Of course, you want to eat healthily, but a pretty high percentage of us lack the discipline that’s necessary to achieve our hopes, dreams, and openly announced resolutions.
What if I let spill that you could still eat at your favorite fast food establishments, so long as you order the right things? Good, because I already put together a list.
Here are nutriti-ish options from nine of your most beloved fast food joints that don’t kick passed 500 calories.
McDonald’s has a decent amount of burgers for under 500 calories. You could order two regular hamburgers (250 calories a pop) while a cheeseburger and small fries will put you just over the top at 530 calories. Or at 500 calories even, you could have just a McRib.
If a burger isn’t your thing, try a Chipotle BBQ Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap (250), Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait (150) and an assortment of Cuties (40), apple slices (15) and a side salad (15 with no dressing). You’ll even have 30 calories to spare.
2. Taco Bell
Taco Bell has made moderate Fourth Meal cravings very appetizing. All of their Cantina Power items are 500 calories or less, and any of their Fresco Menu choices (not to be confused with Fresco “Style”) are under 350 calories.
Not one to compromise? All of their Burrito Supremes are around 400 calories, and you could even eat 3 Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos for a combined 510 calories.
Chipotle is a bit more of a challenge when it comes to calorie counting because instead of pre-wrapped items, they make it for you there on the spot. So long as you have relative self-control, you can get away with a decent meal.
Skip the burrito and tacos as the tortillas alone account for 210 to 300 calories. Instead, choose a bowl or salad. Sofritas (145 calories) or barbacoa (165 calories) are your best “meat” options. Finish it off with pinto beans (115), fajita vegetables (45), roasted chili-corn salsa (80), and cheese (100).
4. Burger King
Burger King’s hamburgers have slightly fewer calories than McDonald’s at 230 calories (cheeseburger adds 40), and even a Whopper Jr. is just 240 calories minus the mayonnaise. If beef isn’t your thing, a six-piece chicken nuggets will set you back 280 calories while a ten piece still keeps it under the limit at 470 calories (not including sauces).
There’s a good chance you never even noticed half the things you could order in this meal at your local Burger King, but they’re there, and they’ll keep your stomach from trying to climb out your mouth.
As you may have noticed, normal hamburgers are your savior. For Wendy’s a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe is just 350 calories, and even their Double Stack still fits under 500 calories at 420.
Looking for chicken? Double up your choices with a Grilled Chicken Wrap (270 calories) and 4-Piece Chicken Nuggets (230). And all of their salads are decent choices so long as you avoid their Baja Chili Salad.
6. Carl’s Jr.
The fact that you’re making it out of a Carl’s Jr. with a meal that doesn’t cost you an artery is nothing short of a miracle. Here is the place that bucks the reasonable hamburger trend. Your only burger choices are either a 480 calorie Big Hamburger or 450 calorie 1/3 lb. Low Carb Thick Burger (yum).
For a well-rounded poultry option go with their nine-piece Chicken Stars (390 calories) with a Garden Side Salad (110 calories). Or don’t.
7. Del Taco
Del Taco is practically a church for late-hour dining that’ll need a confession come morning — or, at least, a prayer or promise. Thankfully every single taco or tostada on their menu is under 500 calories. A regular crunchy taco is just 130 calories (add 20 for a soft taco) while at the upper end their CrunchTada Tostada peaks at 330.
Your burrito game is limited with either of their 1/2 lb. Bean and Cheese Burritos or a Del Beef Burrito hitting just under the 500 calorie mark. Think their bowls are a healthier option? Nope. Surprisingly the only Fresca Bowl that makes the cut is their Avocado Veggie Bowl.
Just like Chipotle, this comes down to how much self-control you exert. Honestly, just stick with a 6" and stop them from putting mayo and oil on your stuff, and you’re pretty golden across the board.
9. Jack In The Box
You do pretty dang well here for not even hitting the 500-calorie mark. They carry a decent variety for a place that’s most notably a haven for late-night snackers and the weirder beyond.
Looking passed their “Better for You” options that all hit the mark except for the Chicken Teriyaki Bowl (a staggering 690 calories), as burgers go, you pretty much have just the Jr. Jack or Jr. Jack Cheeseburger. Although, one Jumbo Jack with nothing else is 490 calories.
If chicken is your game, try either of their Chicken Fajita Pitas, five or ten-piece chicken nuggets or even their Chicken Sandwich with Bacon (470 calories). Enjoy!