healthy_eatingWhen you are trying to lose weight, there are times when you feel as though you can be really in control of your healthy eating plan.
You’ve made your meal plan, bought your groceries for the week and have a stash of healthy options in the freezer.
But there are also times when the control is taken away from you, and you are faced with temptation left right and centre.
For instance you might find yourself on a road trip where the only options for lunch are from a service station or a fast food joint.
And that’s where having a little knowledge up your sleeve can come in handy. Because when you are standing at a fast food counter, you need to learn how to look beyond the burgers, pizzas, chips and sugary drinks to find the (often minimal) healthy options on offer.

  • What’s on offer – burgers and chips

Many of the fast food burger joints now have some healthier options available.
The very best option is often a salad. And while they aren’t going to be as delicious and healthy as one you would make yourself, they are much better than diving headfirst into a 690 calorie Whopper (Hungry Jacks) or a 498 calorie Crispy Chicken Burger (Red Rooster).
Choose a salad that has a good mix of healthy proteins (such as grilled chicken breast or lean beef), some healthy fats (think avocado, cheese or nuts) and plenty of leafy greens (such as baby spinach or lettuce). Leave off the creamy dressing and see if they have something like a vinaigrette.
Sometimes the hardest thing is breaking bad habits such as always getting fries with your meal. Often sneaking a chip or two from your dinner buddy is a great way to get your fix without the need to eat a whole medium fries which, at McDonald’s, comes in at 368 calories.
Subway has some decent options, so long as you steer clear of dressings. For instance their 6g of fat or less roast beef 6” sub is just 113 calories.
Water is your best bet for drinks, as the soft drinks and juices on offer are full of sugar which can often make you crave more and more.

  • What’s on offer – pizza and pasta

Again many pizza places have some other options to consider. The first option, again should always be a salad. You can then fill your plate with salad and enjoy a slice of pizza with it, rather than having your main meal as only pizza.
When it comes to ordering pizza, try to steer away from the greasy processed meats that are high in calories, fat and salt (that’s cabanossi, salami etc). For instance a large Supreme pizza from Domino’s contains 1715 calories.
Go for fresh vegetable toppings, grilled chicken or prawns, and tomato based sauces. You can also ask them to use half the amount of cheese on top, or choose one that uses feta or ricotta instead.
Some better quality pizza joints even have a lighter range of pizzas these days, but you would need to just ask for details.
Some also offer pasta and while they tend to be heavy on the cream and the cheese you may be able to find a pasta with a tomato based sauce which you could then eat with salad. The portion sizes tend to be huge so try to split the pasta with someone else, or just eat less of it.

  • What’s on offer – chicken, burgers and chips

If you have been eating healthy food for a while now you might find that you aren’t overly tempted by a bucketful of fried chicken (two pieces of KFC original recipe packs in 427 calories).
But it’s not just the chicken you need to keep an eye on, the burgers can be really high in calories too. You might be surprised to learn that a medium Bondi burger from Oporto contains 671 calories alone (add if you add a medium chips on the side you can add on another 490 calories).
So once again, salads should be your first choice. The chicken restaurants tend to have decent salads that use grilled chicken (not fried chicken with skin). These are really filling, and a great idea is to ask for extra chicken in there if you are really hungry, as the protein will help to fill you up.
You might also be able to find a quarter of a chicken on offer, which you could enjoy (minus the skin) from Nando’s for 252 calories.
Knowledge is power! Check out this extract from our new Calorie Bible which can help you make the best choices.


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