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Ways to Lower Calories at Fast Food Restaurants

By Randi Morse

I remember reading an article once that said the only way you can truly be healthy is to avoid eating at any fast food restaurant. I remember laughing and telling my husband that there was no way anyone could avoid eating at a fast food restaurant for their entire life. These types of restaurants that have become a mainstay in our society because they are quick, affordable, and many times taste really good. It is entirely possible to make fairly healthy choices when you are eating out with these simple tips.

Small Sizes

My husband is a fairly thin guy but he can eat three double cheeseburgers in one sitting. If you are trying to make healthy choices, watch the sizes you are ordering. Hamburgers that have two or three patties can be 800 calories or more. A better option is to choose a regular-sized hamburger, or even a child-size hamburger which comes in around 250 calories. Switching your large french fry serving to a small one can save you 200 calories, so when you're at the drive-thru keep your portion sizes small.

Side Dishes

I know that there's nothing quite like a delicious french fry, but if you're trying to make healthy choices at fast food restaurant it's a good idea to skip the fries and get a healthier side dish. Instead of ordering a side of fries, try getting a side salad or a baked potato. You may even be able to get a fruit bowl or some sort of yogurt option. If you're going to indulge in your main dish, focus on getting a healthier side dish.

Go Grilled

Foods that are breaded and fried are always higher in fat and calories than foods that are grilled. Many fast food restaurants have grilled options now for most of their dishes. Switch to the grilled option and you will be dropping the calorie amount significantly.

Watch the Beverage

Finally, keep an eye on your beverage. A large regular soda has over 300 calories in it. If you switch to water or unsweetened iced tea you are lowering your caloric intake by a great deal. Also, make sure you skip the shakes as any shake that has ice cream in it will have more than 800 calories.

You don't have to skip eating out at fast food restaurants occasionally, just make sure you take care to make good choices and you can still enjoy a guilty pleasure burger and fries.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hiram, Ga.

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