Sometimes, getting home and preparing a delicious healthy dish just isn't a possibility. As much as we might try to avoid it, fast food can be a necessity. Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that fast food makes up about 15% of all daily calories for people in their thirties and twenties. Part of this is because we're all so busy that grab-and-go meals are the only way we can maintain the energy we need to keep moving forward.
Fortunately, quick food doesn't always have to be greasy and full of artery-clogging calories, and if you want to make the most of your weight loss with your waist-trimmer belt, then you need to maintain a good diet. The following healthy fast food options could provide you with the perfect cheat sheet for 10-minute lunches at your favorite chains.
1. Taco Bell
Feel like Taco Bell? The steak Burrito Supreme with black beans measures in at around 10.5 grams of fat and 430 calories. On the other hand, if you're hoping to go for something even lighter, the chicken soft taco with pintos and cheese contains about 10.5 grams of fat and only 330 calories.
The "eat fresh" idea behind Subway means that you can construct your very own sandwiches - and make them as healthy (or unhealthy) as you like. When you're searching for healthy fast food options, try a 6-inch subway club on 9-grain wheat bread with green peppers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and sweet onion sauce. This huge sandwich tops out at 4.5 grams of fat and 445 calories. Alternatively, choose the roast chicken salad with green peppers, tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumbers, and a honey-mustard dressing for 6 grams of fat and 400 calories.
3. Dunkin' Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts may be the last place you expect to find healthy fast food options, but their tuna salad sandwich on an English muffin is only 390 calories - though it does come with 23 grams of fat. Alternatively, the egg-white veggie wake-up wrap with hash browns measures in at 350 calories with 18 grams of fat.
At Chipotle, choose 3 Barbacoa tacos with soft-corn tortillas including tomato salsa and lettuce for 10 grams of fat and 405 calories. On the other hand, you could also snack on a vegetarian burrito bowl with black beans, brown rice, fajita vegetables, roasted chili corn salsa, and lettuce for only 7 grams of fat and 385 calories.
At McDonalds, healthy fast food options start with salads. The premium grilled chicken Caesar salad with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette and a fruit and yogurt parfait is only 9.5 grams of fat, with 375 calories. You could also try a small French fries with a honey mustard grilled snack wrap for 480 calories and 19 grams of fat.
When in KFC, try a sweet kernel corn with 4 hot wings for a quick and easy snack at only 16.5 grams of fat and 380 calories. Alternatively, choose a Kentucky grilled chicken breast with mashed potatoes - and hold the gravy - for a meal of 10 grams of fat and 310 calories.
7. Burger King
Finally, at burger king you can choose between a veggie burger with apple slices for 16 grams of fat and 440 calories, or a whopper Jr. with no mayo plus a side of value-sized onion rings for 18 grams of fat and 410 calories.
Rules to Keep in Mind
Remember, when you're hitting the drive-through don't simply assume that the veggie dishes will be the healthiest. Some vegetable-packed meals come with almost 1,000 calories, while a burger may have only 300. Check out the nutrition facts on different options before you order. You can even use a calorie-counting app on your smartphone to double check the facts about your food.
At the same time, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from condiments where you can. While a packet of ketchup is only worth around 10 calories, a sachet of barbecue sauce or mustard could set you back 50-60 calories.