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In order to make your health and wellness sustainable long term, you must figure out how to incorporate restaurant and fast food options into your meal plan. After all, you cannot live under a rock your entire life, just maybe during the initial part of your journey where staying in on the weekends doesn’t sound all that bad because you are highly motivated and dropping the lbs quickly. Regardless of your disposition towards nutritional shenanigans, there is hope. Contrary to popular belief, some fast food options are not all that bad for you. In fact, some fast food options are probably more CALORIE or MACRO FRIENDLY than what you made at home for dinner tonight! Yes, most options are deep fried or doused in a tasty, yet incredibly fatty cream-based sauce, but that doesn’t mean that “better for you” options dont exist… and a lot of these options are available at popular chains you’d never expect, like McDonalds. Since over 40% of the adult American population is overweight or obese, there is a HUGE market for quick low calorie, high protein fast food option. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of my favorites! Tag a friend who needs this list!

THE GOLDEN RULE- read before continuing. When it comes to fast food options, moderation is key. Most of these options are macro friendly because they are moderately portioned, not because they are made using low calorie ingredients. Do not overcompensate for their lack of size by ordering a ton of food. For smaller items like a jr burger or a taco, feel free to eat two. For all other options, order only one. DO NOT COMBINE THESE OPTIONS WITH A SIDE! FRIES ARE NOT ALLOWED! Eating fast food should ONLY serve to hold you over in a bind or to satisfy your craving for something a little bit different. If you choose to consume fast food, make sure you substitute it for a full meals worth of food.

  • Arby’s- grilled chicken cordon Bleu sandwich (no mayo), Martha’s vineyard salad (no dressing, add salsa), Santa Fe salad with grilled chicken (no dressing), Roast beef classic sandwich h, prime-cut chicken tenders (3), chopped farmhouse salad w/ roast turkey

  • Carl’s JR- charbroiled BBQ chicken sandwich

  • Chic-Fil-A- chargrilled chicken club sandwich, chargrilled chicken garden salad, chargrilled chicken cool wrap, or grilled chicken nuggets

  • Chipotle- burrito bowl (rice or beans, chicken or steak, fajita vegetables, mild, medium, and/or hot salsa, corn, and lettuce).

  • El Pollo Loco- Keto burrito or double chicken avocado salad

  • Firehouse subs- small club on a sub (no mayo), Small hook and ladder (no mayo), Small turkey bacon ranch (no mayo), Chopped salad w/ grilled chicken (no dressing), Chopped salad w/ turkey and grilled chicken (no dressing)

  • In N Out- Hamburger w/ protein style bun, Hamburger w/ mustard and ketchup instead of spread

  • Flame broiler or Waba Grill- 1/2 rice 1/2 vegetables + meat of choice (feel free to use as much hot sauce as desired)

  • Jack In The Box- chicken fajita pita, Grilled chicken salad (no dressing), Chicken club salad w/ grilled chicken strips (no dressing), Southwest salad w/ grilled chicken strips (no dressing)

  • KFC- honey BBQ sandwich, tender roast sandwich (without sauce) or oven roasted twister (without sauce)

  • McDonald’s- Southwest salad with grilled chicken or Asian salad with grilled chicken, bacon ranch salad w/ grilled chicken, Artisan grilled chicken sandwich

  • Panda Express- Kung pao chicken, grilled teriyaki chicken, grilled asian chicken, broccoli beef

  • Popeyes- Blackened chicken tenders (3 or 5), blackened bbq chicken o’boy, mild chicken leg, spicy chicken leg

  • Quiznos- 4in black Angus steak sandwich (no cheese or dressing), large honey mustard chicken salad (no dressing), large chef salad (no dressing), large bbq ranch salad (no dressing)

  • Sonic- Jr burger, chicken strips kids meal, classic grilled chicken sandwich, grilled chicken wrap

  • Subway- 6in roast beef sandwich, 6in oven roasted chicken, 6in turkey breast, 6in rotisserie chicken

  • Taco Bell- Fresco style zesty chicken border bowl (without dressing), fresco style steak burrito supreme, fresco style zesty chicken border bowl (no dressing, add salsa), Grilled steak soft taco, fresco steak soft taco, fresco soft chicken taco

  • Wendy’s- ultimate grill sandwich, full size apple pecan chicken salad (no mayo), large chili, grilled chicken sandwich, grilled chicken wrap


  • Chic-Fil-A- egg white chicken grill

  • McDonalds- Egg white delight McMuffin

  • Starbucks- Spinach and feta wrap

  • Subway- 6in steak, egg white and cheese sandwich

  • Quiznos- Ham and egg grilled flatbread

And there you have it… a comprehensive list of over 75 items from readily available fast food chains all over the country. With this knowledge, there really is no excuse to not crush your weight loss goal now

PRACTICAL TIP: a lot of the salad options omit the dressing. Feel free to use salsa instead, or to bring your own bottle of Walden Farms calorie free dressing.

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Alfredo Duque
Alfredo Duque
Aug 25, 2023

You had me at the Arbys and Wendys menu. Now I know what to remove and what to add.

Jeff Baird
Jeff Baird
Aug 25, 2023
Replying to

Awesome :) anything to make weight loss a little bit more sustainable/ realistic !

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