Sometimes I crave fast food, and it doesn't help that I have multiple options within walking distance of my house. I can be patient in other areas of my life, but when it comes to food I'm very impatient. I want what I want, and I want it NOW. However, I've discovered a few tricks to help make fast food slightly healthier and wanted to share them with you.
5 Tips for Healthier Fast Food
1. Split an order into 2 meals.
Since restaurants typically provide double the serving sizes for a single meal, simply split your order into two servings and put one in the fridge as soon as you get home.
2. Skip the soft drinks.
Save your money and your health by not ordering sugary sodas. Drink milk or water with your meal once you get home.
3. Go with the grilled options.
If you learn the lingo, you're much more likely to choose a healthy option. Pick something grilled, baked, or steamed over an option that's been sautéed, fried, or that contains alfredo in the name.
4. Replace carbs with veggies.
Instead of eating a hamburger with a bun, replace one or both pieces of bread with lettuce leaves. If your meal contains rice, swap it out for veggies or salad instead.
5. Order dressing on the side.
Have you ever noticed the amount of dressing that comes with a salad? Restaurants have sent as much as half a cup home with me at times! Request the dressing in a separate container so you can decide how much you want to use instead of having it decided for you. As an added bonus, your salad will stay crisper longer!
Healthier Fast Food from Panda Express
I thought I'd include a quick example! One of my favorite fast food options is the Orange Chicken Bowl from Panda Express. It's tangy and full of flavor; and it's one of my top choices when I don't feel like cooking. However, it's served with fried rice or noodles, which are full of carbohydrates in a meal that's already carb-laden.
In order to make it healthier, I order the chicken to go and skip the rice. Once I get home, I serve the chicken over a bed of baby spinach leaves. Sometimes I'll toss in some mandarin oranges for additional flavor and Vitamin C. Either way, it tastes great, and I don't miss the rice one bit! It's a simple swap, but over time little changes like that really add up.
Do you have any favorite tricks or food swap options that make fast food healthier? If so, I'd love to hear them!