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Eating out - BK, Wendy's, McDonald's- are there healthy alternatives on the dollar menu?


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I am reading the Extreme fat smash diet by dr ian smith. in it, he says to plan your meals the NIGHT before. So, i determined i had to eat out for dinner on thursday )(this is generally my eat out day, as are friday, saturday and sunday, bad i know! as my boyfriend pointed out, i starve myself during the week and pig out on weekends),  and decided to get a burger and salad from checkers, or the chicken club meal from arby's. However, checkers isn't open yet near me and arby's is to far from both job and work. 

SO now, i have to go get something after work, and i don't know what to get! Choices are from McDonald's, BK, Wendy's, Pat's pizza.  I need recommendations to get something that is Relatively healthy, but also feeds my need for fries (i am addicted to fries) and/or a burger.  I need to know EXACTLY what i will get before i go there - or else the results will be disastrous.

HELP!!! SUGGESTIONS????

40 Replies (last)
all three have complete nutrition information on their websites and helpful meal calculators. google it (:
sorry, they all sound pretty bad to me, but I have had an Asian salad at Wendys that was good.  I never use the gloppy salad dressing no matter where.

When I have pizza, I get thin crust and veggie lovers, so save a few calories.

At McDonlds I've only had (the past year) the fresh sliced apples, with that dip, but that wouldn't be very filling for a meal.  Don't they have salads also?

If these are the places you frequent, try looking at their nutrition guide, online.

When I was working I was putting in too many hours, to have time to cook much, but if there's anyway you could buy some whole wheat bread and make some sandwiches and buy some apples or oranges to take to work you would eliminate some of the high fat from fast food.

Fries?  I loved them also.  Now if I need them, I quarter some potatoes, put ollive oil and rosemary over them and roast them in the oven and that satisfys my french fry desire, and is much less calories and fat.

sorry I'm not more help.
cant you go to the grocery store instead and buy ready made chicken and put it on a salad? why are your ONLY choices fast food? inherently if thats what youre eating 4 days a week thats a problem in terms of both weight loss and healthiness.
all I know is wendy's. Their chili is really good, it has fiber, and is not bad on calories. Their potato is good too, but I eat it plain, so the calories are low.

a small fry from most fast food places will cost you 250-350 calories, that is like a child's fry. A medium is normally 400-500 calories or so. Just wanted to point that out, as many people don't know how much a fry can cost you calorie wise.

Most of those places have complete menus and nutrition facts on their websites.  However, if you really want to lose weight, my best suggestion is to just not eat all that junk anymore!  If you seriously cannot live without it, I would go for a McDonalds small cheeseburger and skip the fries.  Not only do french fries really not have any nutritional value, they are seriously fatty and covered in tons of salt (makes you retain water and very bad for you).  Most people also like a ton of ketchup, which also is very high in sugar and salt, and is actually one of the worst condiments out there for you because most people use a lot, as they don't know how bad it really is for them.

I used to be addicted to Wendy's spicy chicken sandwiches.  I could eat two in one sitting!  I have only had one spicy chicken sandwich in the past 3 months and it was worth every delicious calorie!  However, I made sure to drink extra water and get in extra exercise to combat the fat!  Good Luck!

I know you don't want to hear this, but get the burger (preferably without cheese and mayo) and skip the fries.  Fries are the worst kind of empty calories.  The burger by itself is a RELATIVELY balanced meal.  If it has lettuce and tomato on it, you have your protein, some veg, and your carbs (albeit a bit too much fat).  Add in the fries and suddenly the whole balance is massively skewed towards fat and carbs.  If you can afford it, get a salad.  If you MUST have some potatoes, maybe get a small burger at Wendy's and a baked potato with chili.  At least the fat in that meal would not be as insane and void of nutrition as the meal with the fries.
you know that is a great idea for the potatoes! i think i might have to try that.
Original Post by ohio45:

sorry, they all sound pretty bad to me, but I have had an Asian salad at Wendys that was good.  I never use the gloppy salad dressing no matter where.

When I have pizza, I get thin crust and veggie lovers, so save a few calories.

At McDonlds I've only had (the past year) the fresh sliced apples, with that dip, but that wouldn't be very filling for a meal.  Don't they have salads also?

If these are the places you frequent, try looking at their nutrition guide, online.

When I was working I was putting in too many hours, to have time to cook much, but if there's anyway you could buy some whole wheat bread and make some sandwiches and buy some apples or oranges to take to work you would eliminate some of the high fat from fast food.

Fries?  I loved them also.  Now if I need them, I quarter some potatoes, put ollive oil and rosemary over them and roast them in the oven and that satisfys my french fry desire, and is much less calories and fat.

sorry I'm not more help.

that is a great idea to satisfy my fry craving!

Original Post by jt1226:

cant you go to the grocery store instead and buy ready made chicken and put it on a salad? why are your ONLY choices fast food? inherently if thats what youre eating 4 days a week thats a problem in terms of both weight loss and healthiness.

The truth hurts.  But no i can't go to the grocery store. the situation is i have a hair appt at 530 and get off at 5:00, i was going to stop and get something because i am going to be in the hair salon until at least 800 and by the time i get home it is 900, which is to late and to long to go without eating..... But, i can go to Mars and get a salad from their salad bar and a few other items.

Yes, Thursday is my eating out day, then friday/saturday i dont' feel like cooking and sunday is football sunday so that means pizza, beer, chips, etc. It is not good. something i HAVE to work on.

Original Post by greyskies:

all I know is wendy's. Their chili is really good, it has fiber, and is not bad on calories. Their potato is good too, but I eat it plain, so the calories are low.

a small fry from most fast food places will cost you 250-350 calories, that is like a child's fry. A medium is normally 400-500 calories or so. Just wanted to point that out, as many people don't know how much a fry can cost you calorie wise.

this is true. even a chick snadwich is 680, then sm fry 300 - so that is 3/4 of my 1900 calorie total right there, AND i am not working out today, that is tomorrow.

Original Post by udokier:

I know you don't want to hear this, but get the burger (preferably without cheese and mayo) and skip the fries.  Fries are the worst kind of empty calories.  The burger by itself is a RELATIVELY balanced meal.  If it has lettuce and tomato on it, you have your protein, some veg, and your carbs (albeit a bit too much fat).  Add in the fries and suddenly the whole balance is massively skewed towards fat and carbs.  If you can afford it, get a salad.  If you MUST have some potatoes, maybe get a small burger at Wendy's and a baked potato with chili.  At least the fat in that meal would not be as insane and void of nutrition as the meal with the fries.

thanks you guys are GREAT!

Reading your posts i came up with a few meal options: choose your favorite!

CheeseBurger, salad, no fries no drink, just water. I ususally don't get mayo on my burgers so that's cool.

Small hamburger, baked potato with chilli

Salad from Mars Supermarket, chicken,veggies, macaroni (this is from the hot bar side)

Let me know!

I get the sour cream and chive baked potatoe (skip the butter) and side salad with light ranch dressing at Wendy's. It comes out to about 440 calories, and is really filling. You could use half the dressing to save 45 calories, or eat only half the potatoe to save 135.

Edit: Not sure what a dollar menu is, but this is pretty cheap. Comes out to less than 4$ here.
I do NOT eat McDonald's ever...

HOWEVER, yesterday I did for the first time in 4 years. I just don't like fast food, but I didn't bring a lunch, so I decided one day wouldn't kill me.

I got their chicken caesar salad which is only 220 calories by itself.. Then I got the caesar dressing on the side, poured it into a small container, then dipped my fork into the dressing and then the salad.. i don't like when salads are drenched in dressing, it ruins their good nutrition. But that's an idea.. depending on how much dressing you use is any, it can be anywhere from 220-410 calories.. Their dressing packets which are one serving for the whole packet are HUGE- a lot of dressing- and contain 190 calories for the whole pack.. I probably only used 1/4th of the pack?

Then you can always get some apple slices and a bottle of water or an unsweetened iced tea =)

the Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich from Wendy's is one of my fave fast food standbys. It's not on the dollar menu, but it's a great choice. only about 320 calories, of course sky high in sodium, but for me it works when I am in a rush. and it is very tasty. also, it's actually a chicken breast, not some processed chicken product like the nuggets.

get that and their mandarin oranges from the dollar menu. or a side salad with fat free french dressing (my fast food dressing of choice). even the chicken sandwich plus a small chili will run you 530 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 7 grams of fiber, which is pretty good for fast food. and its pretty filling. 

and then there is subway of course. 

Original Post by missreporter:

the Ultimate Chicken Grill sandwich from Wendy's is one of my fave fast food standbys. It's not on the dollar menu, but it's a great choice. only about 320 calories, of course sky high in sodium, but for me it works when I am in a rush. and it is very tasty. also, it's actually a chicken breast, not some processed chicken product like the nuggets.

get that and their mandarin oranges from the dollar menu. or a side salad with fat free french dressing (my fast food dressing of choice). even the chicken sandwich plus a small chili will run you 530 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 7 grams of fiber, which is pretty good for fast food. and its pretty filling. 

and then there is subway of course. 

 

You know you guys have some really good alternatives.

It is great to know i have options!!!! i think the way to go will be either a burger, chilli or chicken sandwich, either way with a SALAD and no mayo.  Add a small drink, and i should be good, and FULL! i will go to either BK or Wendy's and i will let you guys know tomorrow what i got and nutrition info!

Hope everything works out for you.

I really like Wendy's Side caesar salad.

On a side note, you may need to re prioritize if you are going to be seriously dieting eating out all the time is gonna start hittin your pockets hard,  it's more expensive to eat healthy. For someone with a busy schedule perhaps you should set aside a couple hours one day and prepare enough food for the week. Or if you are the type that likes her calories already counted, hit up your grocers frozen entree section, there's South Beach Diet/Healthy Choice/Smart Ones  With all of those to choose from you will get plenty of variety.

yes. Buy a side salad and eat JUST the lettuce. without dressing.

i eat the fruit &yougurt parfait @mcdonalds
Original Post by udokier:

I know you don't want to hear this, but get the burger (preferably without cheese and mayo) and skip the fries.  Fries are the worst kind of empty calories.  The burger by itself is a RELATIVELY balanced meal.  If it has lettuce and tomato on it, you have your protein, some veg, and your carbs (albeit a bit too much fat).  Add in the fries and suddenly the whole balance is massively skewed towards fat and carbs.  If you can afford it, get a salad.  If you MUST have some potatoes, maybe get a small burger at Wendy's and a baked potato with chili.  At least the fat in that meal would not be as insane and void of nutrition as the meal with the fries.

i agree. i dont see whats wrong with a burger with only mustard &ketchup as its condiments. i dont label burgers as bad-they seem like a good choice to me

I always eat the chili and side salad from the dollar menu (altho the chili is now 1.19!!!!!!

I even have a pack or two of crackers and the croutons but still feel like I am eating well. I use the lowfat honey mustrard dressing.

 

 

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