. ALways make sure that you request that your bun or bread comes “dry”, meaning not bushed with oil or butter.
-Avoid cream based soups, dressings or sauces. These can be high in saturated fats and calories.
-Instead of ordering a whole entrée, order one half of the entrée with a side salad or side of veggies. If the restaurant will not serve only one half of the meal, ask for a take-home box to be brought with the meal and pack away one half so you’re not tempted to pick at it.
-When ordering pizza, order a thin crust with extra veggie toppings instead of meat toppings, and light cheese.
-Swap fries for a side salad or baked potato. When choosing a dressing, chose low-fat or fat-free.
-For sandwiches, order leaner cuts of deli meats. Think ham, turkey or chicken instead of salami or bologna. If you must have cheese, ask for only one slice.
-Remember to watch for hidden calories in your drinks as well! Stick to water, diet soda or low-fat milk instead of regular soda, juices or whole milk. This simple can switch can really save calories and sugar!
Also keep in mind that most restaurants and almost all fast food chains list their nutritional information online or in stores. Check it out before you arrive at the restaurant and you’ll know exactly what you’re eating and how to make better choices. Eating out can be fun and healthy all at the same time!