A big complaint about busy schedules is the time it takes away from being able to prep and cook a nutritious meal on a regular basis. Fast food and restaurants have become a crutch of many of the go but it doesn’t always mean that you have to completely lose out on nutrition. You have to always keep in mind that your body is a vehicle and the food you put into it will directly affect what you get out. But it’s just not realistic in this day in age to think we can all dedicate the time needed to cook three square meals a day. Keeping that in mind we thought a list of the best options for eating out and fast food might come in some use to you busy go getters.
Chicken, Pinto Bean, Tomato Salsa and Fajita Veggie Salad, no dressing
355 calories, 8.5 g fat (3 g saturated), 1,220 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (10 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 41 g protein
Chipotle is more than just a theme for funny Internet humor. Their Mexican inspired dishes are filled with healthy proteins and fresh veggies. Try your best to hold back on fattening sauces and tortilla bread. Did we mention they removed are their GMO ingredients from their menu?
Half Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT and Half Seasonal Greens Salad with Reduced-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
390 calories, 20 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 625 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 18 g protein
HELLO 18 grams of protein! The fat on this may hit you with some hesitation but most of this comes from the avocado, which is considered a healthy fat… so don’t shy away from this option. This would make a great pre-work out lunch.
3. Red Lobster
Lighthouse Rock Lobster Tail with Rice and Broccoli
450 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,260 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 45 g protein
Why not try some seafood? Lobster is packed with protein and if you can hold off on tipping that succulent tail in the butter sauce you’ll be doing even better. The great part about foods that are high in protein is it will keep you feeling full for longer so you can ditch those cravings later on.
4. Olive Garden
Herb-Grilled Salmon with Garlic-Herb Butter and Parmesan-Garlic Broccoli
460 calories, 28 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (4 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 43 g protein
If you keep your hands off the never-ending bread sticks then you’re already winning. Try holding on to the self-control and keep the garlic and herbs for the salmon instead of the “carby” pasta. There’s nothing like the feeling of sweet satisfaction when you realize you’re strong enough to think with your brain and not your stomach.
Loaded Chicken Wrap
310 calories, 13 g fat (6 saturated), 890 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 14 g protein
We all know that fried chicken is not a healthy source of protein but no one eats healthy 100% of the time. This a perfect example of how you can still have fast food once in awhile and not feel all the guilt. If you’re in the market from some Popeye’s choose the loaded chicken wraps as with some red beans and rice for only 310 calories.
Some other tips for eating out might help too:
Stick to water with a lemon wedge. Drinking your calories, especially with sugar filled pop and juices are not going to give you any nutritional value. Water will keep you hydrated and the lemon will cleanse.
Don’t choose a starch as your side. Fries and other starchy foods can significantly change a number of calories you are eating. Opt for whole grains or salads with a vignette.
Kids meals are always an option. Resturants may not let you do this but for Fast Food, this is a great trick. If you’re going to Mcdonalds, for example, pick a happy meal that will mean fewer calories. It’s likely you will still feel hungry after words but it will at least tie you over until you can make something at home.