Opting for a fast-food meal isn’t the diet disaster it used to be. For one thing, some fast-food restaurants now are posting their nutrition information, so you’ll know what you’re getting. (If you don’t see it, ask—or check it out at the restaurant’s website first.) And because they’re tuned in to what consumers want, most places now offer some “healthy” options. Take note of these usually smart selections:
Grilled or roasted chicken sandwiches. Just be sure to ask for it without mayonnaise or (almost-always mayonnaise-based) “special sauce.”
Baked potatoes. Opt for vegetable toppings rather than the cheese and sour cream.
Deli sandwiches. Skip the cheese and go easy on (or avoid) the mayonnaise; choose roasted lean meats or chicken rather than mayonnaise-rich chicken or tuna salad. Eat the sandwich open-face, discarding the top piece of bread if the sandwich is especially large.
Vegetarian options. Choose vegetable toppings for your pizza or try a bean burrito or veggie burger.
Salads. Round out any meal with a “side” or “garden” salad. Some full-meal salads are good options, but croutons and other nonvegetable toppings can quickly pile on the calories. As always, get your dressing on the side.
Vegetable soups. These are usually filling and relatively low in fat and calories—but not always; check the nutrition information first.
The kid-size plain burger. This meat portion still satisfies and some kids’ meals might even come with fruit or carrots.