How To Eat Healthy At A Fast-Food Restaurant?

How To Eat Healthy At A Fast-Food Restaurant?

Being a foodie, hunting for restaurants that serve quality food is not merely a resort to your cravings, but a hobby. In the course of the lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, many have sought recourse to cooking fast food dishes at home, to keep the zeal alive! While the ideal notion of a hearty meal is supposed to be a healthy diet composed of nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fibre, the taste buds ask for more. More often than not, food that speaks to the tongue harms the rest of the body. So is there a way to maintain a healthy diet without turning away from your favourite fast-food restaurant? Cheer up, foodies! The answer is yes!

Nothing plays with the mind than the idea of picking up a happy meal for lunch while you are really on the clock and a quick, tasty solution to your hunger (and craving!). When you enter a fast-food restaurant and take a look at the menu, you come across various items which are loaded with calories, sodium or fat. However, this does not always hold. While you cannot lower the number of calories you intake at one luscious bite of the Big Mac (which carries 257 calories in total!), there are ways to balance this consumption with that of a healthy side salad. Although it is not easy to decide on a meal that is moderate in terms of health and zeal, yet even at a fast-food chain, there is no rule which says that you have to settle for what comes with your meal. You can always opt for healthier substitutions to save that extra bunch of fats and turn it into a “happy meal” for your taste and body.

It is indeed not an easy task, to maintain your health while thriving on fast food regularly. So an effective way to cut back on the extra calories would be to restrict your fast food intake to once a week. Yet you could be inculcating fast food in your diet, without compromising on your diet plan. How? It all depends upon your choice (and a bit of creativity!) in composing a meal whose flavours complement each other while being a healthier alternative to the all-about-your-taste fast food. Here are a few ways for you to keeping in line with a healthy lifestyle while catching a break every once in a while at a fast-food chain. 

  • Keep The Portions Small


The more, the merrier! Well, not really. If you wish to regulate the intake of reckless calories, it is advised that you go for the smallest sandwich or burger that is offered on the menu instead of one which serves the course of several meals in the guise of one. When you go for large, value-sized items, you may feel full for the rest of the day, what it does is add on to the fats and carbohydrates which give you the sense of being full for a short while and you may feel the need to eat again after some time. Try that it does not exceed a total of 500 calories per intake. Check out the children’s menu to find more reasonable portions that can keep you going for the time being while serving you with a mouth full of heavenly taste!  (Check out the verified Quandoo Singapore Promo Code and book your favourite restaurants at unbelievable prices!)

  • Be Wise About The Side Dishes


You may not be able to control the calories in a burger, but you can always go for a healthy green salad made of fresh lettuce, kale and veggies instead of the bucket of French fries! Soup may not be the best fit to be a side snack for a sandwich or a burger but makes up for a good complementary for pizza instead of cold drinks.  

  • Green Saves The Day


Research states that an average adult consumes 836 calories per fast food meal without even realizing an amount close to that number! If sticking to a nutritional, healthy diet isn’t exactly your forte, you can always make some space for it in your fast food consumption. Go for a green salad for an entrée with grilled chicken and a green dressing (but be cautious with the amount!) To compensate for the added salt and sugar (not to forget the fats!), a salad dressing is your best bet. Make sure that your side salad doesn’t incorporate high-calorie items such as deep-fried croutons or shells and cut back on the extra cheese layers or toppings.   

  • Cut Back On Sodium

Shrimp, Ham, cheese, pizza and sandwiches are some of the highest sodium-containing food items. The Reference Daily Intake for Sodium is 2300mg which is nowhere near the real consumption of sodium by an average adult, which is around 3,400 mg. This is a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases. The high intake comes from the salt used to preserve this fast food, rather than the salt you use at home. Most restaurants or packaged goods mention the nutritional value of the main ingredients. You can restrict your sodium intake by keeping in check the amount of sodium that a meal contains.

 Since you cannot separate the sodium (or any nutrient, for that matter) from your food, you can accordingly maintain the nutritional value of food leading up to and followed by your fast food.   

  • Roasted/Grilled Over Fried

It only takes consuming fried food once a week to increase the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and inflammation. A smart way would then be to refrain from fried or breaded components such as fried chicken, French fries, croutons, or breaded fish fillets and opt for grilled or roasted items such as roasted lean meats, lean roast beef or lean chicken breast. While too much oil in any form can make one prone to heart diseases or obesity, roasted or grilled items harmless than fried ones. Instead of the French fries, you can go for the baked potato or side salad and still have the crunch in your meal without putting your health at stake.   

  • Special Order For Your Health

Many restaurants give you the choice of substituting a few components in your dish with healthier alternatives. These are not the old days of monopoly where the customer eats whatever the owner has to serve. Your health should be your top priority and so you should not shy away from asking for a few changes in the conventional way that meals are served. You can ask for a single patty hamburger without cheese instead of a double patty cheeseburger, Grilled chicken strips instead of chicken nuggets or low-fat dressing instead of toppings such as bacon, cheese or ranch dressing.

You are consuming the same ingredients or thriving on similar taste with a far fewer number of calories.

  • Watch Out For Beverages!

Beverages may not look like harming a lot to your health, but every sip of that cold drink harms your bones and milkshakes contain the same amount of calories as a regular size burger. These are things that you can do without if you have ordered a giant pizza or a cheese sandwich as the main course. Try to cut back on Soda, which has a lot of calories or extra sweet beverages such as lemonades or tea and instead switch to low-fat beverages such as yoghurt parfait, vanilla sundae in a cup without a cone, diet soda or unsweetened tea. This way your health can be better tended to by cutting back on around 800 calories per day!

At Your Favourite Fast Food Joints

Once you step into your favourite pizza place, it is hard to make rational decisions over the smell of cheese being laid across a large pizza (Speaking of which, have you checked out the deals at Grab to book your favourite food chains at the lowest prices?). But, remember if you regulate the amount of unhealthy food, you can subscribe to it and use Grab Promo Code for a long while before your body starts to give up on it!

Here are a few ways that can save you that extra bag of calories that takes away the joy of eating at your favourite places.

  • At the Pizza place


No matter how tempting the sight of a hearty meal with a large pizza and white sauce Pasta sounds, it is always wise to steer clear of the fatty meats and cheese that every bite of a large pizza serves you with. You can opt for a thin crust over a regular crust with light cheese and vegetable toppings to derive the same amount of pleasure from every bite with a much less fatal risk for your health. Avoid the pan pizza which serves 800 calories or more in the guise of the cheese bumps and limit meat toppings that are laden with calories such as pepperoni, bacon or sausage.   

  • At the burger joint


The next time you visit or order from your favourite burger joint, try going for a single hamburger patty with light or no mayonnaise and most importantly skip the fries (arguably the hardest to resist!). The usual burger + fries + beverage is a way of imbibing an entire day worth of calories in the guise of one meal (which can go up to 3000 calories). Go easy on the high-calorie burger toppings (cheese or onion rings) and the special sauces which could go on the side and be consumed in lesser amounts.

Needless to say, skipping the extra layer of cheese or bread would take you a long way!

  • At the Deli


While a sandwich is always a better alternative to a burger meal (thanks to Subway!) it still does not guarantee not to antagonize your health if you are not wise in the selection of your meal. It is possible to consume more calories at a sub shop than a burger joint so don’t be fooled by the lush menu! The trick is to steer clear of the extras, such as chips or beverages which can forsake your health in the guise of the “health benefits” over other fast-food chains. A smaller sized sub with whole grain bread and low-fat dressing (mustard, vinegar) can save you up to a thousand calories over the large deli loaded with cheese and mayonnaise (and fats!). Eat tasty but smart!   

  • At the chicken joint


The chicken joint is no exception from serving fats and calories with every platter. The original, extra crispy fried chicken, which is nothing but a load of the unhealthy regime, can be substituted for the skinless chicken breast without the breading. If you must have meat, chicken is a better alternative to beef or bacon. Try Honey BBQ chicken sandwich over Teriyaki wings and steer clear of the fried chicken sandwich which is a three-way attack upon your health! Switch to grilled or roasted alternatives and with mashed potatoes on the side which would give you the necessary nutrients without an overwhelming flow of fats and calories in your body.


By Vouchers Portal SG