I check out nutrition menus online and pick out all items that I would be willing to have based on carb counts. If nothing is good, I pass on that restaurant. There are a lot of local healthy restaurants and bistros out there who serve local and/or organic dishes that cost the same as a fast food meal. Just takes a little research and trial and error.
There are a variety of Mexican themed fast food restaurants that serve flame-grilled chicken. A couple of pieces of chicken with a salad and/or vegetable does the trick.
For the most part, I have stopped going to be big chain fast food places and cut back on fast food overall. The carb friendly options at the big chains are not the best. Even the salads are too small to be a meal. If I end up in a big chain, there is almost always a grilled chickens sandwich with a side salad. If the bun is too big,. I'll just have the bottom or forgo it all together.
There are several smaller chains in the area that have some much better options. Several have salads that are very good and filling. There are some Mexican fast food places near by that have street tacos using the 4 inch corn tortillas. 4 tacos are well within my carb budget.
Like all restaurants, I count the carbs twice, once when looking at the menu to order, and again when I get the food and see the actual portions. Since carbs can be added that I can not see and may never have bee mentioned, I try to test two hours after I have something I have never tried before. If the test numbers come out OK and I like the meal, it goes on the "safe" list for future visits.
All that said, I am not always looking for the healthiest options when I go for fast food. I do like going to 5 guys and getting one of their burgers. I don't get the fries if I do. The 40 carbs is withing my carb budget.
I have quit going to fast food places and have lost 30 pounds since doing so in the past 6 months. Granted I did lapse and try a burger again but ended up with an upset stomach
If I am on the run, quite often I go to the grocery store for , salads, and for a treat, sushi with water, and a fresh fruit.. I can usually get change from $10. I also like that ubiquitous Canadian donut chain for a chili, and a salad, BUT neither donuts, and their muffins are oozing with calories.. much of it fat.
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