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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Diets and Fast Food

Some ideas from a colleague at About.com: Fast Food on a Diet By Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. Hungry Girl Updated July 24, 2014 . Healthy Fast-Food Salad Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com There are times when you're on the go and hungry, and fast food is unavoidable. The good news is that you CAN make smart choices at a fast-food restaurant without taking in an obscene number of calories. Just follow these Hungry Girl tips 'n tricks... BREAKFAST Pick: Look for morning sandwiches made with English muffins, egg whites, and naturally lean Canadian bacon. If there aren't any egg-white options, go with a regular egg patty (no cheese). Fruit parfaits are also good! Skip: Sandwiches on bagels, biscuits, and croissants are drastically higher in calories than English-muffin versions. And those multi-item platters are generally a bad way to start your morning. Carb-y pancakes paired with fatty sausage and sugary syrup? No, thank you! Consider: Oatmeal is now super popular at fast-food restaurants. The calorie counts are usually pretty reasonable, but the portion sizes aren't always impressive. (I prefer to make giant low-calorie versions at home using my "growing oatmeal" technique!) Also, coffee is virtually calorie-free before anything is added to it. Make sure it comes unsweetened without milk or cream. Then add no-calorie sweetener and a splash of fat-free milk. BURGERS AND MORE Don't miss the special-requests section down below! Burgers: Not all burgers are bad choices -- a simple hamburger can be a decent pick. HG trick: Order a junior burger! And always avoid multiple patties and fancy buns. Turkey Burgers: Warning... Some of these have even more fat and calories than beef burgers! Check the nutritional info online to see how the restaurant's version stacks up. Chicken Breast: Grilled chicken = good. Crispy chicken, a.k.a. fried = bad! 'Nuf said. Double Tacos: One of my favorite orders at a Mexican chain is two grilled chicken soft tacos -- I take the contents of one taco and stuff 'em into the other, ditching the extra tortilla. The result is a giant, protein-packed taco! Much smarter than a burrito... Those tortillas are almost always MASSIVE and loaded with calories. (That's why I make burritos at home with low-calorie tortillas.) SPECIAL REQUESTS Apply these to the above picks... Hold the Mayo: Mayonnaise is a sandwich and burger staple, adding unnecessary fat and calories to otherwise decent choices. A lot of times it isn't mentioned on the menu, so always ask. Better safe than sorry. Skip the Cheese: Cheese is another source of fatty calories. Ditch it to slim down any meal. Lettuce Bun: Wrapping your burger or chicken breast in lettuce leaves will save you tons of carb-y calories. If the place doesn't do lettuce buns, just ask for your sandwich goodies over a bed of lettuce. Not ready to go bread-free? Just nix the top half of the bun. No Sour Cream: At Mexican chains, skip the heavy sour cream and any other creamy sauces. Stick with salsa or pico de gallo -- plenty of flavor and so low in calories. SALADS Don't assume these are the best things on the menu! The wrong toppings can result in a meal with more calories than a triple-patty cheeseburger. What to look for: A smart fast-food salad features grilled chicken and lots of veggies (even fresh fruit!). Get light dressing on the side. Then dip; don't pour! What to watch out for: Crispy chicken is a salad fail. Same goes for cheese, candied nuts, bacon, and tortilla strips. Dressing PSA: The dressing stats are often not included in the nutritional information for the salad. The good news? The packets come on the side, so you can review the calorie counts and use it sparingly. If there are no good options, see if they have salsa, and use that instead! A WORD ABOUT DESSERT Avoid oversized shakes and gooey cinnamon buns! But a small soft-serve ice cream cone can be a reasonable way to satisfy a sweet tooth. And a fruit parfait off the sides menu might do the trick! For guilt-free recipes, food finds, tips 'n tricks, and more, sign up for free daily emails at hungry-girl.com! Dining Out Advice •Surprisingly Fattening Foods •What to Order When Dining Out: Best & Worst Restaurant Choices for Dieters •Frozen Yogurt Guide for Dieters Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. Hungry Girl About.com Diet Advice Headlines .... Advertisement . Ads: Salad Calories Breakfast Nutrition Breakfast Sandwich Fat Calories Fast Food Franchises Explore Diet Advice Must Reads •Fast Food on a Diet •How to Make Healthy Low-Fat French Fries •Frozen Yogurt Guide for Dieters •How to Make Healthy "Fried" Food •Low-Carb Ways to Satisfy a Pizza Craving Most Popular •Low-Carb Ways to Satisfy a Pizza Craving •How to Make Healthy Low-Fat French Fries •How to Make Healthy "Fried" Food •Low-Calorie Smoothie Ideas •The Best and Worst Restaurant Choices for Dieters By Category •Recipe Ideas •Food Finds and Shopping Tips •Dining Out Advice .. About.com Diet Advice. About.com Health Diet Advice Dining Out Advice Fast Food on a Diet

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