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-VIXEN- SparkPoints: (25,058)
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Posts: 837
11/5/12 10:41 A

My two fast food go-to choices are the veggie delight from Subway and the grilled chicken salad at Jack in the Box. If it has to be fast food, and I really try to avoid those places, I pick between those two meals.

AMALIA8 SparkPoints: (47,636)
Fitness Minutes: (12,434)
Posts: 6,959
11/5/12 10:29 A

Great idea. I'll have to try that.

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
11/5/12 10:10 A

As a previous poster suggested, check out your local fast food restaurant's websites for the nutritional value. Also, SP has some great dining suggestions for different restaurants, just use the search engine here.
I did that myself, and after searching all the places I may get 'stuck' going to, I made a list on my phone of restaurants and what I would feel comfortable eating there. For example, at Burger King, maybe a Whopper Jr, no cheese, with a side salad if I really wanted a burger. Or McDonald's salad, with a light dressing and some fruit. Now, no matter when I get 'stuck' at these places, I can just pull out my phone and check my list instead of feeling overwhelmed.

AMALIA8 SparkPoints: (47,636)
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Posts: 6,959
11/4/12 11:31 P

I'm with you there. I can't deprive myself of foods I enjoy either. I figure I just have to remember in moderation and try to eat healthy 80% of the time like my dietitian suggests. Thanks for the great ideas. emoticon

BARB0863 SparkPoints: (10,555)
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11/4/12 4:01 P

A lot will depend on who you are with and how comfortable you are with ordering your food made "special".

At Wendy's I get the Ultimate Chicken Grill with no Honey Mustard, no bun and extra lettuce for 140 calories. Adding a value size Fries is 230 calories, small Chili is 210 calories or a Garden Side Salad (no croutons) (25 calories) with Italian Vinaigrette dressing (70 calories) is 95 calories (I don't like fruit vinaigrettes).

When I go there it is more often to meet up with someone so I order my sandwich special, add fries and water to drink for 370 calories. If I feel like a treat I may add a Jr. Chocolate Frosty for 200 calories (our Wendy's does a Frosty keytag promo which most times I don't use).

At McDonald's I order a McDouble only cheese (I get the bun but don't eat it) and a small order of fries (fresh), for 460 calories.

In reality I know I'm not going to give up fries (even though I know I wouldn't die if I did) so I order the smallest size and ask for them fresh since for me as long as they are hot I don't think about the size order only the taste.

It all comes down to making lifestyle changes we can live with, depriving myself of foods I enjoy (no matter how bad they may be) only makes me want them more.

Edited by: BARB0863 at: 11/4/2012 (16:02)
AMALIA8 SparkPoints: (47,636)
Fitness Minutes: (12,434)
Posts: 6,959
11/4/12 2:29 P

These are all excellent suggestions. Thanks everyone!

CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (72,306)
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11/4/12 2:02 P

For occasional fast food dining, I learned to wean myself off of the whole 'meal' concept. Fries and pop seem like an automatic part of ordering, but I find now that I'm usually satisfied with just a sandwich/burger/wrap and a bottle of water. That usually takes it from being a 900 calorie meal to under 500 calories. This is especially important to me when I'm stuck in a situation where fast food is unexpected. If I actually want fries and a burger as a treat, I'll plan for it and get it, but if we're talking about just grabbing some food from the only available option, a single sandwich and water is much closer to what my normal lunch would be. Another trick is ordering the smallest size - some places will offer a small burger that's actually a proper portion but looks microscopic compared to the burgers everyone else is getting. Once you get over the portion mind games, it's a perfectly satisfying amount (the same goes for a small order of fries or a 12 ounce drink. We're conditioned to think those are kids meals, but put them on a dinner plate and it's probably still more than what I'd eat as a normal meal at home).

As for actual food choices, one thing fast food restaurants generally do well is making nutritional information available. As sad as it is, some of the best online nutrition info I've seen is on the McDonald's and Tim Horton's websites. You can easily plan exactly what you're going to order before you go out, and it lets you skip over those deceiving 'healthy' meals that can trip you up (like the salads mentioned above, or Tim Horton's muffins, which are some of the worst things on their menu). About once a year I'm just in the mood for a full classic burger meal. My husband and I will go to Five Guys, and thanks to their menu planner I know exactly what to order to keep it to a reasonable amount that's still a treat, but not a ridiculous amount of food.

11/4/12 1:28 P

Wendy's: a small chili and side salad and water

Dietitian Becky

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
11/4/12 1:18 P

Your absolute best approach is to not chose those places. If you're on your own and strapped for time, try a Subway or something like that instead where you can get lots of fresh veggies and skip the sauces and cheese.

But if others are going as a social thing and you really can't get out of it, smaller portions, or "dressing on the side" salads. A lot of the fast food places offer salads that are just as bad as their burgers! So make sure you get them without dressings or on the side so you can just use a bit, and favour vinegar dressings over creamy ones.

Or hey, if it's now and then, that's "lifestyle", right? Enjoy whatever you feel like and have a "high" day today. It's gonna happen now and then. Your success at losing weight and keeping it off will come from patterns of eating, not individual meals. So as long as it isn't a pattern to eat there, now and then, it's actually okay to just have the Big Mac or whatever. (But best advice - skip the fries!)

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
11/4/12 1:14 P

This topic has come up a lot in the past few days (probably because the SparkCoach is telling people to do it!).

I order off the kids menu, or the "value" $1 menu. Like at Wendy's, the value sized fries the 5 piece spicy chicken nuggets, and 1 packet of bbq sauce is 500 calories even. There are healthier options there I'm sure but that's the one I like.

AMALIA8 SparkPoints: (47,636)
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Posts: 6,959
11/4/12 12:38 P

Hi. For SparkCoach today, I was asked to either post a tip or ask a question regarding the topic which was dining out healthy. My question is this:

When eating takeout at fast food restaurants (I live in Canada and my common places are Wendy's, KFC and sometimes McDonalds), what are some go to foods that you guys eat that are healthier than others?

I tend to just make sure I have the room in my calories for whatever I want when I go, but it's not the healthiest option. Thanks in advance for any advice

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