Making fast food healthier

5 Healthy Fast Food Hacks

You know fast food isn’t good for you, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing. Not only are most fast food places incredibly cheap, but they’re also fast, easy, and the clean up is nonexistent. But living off French fries and ice cream cones is eventually going to catch up to you. However, you don't have to swear off fast food for good—try our hacks for making it a little healthier instead! 

Choose the healthy option.

Okay, this an easy one, but not as easy as you might think. Just because you choose the salad doesn’t mean you’ve picked a healthy option. Most fast food restaurants list their nutritional facts or at least calorie counts right on the menu. Take a minute to actually look through it. You may find that salad has about 500 more calories than you were anticipating.

Forego the soda.

Sodas are absolutely horrible for you. They are full of refined sugar, calories, and all kinds of other bad stuff, including caffeine—which can be good sometimes, but does some serious damage in a lot of cases.  And while you might be one of those people who thinks you can drink all the soda you want as long as it’s a diet, you’re still getting all the other bad stuff besides calories and sugar, along with a healthy dose of aspartame or other artificial sweetener that can cause some serious indigestion. Sweet tea may be better than soda, but it’s sweet tea for a reason. Save yourself a dollar fifty and get a glass of water instead. 

Substitute ingredients.

Instead of getting a big mac and large fries, get a happy meal. Its portion sizes may be made for kids, but in reality, it’s about the appropriate serving size for adults, too. Instead of whatever your fast food restaurant of choice passes off as beef, opt for chicken, but not breaded chicken. Go for a bowl of chili instead of waffle fries. Or substitute your restaurant—instead of going to a hamburger joint, find a sandwich shop that allows you to pick and choose the exact amount of fat and calories you want. 

Leave the bread off.

If you're addicted to the dollar menu, the healthy choices get pretty limited. But one great trick to get rid of carbohydrates is to just not eat the bread. Get two chicken sandwiches, and just eat the “vegetables” and grilled chicken with a fork instead of falling for the bread trap. Nobody says you have to eat a hamburger on a bun. 

Sit down to eat.

While part of the call of fast food is the drive through window, you’re better off going in and sitting down. Although that makes it easier to order more to eat after you’re through, you also don’t feel rushed when you’re ordering, which means you can take a minute to figure out what your best option is. Additionally, when you sit down at a table and focus on your meal, you pay attention to what you’re putting into your mouth instead of staying on the right side of the road. Not only does your body get fuller faster when you focus on your eating, but the other drivers will appreciate it, too. 

Last Updated: September 17, 2015