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blog 10 Healthiest Fast Food Items for Dieting

10 Healthiest Fast Food Items for Dieting

Staying on top of your diet with limited options available to you is not as hard of a task as you might think.

Sure, fast food restaurants are the epitome of obesity levels in the world; but, believe it or not, there are actual items on these menus you can order from and have a macronutrient friendly meal to incorporate into your full day of eating.

When times are hard, it takes some special creativity, proper knowledge, and self-control to manage your food selection at fast-food restaurants when you have pictures of cheeseburgers staring into the pit of your soul demanding that you order the extra value meal with a shake to top it off.

Don’t let fatty menu items deter you from sticking to your diet and making a healthy choice.

If you know that you’re strapped for time or just need something quick to eat but have a “bodybuilding-like” diet, specific apps that have macronutrient calculators built-in should be your best friend.

Specifically, MyFitnessPal, this is by far the easiest tool to use when tracking your intake for a meal as most food items are built out already.

All it takes is a simple search of the food items you are looking to order and incorporating the intake into your daily diet.

Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal App

Simple enough so far, right?

If you answered no, then you’re in luck. Listed below are 10 of the top options from the most popular fast-food restaurants in the United States you can get without disrupting your diet.

Related - 10 Protein Packed Foods For Dieting

1. McDonald’s – Egg White Delite

Egg White Delite

1 x Egg White Delite
- No Cheese
- No Butter Pat
3 x Egg Whites
- No Butter (Cooking Spray Substitute)

Total Estimated Macros: 30P/4F/27C

A great decision when looking for a balanced breakfast option. These specific options are perfect as they give you a hearty amount of protein and low fats.

Depending on your diet, you can remove the English muffin that the egg white delite comes on and go strictly for a protein-packed meal.

It’s very important to understand that most fast-food restaurants cook a lot of their food with butter.

Always weigh your options and look at what comes on the item so that you can request the removal of any condiments or add-ons that might not be diet-friendly.

2. McDonald’s – Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

McDonald’s – Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

1 x Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- No Sauce
- No Bun
1 x Side Salad
- Fat-Free Dressing on Side

Total Estimated Macros: 37P/6F/8C

With a very limited selection for healthy options on the lunch and dinner menu for McDonald's, going with these options gives you another great macro ratio for a protein-enriched meal.

Adding the side salad in also gives you some additional micronutrients that are necessary for your nutritional diet.

Again, making subtle eliminations from the regular menu item gives you additional wiggle room for a healthier intake.

3. Wendy’s – Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich

1 x Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- No Sauce
- No Bun
1 x Plain Baked Potato
- No Butter, Sour Cream or Cheese

Total Estimated Macros: 41P/65C/4F

Yes, spicy nuggets are back, and I am just as excited as you are.

BUT, we’re here for the healthiest options at fast-food restaurants.

Save it for your cheat meal.

Going basic and simple is the best option at Wendy’s and you still get a great taste at the same time.

Choose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and remove all the extras (lettuce and tomato can stay if you want).

Most importantly, get your carbs in and go for the baked potato but just make sure you request this as plain as can be.

This is a great option for a solid pre or post-workout meal to help with your carbohydrate intake and since potatoes are a high glycemic carbohydrate source, it’s a perfect pre-workout meal to help give you the energy you will need.

4. Chick-Fil-A – Egg White Grill

Chick-Fil-A Egg White Grill

1 x Egg White Grill (Double Egg Whites)
- No Cheese
- No Butter Pat

Total Estimated Macros: 35P/31C/4F

Simple, effective and tastes phenomenal all at the same time.

Similar to the egg white delite, Chick-Fil-A goes all out, just like the excellent customer service, and adds on a protein-packed piece of grilled chicken for a complementary addition to the protein portion of this meal.

5. Chick-Fil-A – Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich

1 x Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Whole Wheat Bun
1 x Side Salad
- No Cheese
- Fat-Free Dressing on Side

Total Estimated Macros: 35P/50C/8F

Again, the perfect combination to provide a well-balanced meal for pre or post-workout.

Chick-Fil-A is easily the cleanest when it comes to solid food items and they have bountiful options for those who are somewhat strict on their diet.

Who doesn’t love Chick-Fil-A, am I right? In my personal opinion, Chick-Fil-A is without a doubt the best option when it comes to macro-friendly options.

6. Panda Express – Grilled Chicken Teriyaki

Panda Express Grilled Chicken Terriyaki

1 x Grilled Chicken Teriyaki
- No Sauce
1 x Super Greens
½ x Brown Steamed Rice
- Smaller Portion

Total Estimated Macros: 40P/43C/15F

Here is where we run into a bit of a higher profile intake for this specific meal.

My suggestion is to save this solely for your post-workout meal as it is a bit higher on the fats and you can control the carbohydrates by asking for either smaller portions of brown rice or ask for the full amount which translates to roughly 86g of carbs according to their website nutritional calculator.

Add in the super greens for a solid micronutrient source to top it off.

7. Subway – Oven Roasted Chicken Chopped Salad

Subway Oven Roasted Chopped Chicken Salad

1 x Oven Roasted Chicken Chopped Salad
- Double Chicken

Total Estimated Macros: 34P/12C/5F

Honestly, you can really go either way with Subway as they do have a solid whole wheat bread option.

It comes down to personal preference and diet structure to depict which route you go to here.

Try to avoid certain protein options such as tuna due to the number of condiments added such as mayonnaise that will cause the fat and carbs to skyrocket.

8. Chipotle – Burrito Bowl

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

1 x Bowl with Double Chicken
- ½ Brown Rice
- ½ Black Beans
- Fajita Veggies

Total Estimated Macros: 70.5P/31.5C/17.75F

We’re all pretty much familiar with Chipotle and the options that they have so this one is fairly simple and even though it’s not a typical drive-thru fast food restaurant, it still fits the mold of being fast food at the end of the day.

Epic for post-workout consumption provides a hefty amount of protein and a balanced amount of carbohydrates with brown rice and black beans.

Chipotle also has a full nutrition calculator so you can build out your meal entirely and know exactly what you’re getting.

However, serving sizes may vary and if you are being very strict, ask for no rice and weigh out some minute rice and add this into your bowl.

9. Taco Bell – Power Menu Bowl

Taco Bell Power Bowl

1 x Power Menu Bowl
- No Avocado Ranch Sauce
- No Guacamole
- No Cheese

Total Estimated Macros: 27P/40C/8F

You may be wondering, "How in the hell can I eat healthily at Taco Bell?"

Well, as stated previously, it’s all about looking at your options and eliminating certain things.

Taco Bell recently introduced this item to appeal to a healthier conscious demographic and it surprisingly isn’t that bad.

The only drawback to this item is that it does come with quite a bit of add-ons such as cheese, ranch sauce, and guacamole but these can be easily removed to improve the macros.

10. Burger King – Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Burger King Grilled Chicken Sandwich

1 x Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- No Sauce

Total Estimated Macros: 40P/39C/6F

While Burger King is probably the least appealing of the bunch, there is definitely room to take a healthier approach for this meal with the limited options available. One negative for this meal would be the volume, as unfortunate as this is, it may not fill you up entirely.

Shoot for a plain side salad with fat-free dressing on the side to increase the volume of this meal.

Overall, not the greatest but it gets the job done by balancing out protein, carbs, and fats.

Final Takeaway

So, the next time you’re running late to work and didn’t have time for breakfast or maybe you’re just looking for a solid option without needing to get out of your car or make food yourself; refer back to this list or make a subconscious decision based off of the information you’ve gotten.

Get rid of the stereotype that there is no way to eat healthy at fast-food restaurants because there are plenty of ways to get around this and fill out your macronutrients with healthy choices that fit your lifestyle at the same time.