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Healthy Fast Food Swaps!

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Do you ever not feel like cooking at home and just crave your favorite fast food but not want to have all the calories? Don’t worry! I have put together a list of a couple common fast food options with tips and swaps you can make to your order to lower the calories and add more nutrients to your food!

First is of course, coffee! Whether you prefer Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or any other coffee place, try these swaps! First, try to cut back on the amount of flavor pumps you order! Usually, the drinks that are on the menu have a lot of sugary pumps added into them. Instead of 6 pumps try 2 or 3 pumps. If this isn’t sweet enough you can also add a sugar substitute to add that extra sweetness if that is what you enjoy! Another swap you can try is using sugar free pumps! Most coffee places have sugar free pump options. These are great to reduce the amount of added sugar you consume during the day. Again, if you need that extra sweetness just add a sugar substitute instead of extra sugary pumps! Another swap you can try is using skim milk in your coffee instead of 2%. By doing this, it lowers the calories in your coffee and reduces the fat in the drink! The final tip for your coffee order is trying a smaller size with an extra shot of espresso. The smaller the size of your coffee, the less sweetener you need! This reduces how much sugar you need to add to your drink as well as getting you the extra caffeine with the extra shot of espresso!

The next fast-food option is McDonalds or Burger King! The first swap is to try a chicken option instead of beef! This reduces the calories in your meal and gives you some lean protein! You can also get a smaller size. The food and drinks from McDonalds and Burger King are very high in calories so by getting a smaller size you are still getting your fast food but with less calories! Another swap is replacing a soda with water! Just like the food, the drinks found at McDonalds and Burger King are high in calories as well as sugar. Try a large water with a lemon with your meal instead! The last tip you can try is get only one item you want and add more food from home! This reduces calories and makes your meal more nutritious. You can have the leftovers from your dinner last night as well as that fast food you have been craving!

The next fast-food option is Moes or Chipotle! One swap you can try is instead of getting a burrito, get a bowl! A burrito shell adds a lot of extra calories! By getting a bowl you get a lot of nutrition as well as your Mexican food with less calories! You can also add extra veggies and lean protein for more nutrients! This makes your fast food even healthier! Try getting any sauces you want on the side instead of on top of your food. Sauces from fast food restaurants usually have a lot of calories and fat! By not pouring it on your food, you only use as much as you need and lowers calories. Finally, as previously mentioned, get chicken instead of beef for lean protein! This reduces calories and give you plenty of protein!

Another popular fast-food option is pizza! One tip is adding more toppings, like veggies, for more nutrients! Regular pizza doesn’t have many nutrients but by adding more toppings it gives this a healthy addition. Another tip is if you decide to order a pie, don’t eat out of the box! Put a slice on a plate and only put one slice on at a time! This reduces overeating and you will be able to stop eating when you feel satisfied and full. Another great idea is to get a salad on the side for extra nutrients!

Chinese food is another very popular fast-food option. A lot of the containers they provide are very large! Try getting the smallest size if you are ordering for yourself! This way you don’t overeat. As stated with the other fast-food locations, put the food on the plate and don’t eat out of the container, getting chicken instead of beef to reduce calories, and getting a salad or extra veggies as a side for extra nutrients. Finally, you can pick one entrée instead of many to lower calories. If you are still hungry after, grab something from home!

Finally, who can forget ICE CREAM​! Everyone loves ice cream but sometimes you don’t want the calories! One swap you can make is instead of getting ice cream, try sherbet or Italian ice for lower calories. Many ice cream places have chocolate ice which is lower calories since there is no dairy! Another option is to get a smaller size than you usually do. This lowers calories and prevents you from overeating. If you still want something sweet after, grab some fruit from home! Another tip is to add a topping like fruit or nuts for more nutrients! Finally, try low-fat ice cream! Not all ice cream places have this, but this is a great option to lower calories!

I hope these are helpful and help you make healthier choices while still getting your favorite fast food options!


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