Eating on the Go: A School Year Staple

The school year is in full swing and so is the threat of grabbing fast food for every meal. It’s not hard to fall into the fast food trap when you only have a few minutes between work and school to grab a bite or you’re on your way home from a late-night Intramural Game and “real restaurants” aren’t open. So when preparing a home-cooked meal is the furthest thing from your mind and your schedule, what are you to do? If you’re like me, eating fast food is often unavoidable, but trying some of these  (healthier) options can help keep your fitness goals on track.

McDonald’s

  • Hamburger (250 calories, 9 g fat)
  • Grilled Ranch Snack Wrap (270 calories, 10 g fat)
  • Small French fries (230 calories, 11 g fat)
  • Vanilla Soft-Serve Cone (170 calories, 4.5 g fat)

Wendy’s

  • Jr. Hamburger (250 calories, 10 g fat)
  • Large Chili (270 calories, 8 g fat)
  • Apple Pecan Chicken Salad – Half Size (340 calories, 18 g fat)
  • Jr. Original Chocolate Frosty (200 calories, 5 g fat)

Burger King

  • Whopper Jr. (340 calories, 19 g fat)
  • Veggie Burger (410 calories, 16 g fat)
  • Value-sized Onion Rings (150 calories, 8 g fat)

Taco Bell

  • Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco (160 calories, 10 g fat)
  • Chalupa Supreme® – Chicken (340 calories, 18 g fat)
  • Fresco Steak Burrito Supreme (360 calories, 9 g fat)
  • Cinnamon Twists (170 calories, 7 g fat)

Subway

  • 6” Subway Club on 9-grain Wheat Bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers and Sweet Onion Sauce plus apple slices (445 calories, 4.5 g fat)
  • 6” Subway BLT on 9-grain Wheat Bread with lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers (320 calories, 9 g fat)
  • Double Chicken Chopped Salad (220 calories, 4.5 g fat)

Chipotle

  • 3 Soft Corn Tortilla with chicken, tomatoes salsa and fajita vegetables (440 calories, 10 g fat)
  • Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, lettuce and roasted chili-corn salsa (385 calories, 7 g fat)
  • Salad with Barbacoa, brown rice and corn salsa (420 calories, 12.5 g fat)

Panera

  • Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken salad (350 calories, 13 g fat)
  • Smoked Turkey Breast on Country Bread Sandwich (420 calories, 3 g fat)
  • Low-fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (240 calories, 2.5 g fat)

Remember:

  1. Mind your condiments: ketchup and mustard are your best bets; honey mustard and barbecue sauce could potentially add 60 calories to your meal.
  2. Beware the salad: Lettuce and tomatoes do not override the salad dressing, croutons, cheese and crispy chicken lounging on top of them.
  3. Check out the kid’s menu: the portions are smaller and the prices are cheaper. (The nostalgia you’ll experience is free.)
  4. Get an app: The Fast Food Calorie Counter app gives you quick access to over 9,000 fast food menu items’ nutrition facts.

Source: Fitness Magazine’s July/August 2013 issue.

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