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Have Your Fast Food, and Eat it Too
April 17, 2024

Have Your Fast Food, and Eat it Too

Being busy doesn’t mean you have to lose progress on your goals. One of the hardest parts of sculpting your physique is the nutritional side, and it can be especially challenging when you’re in a busy-season of life and may need to rely on fast-food establishments a bit more often than normal.

Don’t misinterpret the below as us saying you can never order a Big Mac meal again…you 100% can and will. The reality is that many of us love fast food, and all of us need to swing through fast food joints occasionally. This is just us trying to make it a little easier for you to make a better choice when you’re actively watching your nutritional intake!

Here are the top 5 ways we don’t totally obliterate our macro goals with one fast food meal.


Our solution? Find the hidden protein on the menu!

Protein is the macro that makes sticking to your nutrition plan so much easier, and opting for protein sources first can significantly improve the healthfulness of your fast food order. Instead of fried chicken or burgers, consider grilled chicken, turkey, or fish. Instead of a side of fries or mac n cheese, opt for an additional serving of chicken nuggets, side of beans or chili, or even a yogurt parfait! These options are lower in saturated fats and calories while still providing the protein your body needs.


Our solution? Focus on sides that will help you get to your goals.

Okay, so maybe you made a better protein choice and chose the chicken sandwich over the cheeseburger, great! What’s next? The sides. There are two methods that we find work well for us: (1) ask to add veggies to your sandwich by loading up lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, etc. (2) choose sides that make sense. Steer away from the fries that you’ll also be dipping in 100+ calorie sauces, and go towards a side salad, a fruit cup, a side of yogurt or soup, etc.


Our solution? The words “can I get that in size small, please?” are your new best friends.

When’s the last time you went to a fast food place and you left still hungry? Never? Yeah…there’s a reason for that. Portion sizes at fast food restaurants are almost always larger than what we need. Practice portion control by opting for a small or sharing meals with a friend. One of our favorite hacks is to order a kids meal – you will be truly shocked how full you are after a kids meal! Plus, you’re still getting exactly what you want, just in a smaller size, which feels like a BIG win when you’re counting macros.


Our solution? Start by just educating yourself on your fave sauces; just knowing the caloric intake can help make your decisions easier!

Many of these fast food items come smothered in rich dressings and sauces, which can quickly add extra calories and fat. Like, hundreds of calories in SAUCE! Choose lighter dressing options like vinaigrettes or request sauces on the side, allowing you to control how much you use. Another favorite method is just to do some research – for example, chick fil a has two VERY similar tasting sauces (the classic chick fil a sauce and a honey roasted bbq sauce) but one is 80 calories and 8g of fat less! Hint: opt for the Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce :) Alternatively, skip the sauce altogether, oftentimes fast food is so flavor-filled anyway you don’t really need it at all.


Our solution? Again, educate!

The easy answer is to opt for the ‘diet’ version of what you’re after. The better answer is to understand what other options your favorite fast food place might have…do they have unsweet tea, or gatorade zero, or sparkling water, or even a diet lemonade or smoothie could be better choices overall? Of course, we’d always tell you to choose water when you can… but we’d be lying if we said that sometimes NOTHING else will do except for a fresh McDonald’s diet coke

Enjoying fast food while staying true to your macro goals is entirely achievable with a little planning and mindfulness. By prioritizing protein, incorporating veggies and fruits, practicing portion control, taming those sneaky sauces, and hydrating wisely, you can indulge in your favorite fast food treats guilt-free. Remember, it's all about balance and making informed choices that align with your fitness journey. Cheers to macro-friendly fast food adventures! Share your favorite fast food hack with us on instagram @seshfitnessapp