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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

In the Mood for Fast-Food?

Don’t allow clean eating to stop you from eating out–there are healthy fast-food choices you can explore that will allow you to enjoy guilt-free meals.

Being on a healthy, natural, plant-based, poultry and fish meal plan sometimes causes me to think twice about eating out.

I feel as if all of the exercising, water-drinking, and conscious heathy-eating habits I've established and practice will become null-and-void if I drive through a fast-food lane or sit down at a restaurant to eat.

However, it's not a lost-cause. There's healthy options for eating out, which allow me more control than I initially thought.

Some options that immediately come to mind are basic things I do at home when I'm preparing meals; things I've never considered, that I want to share with you as well:

  • Water - request throughout your entire meal. Refuse sodas, wine, juices, and mixed drinks. They contain calories, sugar/syrup, and perhaps other unhealthy additives to enhance the flavor and the price.

  • Smaller-sized plate - it may seem rather rude for adults to order kids' meals, but how about asking for smaller portions? However, there might not be a discount.

  • Biscuits, chips, and appetizers - refuse and/or don't order them. Since it's always good practice to drink a glass of water before your meal, fill-up on water while waiting for your meal. You'll eat less if you can't order a smaller plate–with a regular-size plate, you may become full before eating all that’s on your plate.

  • To-go plate - request to have the left-over portion of your meal bagged to-go.

MOVE* also suggests:

  • Dressings and sauces - avoid salad dressings, vegetables with creams and cheese, or mayonnaise

  • Lean meat and protein - steer clear of breaded or fried shrimp, breaded or fried fish or chicken wings, beef tacos, rib eye, prime rib, fried pork, deep-fried tofu, or double or large hamburgers and cheeseburgers, bologna, hot dogs, pastrami, and corned beef

  • Bread, breaded, and butter - avoid or limit French fries, onion rings, fried rice, buttered or fried veggies, refried beans, croissants, muffins, garlic bread, tortilla chips, buttered popcorn, or alfredo pasta sauces

MOVE* suggests these healthier choices when eating out:

Non-Starchy Veggies and Fruits

  • Order low-fat salad dressings

  • Grilled steamed or stir-fried veggies and fruits

  • Fresh veggies, edamame, cucumber salad

Whole Grains and/or Starchy Veggies

  • Baked potatoes, steamed brown rice

  • Herb-seasoned squash peas, corn, and yams

  • Green beans without added fat, kidney, black, or garbanzo

  • Small whole-grain dinner roll, English muffin, breadstick, or French baguette

  • Whole-grain crackers

  • Pasta primavera

Lean Meat/Protein

  • Chicken: grilled, roasted, or smoked (white meat/no skin)

  • Fish: smoked, grilled, boiled, broiled, baked

  • Fish and chicken tacos

  • Sirloin steak, grilled or broiled

  • Turkey, roast beef, lean ham, veggie or turkey burger, turkey dogs

  • Pork, tenderloin, grilled lean pork

  • Steamed or baked tofu

*All suggestions are provided by Move

I didn’t realize I had a variety of healthy choices when driving through the fast-food lane, or visiting a cozy restaurant for a sit-down meal.

Although there are more healthy selections when eating inside–meals can be customized.

However, in the drive-thru, if I order a burger, I will order it without cheese. I also will eat half of the bun, which is the bottom portion; it seems to be much less bread.

Omitting a sweet drink, and ordering water instead is a healthy option. It’s no fun without the fries, but sometimes I’ll sacrifice them too. If I do eat fries, I'll eat something less caloric at my next meal, which is usually dinner. I generally eat more at the lunch meal, and less at dinner. Or at least, take-in the higher caloric foods at breakfast and lunch. Then at dinner have fewer calories.

Eating out is not so bad. I can still enjoy my meal, just being aware of the trade-offs and striking a balance.

In this case, it is a matter of addition and subtraction, but NOT deprivation.

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