Here is the nutritional information from some of the more prevalent chain restaurants:
Burger King … Scroll down and click on “nutritional downloads.”
Wendy’s … Click on “nutrition guide.”
KFC … and here’s the press release for the 395-calorie KFC Meal. I haven’t eaten it or even seen it for myself yet, but my guess is it won’t look like how it looks in the photo! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s true, but I’m waiting for more data from unbiased sources. Here’s a review from a blogger.
Panera Bread (also St. Louis Bread and Paradise Bakery) …
Pizza Hut (but for some reason the info doesn’t apply to locations in Hawaii). FYI, regardless of toppings, choosing thin crust saves you 50 calories/slice. Worst thing on their menu? Meat Lovers 9-inch personal pan pizza … a whopping 1590 calories …810 calories from fat … 4090 mg of sodium! Yikes!
Papa Murphy’s Take N Bake Pizza … there’s a “Nutrition Info” pdf you can download.
Taco Bell … “Fresco Style” is their stab at reducing the fat in some of their menu items. As an example: Chicken Burrito Supreme has 390 calories and 12g of fat. Fresco Chicken Burrito Supreme has 340 calories and 8g of fat. So, it’s still not great, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction!
This one isn’t officially from Chipotle Mexican Grill, but it’s a very cool calculator. Before I used this calculator, it wasn’t unusual for me to order a burrito with rice, black beans, Barbacoa, tomato salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and lettuce. Don’t judge me!
Guess how many calories?
Add in chips and I would have eaten 1675 calories in one sitting. Enough for an entire day.
But using the calculator, I was able to find at least 5 different combinations that would fill me up quite nicely for around 400 calories. Thank goodness because I love Chipotle! They’re not everywhere, but they do have locations in over 30 states, so I hope you can find one near you. If not, plan a Chipotle Road Trip!
I don’t need to tell you that fresh food is always better than fast food. But, c’mon. Let’s be realistic. Sometimes you get a craving and sometimes you don’t have any other options and sometimes you don’t want to cook, clean up, or pay a lot of money. It doesn’t make us bad people. Just lazy, cheap, and perfectly normal.
I’ve already given you a page of 400-calorie fast food options in the Lazy Low Cal Lifestyle menus, but feel free to create your own. I suggest checking out the websites for wherever your car likes to drive through. Use the links to make a cheat sheet of low-calorie options. Stick it in your wallet or your glove compartment and consult it without fail before you order. Remember to tell them “no mayo” or whatever and check your order before you walk away. If it’s wrong, have them fix it. (The thing I like about Subway and Chipotle is that they prepare your food while you watch so you know it’s right.)
Are there other fast food joints or restaurants you’d like me to investigate? What do you typically order? Have you calculated the calories yet? Can you slim it down like I did with my Chipotle?