In a dream world, full of endless time and unlimited organization, each of my meals would be perfectly prepared, measured out with a food scale, and hot ‘n fresh exactly when I need it. But of course, as a busy, working mom of 4, this is the furthest thing from my reality most days. Although I really do try to make each meal at home, often I am caught in between dropping Marley at gymnastics and sending Matix off to football with only a few minutes to eat. In these situations, I turn to my hit list?my top macro-friendly fast food choices. Whether you are training for a physique show like me, or on your way to losing weight, these top 5 choices are the bomb.com com for any diet…with both high- and low-carb options.
I still try to limit my eating on-the-go to a minimum, but when I’m in a pinch, these are the best options. And I must tell you, these babies are lifesavers for me. I know I’m not the only busy mama in need of the occasional quick fix, so I’m breaking down some healthy options that’ll keep your bellies full and your goals on track.
Since sometimes there’s no predicting when a busy schedule is going to strike, I tried to include an option for both a high- and low-carb day for each fast food restaurant, as well as the breakdown of each item’s macros. Check it out below!!
Starbucks: Okay, if you’ve spent even a few minutes browsing through my social media, you know I am a MAJOR self-proclaimed Starbucks addict. I’ll admit, I need an extra dose of caffeine to get through some of my busiest days. After trying a few different options, I’ve found my go-to low-cal, low-fat coffee option that still tastes amazing! Occasionally, when there’s no time to cook breakfast, or even lunch, I’ll grab one of their delish breakfast sandwiches too. Beware, some of their sandwiches, although they look amazing, are full of fat and unwanted calories, but luckily, the Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Sandwich fits perfectly into my meal plan and is so good no matter what time of day. The only caution I have here?high sodium. Almost ALL fast food options will be though.
Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
230 cals, 6g F, 28g C, 13g P
Grande Iced Coffee, no Classic, 1 pump of Mocha
25 cal, .5g F, 6g C, .2g P
Chipotle: As a true AZ girl, Mexican food is my weakness. When the craving strikes and there’s just no taming it, a healthy option from Chipotle is my go-to. Although, if you don’t watch what you order, Chipotle can quickly become a threat to your diet. There are surprisingly quite a few options to keep you on the lighter side. My choice??The Burrito Bowl! Packed full of grilled chicken, brown rice, black beans, shredded lettuce, and a couple kinds of salsa, this bad boy totally curbs my cravings and fills me up. Love it!
What I order:
Burrito Bowl with grilled chicken, brown rice, ?black beans, grilled veggies, lettuce, pico de gallo
515 cals, 12.5g. F, 64g C, 44g P
In ?n Out: This is hands down one of Chris’ and my absolute favorite indulgences, fast food or not! I mean, who doesn’t love a good burger? The best part is that you can snag a satisfying burger without breaking the caloric bank…as long as you know how to order correctly. Beware of fatty spreads and greasy fries?they’re like a hidden caloric bomb and will absolutely kill your diet! Trying to cut carbs? No stress, this place has got you covered! Order it “protein style” to omit the bun and have your burger wrapped in a piece of crisp lettuce instead.
What I order:
Single hamburger, animal style, no spread, add ketchup and mustard?NO ONIONS (okay, the onions are a personal preference, I just can’t stand onion breath. It lingers for days!!!)
310 cals, 10g F, 41g C, 16g P
Single cheeseburger, protein style, animal style, no spread, add ketchup and mustard?NO ONIONS.
245 cals, 16g F, 11g C, 18g P
Chick-Fil-A: Chris’ guilty pleasure..all day long, baby! On any given cheat day, you can find Chris rolling through a Chick-Fil-A drive thru window ordering up a big shake and a tasty sandwich. In fact, he’s been busted a few times with tagged pics on social media. Haha! But if it’s NOT a cheat day, there are still plenty of yummy, healthy options here! My personal favorite is the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, but beware they have a “Club” version that adds bacon and cheese, making it a poor nutritional option in my opinion. On a low-carb day, their grilled nuggets are my saving grace! Occasionally I’ll grab these on the way home and throw in a big salad for some extra protein. Delish!
What I order:
Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with ketchup and mustard
310 cals, 3.5g F, 46g C, 29g P
140 cals, 3g F, 4g c, 23g P
Never again can you use the excuse that you didn’t have any healthy options available! So when you forget to pack, prep, and bring your food with you, use this guide to help you choose wisely on-the-go. Tell me some of your fave healthy options on-the-go below!!
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Awesome on the Chipotle! Double awesome that the Nutpods are a condiment 🙂
I did look up the So Delicious Creamer and its as follows:
I am thinking this is a No No!
Yeah…you’ll probably want to skip it. ?
If I order the burrito bowl without rice would this be okay for a low carb meal?
Also, I was wondering if you could tell me what “SO Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Creamer” or “Nutpods” fall under so that I may be able to have some coffee? I am getting a lot of headaches and I think its because I haven’t had much coffee because I am unable to drink it black.
Hi Nicole: To make a burrito bowl low-carb, you’d also need to skip the beans. I can’t find a nutrition label for the SO Delicious Creamer, so would you mind replying with that information please? I’ll need the calories, plus fat, carb, and protein grams. The Nutpods can be considered a condiment. ?
In France we haven’t as many fast foods as you have in the US. We only have McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. We also have Starbucks but we have less choices than i can remember Starbucks i used to go when i was living in the US 10 years ago.
What would you advice?
Hi Magalie: Most fast food restaurants now have their nutritional information online, so I’d check there and decide what you’re going to order before you enter the restaurant.
Thanks for the advice!
Love this! Thanks for sharing and explaining exactly what you get at these places. Saving this for future reference! 🙂
This is a great post. I eat like this as well if I have to go to fast food. Especially burgers. I mean the buns and spread kill an otherwise healthy meal.
This is a great post and very helpful! I’m working on sticking to a healthy lifestyle postpartum and love learning new tips and tricks.
What is the difference between animal style and protien style? Do you just ask them to make it once way or the other?
Animal style adds dill pickles and grilled onions to the burgers. Protein style means they skip the bun and wrap your burger in iceberg lettuce instead 🙂 both are delish!!
Thanks Heidi for always keeping it real. Chick fila is one of my fave cheats as well. I also made the barbecue chicken pizza. Tonight was stuffed peppers with brown rice and ground turkey. God bless you and Chris for all you do.
Panda Express’ bowls are somewhat healthy and low carb if you skip the rice and get a single entree with the mixed veggies. 🙂
Oh, I should mention, the entree must be something not battered, like the string bean chicken or broccoli beef. They have calories listed on their menu to help people choose healthier options.
I love to get the chargrilled sandwich at Chic Fil A lettuce wrapped.