Low carb fast food – dieting with minimal compromise

Low carb fast food and the power of knowledge

The cheapest and fastest way to eat is to drive up and order through a cramped window. As you already know, it is also the unhealthiest way to eat. Many people are now turning to low carb fast food options in order to maintain a lifestyle that consists of a busy schedule and little money.

The best tool a consumer can have is knowledge. Many fast food restaurants focus on customization and allow patrons to completely change their meal, removing certain ingredients and adding new ones. Let’s take a look at McDonalds and use their nutrition tool to show exactly what I mean.

Burgers and carbohydrates

McDonald’s Meal Builder

Low carb fast food options
The classic Big Mac.

A complete Big Mac has 46 carbs in it, and packs a ton of calories. Carbohydrates come mostly from whole grains, which is in the bun. If you order the Big Mac without the bun, magic happens.

Low carb fast food - Carbs dropped significantly!
Dropping the bun

You just lost 40 grams of carbs from your meal! Wrap your burger up in lettuce and you’re good to go. If you’re looking at a diet, become knowledgeable. This also means cutting out another large source of carbs: soda.

Low carb fast food diet - No Soda
Small Coca-Cola

From just one small cup of Coke, you get 39 carbs added to your life. Fortunately, there are other options; if you love the taste of Coke (I know I do) you can opt to get Diet Coke, which cuts out the carbohydrates. You can also order plain water or unsweetened ice tea. If you cut soda from every meal, it will add up and you will be healthier in the long run.

Carbs are good and bad for you, but the carbs you want to avoid include processed food they serve at fast food restaurants. Good carbs come in the form of vegetables, and certain fast food restaurants will have menu items pertaining to salads. McDonald’s salads have a mix of good and bad carbs, and most of the bad carbs comes from the dressing the restaurant uses. If you ever think about ordering a salad at McDonald’s, make sure you ditch the dressing. You can also cut down your calorie count.

The trouble with sandwiches…

Now that you know the difference between good and bad carbs, let’s step away from burgers and move on to sub sandwiches – Subway often touts that they are the best healthy option.

Low carb fast food diet
Footlong black forest ham on wheat

Subway Nutritional Information

As you can see from the nutritional information for the footlong black forest ham on wheat bread, it comes packed with 92 carbohydrates. Could we create a way to cut down these carbs and still have a good meal? How can we eat a sub sandwich without bread?

If you’re dedicated to a low carb fast food diet, it may seem difficult, but I have a solution – create your own “bowl”! Ask your “sandwich artist” to put in extra ingredients in the sandwich, and if you’re too embarrassed to ask for no bread, just order your sub normally and then take the bread off yourself. You can eat all the ingredients in the wrapper or go home and make it into a nice salad.

If you don’t want to make your sandwich into a salad, try slicing off pieces of bread and making your sandwich thinner. You’ll still have a lot of carbs, but at least you aren’t making such a dramatic compromise with what you want to eat.

Tortillas are problematic

Are you a fan of Taco Bell or Chipotle? Tortillas are like bread and they come packed with carbs. Fortunately, both restaurants now serve bowls which are essentially everything that comes in a burrito, just without the tortilla. If you love tacos, opt for a hard shell instead of a soft shell; soft shells carry almost double the amount of carbohydrates.

Closing thoughts

If you start looking for little cuts in your diet, you can still enjoy fast food. Of course, all processed food is unhealthy, but if you are like me and you can’t bear to stop eating at your favorite places or you don’t have time to cook, fast food can still be an option. Don’t let other people scare you away from eating what you love, and with everything, do it in moderation.

low carb fast food dieting

Infographic recap

If you want to learn more, check out The Low Carb Fast Food Diet. Miss Gray goes into more depth, and I highly recommend reading it. Do you have any suggestions for eating better? Share your experiences in the comments below!

If you want to learn more about carbohydrates, watch this.

Fast Food Guru

Kyle loves to eat fast food and wants you to enjoy it as well. He believes everyone should make their own choices in their lifestyle, and aims to provide knowledge to foster that.

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