Hearing you can lose weight by eating fast food you probably automatically think it’s an oxymoron. But according to Men’s Health Magazine, you actually can lose weight when you eat fast food. But, before you go and buy yourself a number seven super-sized, you need to know what you can and can’t eat.
Here are the secret to a fast-food diet.
1. Don’t fall for combos
Saying yes when asked if you’d like the combo, is pretty much the same as saying you’d like to super-size your meal. Not only is it a way for the fast food chain to make some extra dollars, it’s also a way to add unnecessary fat and calories to your meal.
2. Chew it over
Believe it or not, how much you chew your food can determine how many calories you consume overall. According to a 2009 study by researchers, they found chewing each bite for 3 extra seconds could help you consume fewer calories because your brain senses the food and makes you feel full quicker.
3. Beware of the “heath halo”
The health halo is when you believe food from a fast food chain that’s perceived as being “healthy” actually is healthier for you, compared to food from an “unhealthy” chain. More often than not, when someone is ordering food from somewhere they think is “heathier” they tend to order more food and in the long run eat more calories.
4. Side with Wendy’s Chili
The Chili at Wendy’s (a personal favorite) actually provides 25% more food and three times as much protein as a large order of fries. Plus, it will save you 320 calories. Their Jr. Cheeseburger paired with a side chili together total less than 500 calories!
5. Give milk shakes the cold shoulder
There is a reason why milk shakes are so delicious. It’s a combo of two of the worst ingredients for us, liquefied sugar and liquefied fat. Most orders are over 1,000 calories! You’re better off with a single scoop of ice cream from your favorite ice cream parlour.
6. Beware of the deli “salad”
When we think of salad, usually it’s lettuce and other veggies in a bowl. But at many fast food restaurants, when you see salad it’s usually paired with a little bit of tuna, egg or chicken mixed with a ton of fattening mayo. Gross! Stay away! Some of these salad sandwiches are over 1,000 calories!
7. Think thin (crust)
The part of the pizza which packs on the calories isn’t the toppings…it’s the crust! Go thin crust! Most deep-dish pizzas are over 1,000 calories even BEFORE any of the toppings.
8. Order a cappuccino over a latte
Why you may ask? Cappuccinos start with a base of steamed milk, which adds more air into the mix. Compared to a latte, with no air. More air = fewer calories!
9. Go fresco at Taco Bell
When heading to the border, order off their fresco menu. Not one item has more than 340 calories and they’re complete with tons of protein and fiber which will fill you up.
10. Choose bacon over sausage
Ham is always the clear winner when it comes to breakfast meats. But since most people would rather have bacon or sausage, go with bacon.
11. Skip the soda…and the juice and sweet tea
All of those tasty beverages are loaded with sugar. And the more sugar you drink the more calories you’re taking in. A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that after six months, subjects who cut 100 daily calories from sweetened beverages lost five times more weight than people who cut 100 daily calories from food.
12. Order by number
Now that most chains in California are required to post calorie content, order by that number. That way you know exactly how many calories you’re eating. Who knows, you may even find something new you like!
13. Go to Chipotle, but skip the burrito.
Chipotle in SoCal is huge! Everyone seems to love the burritos. But even though you’re getting a ton of great proteins and fiber to fill you up, the tortilla is what raises the red flag. Instead of opting for the burrito, have a bowl instead. That will save you almost 300 calories alone!
14. Build your own sandwich
Put yourself in control. You decide exactly what you want on your sandwich. Opt-out from all the fattening sauces and oils. Go with whole grain, lean meats and tons of veggies. And use mustard as your condiment!
15. Hold the mayo
Mayo alone can add up to almost 200 extra calories on any burger or sandwich. Be sure to say “hold the mayo” whenever possible. Request ketchup or barbecue sauce instead.
16. Grill the chicken at KFC
Ordering a two-piece grilled breast and wing meal will save you almost 300 calories and 71 mg of sodium. Or head to El Pollo Loco, who grills all of their chicken.
17. Call in the dogs
You can easily save almost 200 calories by order a hot dog instead of a hamburger. The size of the American hamburger has risen to be two to five times larger than they were 20 years ago, compared to the unchanged in size hot dog.
18. Skip the “secret sauce”
Once again, it all goes back to mayo. These sauces tend to be three parts mayo to two parts ketchup, with a few herbs. Just like a relationship, no secrets!
19. Skip the breakfast muffin and bagels
Both of these lack one of the main ingredients that will keep you full, protein. You’re just eating a bunch of carbs, which will turn to sugar, which will turn to fat. Stick to egg bases sandwiches.
20. Order from the secret menu
This is where the word secret is a good thing. There are two which are worth remembering: he Chicken Marinara at Subway makes a great alternative to the Meatball Marinara, and it saves you 260 calories and 19 grams of fat. At Starbucks, ask to have your sweetened coffee drink served from a “short” cup, which you won’t see listed on the menu. Both will save you calories!