Every year, I take time to reset, recharge, and refocus. Once area I always refocus on is my health and if you’re following me on Instagram, you know in January I’ll be focused on eating clean. For those of you on a similar journey, I thought I’d share some healthy order options for on-the-go days.
Whether you’re starting your health journey now, two months from now, or two years from now, I hope you can always come back to this post for some healthy inspiration. Now, I don’t always order a healthy option when I go out to eat. That’s not realistic. However, every once in a while I like to order a healthier option to prevent the bloating, gross feeling that comes with a lot of fast food.
Healthy McDonald’s Options
Although surprising, McDonald’s actually has a few healthy options when it comes to breakfast. Depending on what you like and your goals, you can opt for one of these next time you need a quick breakfast. I’ve listed the macros for each option and a key takeaway when making your decision. Unfortunately, I’d recommend skipping a hash brown from time to time if you can.
- Egg McMuffin: 310 calories, 30 g carbs, 13 g fat, 17 g protein
- A low fat, high protein option and Canadian bacon is less greasy than other meats
- Sausage Burrito: 310 calories, 25 g carbs, 17 g fat, 13 g protein
- Low calorie option and includes vegetables
- Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: 320 calories, 64 g carbs, 4.5 g fat, 6 g protein
- Oatmeal has a lot of fiber and some of the carbs come from the apples and raisin blend
- Medium Strawberry Banana Smoothie: 240 calories, 55 g carbs, 1 g fat, 3 g protein
- The carb count is high but a smoothie is a lighter option if you are not a big breakfast person
When it comes to lunch and dinner at McDonald’s the key is to keep it simple and focus on portions. As a general rule of them, the more “basic” the option is, the healthier it is too. The details below are without making any substitutions. Keep in mind you can typically make options healthier by skipping cheese, mayo, or the bun.
- 6 piece Chicken McNuggets: 250 calories, 15 g carbs, 15 g fat, 14 g protein
- The macros for the nuggets are fairly balanced and they make a light option.
- CAUTION: Be careful with your sauce. Try to use one container only and skip the ranch, it is the least healthy option unfortunately.
- Cheeseburger: 300 calories, 32 g carbs, 13 g fat, 15 g protein
- A single cheeseburger is a simple option that isn’t too bad for you. Beware: the McDouble is on the dollar menu but you almost double the grams of fat (13 g to 20 g).
- Happy Meals
- A hack at McDonald’s is to order a Happy Meal instead of an adult meal. The portion size is a bit smaller and it usually includes apple slices.
- The last tip with McDonald’s is to opt for a small fry and healthy drink. I personally cannot pass up McDonald’s fries so if you are trying to be healthy, just order a smaller portion. For drinks, I like to get their unsweet tea or Diet Coke.
Healthy Subway Options
Since Subway is customizable, I figured I’d make this more of a “pick this, not that” style. Ultimately, being healthy at a restaurant is about making healthy swaps, not having a Whole 30 approved meal. I do not think I’d order a salad or protein bowl, but if you do you can skip the bread and still make the selections listed below. Be careful because some restaurants market things as “healthy” that are not in fact all that healthy.
- Bread: 9-grain wheat, Multi-grain flatbread, or wrap
- Meat: Oven roasted chicken, Turkey breast, or Tuna
- Toppings: Cheese and load up on the veggies! I get spinach, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and green pepper typically.
- Sauce: The thicker the sauce, the worse it is for you. I opt for the oil & vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano. I think it tastes better than sauce which is a total bonus.
Healthy Chipotle Options
Chipotle was my saving grace when I did the Whole 30 in 2020 and travelled. They have done so much to provide healthy options and the best part is, the salad or bowl still tasted amazing. I’m sure you’ve previously been unimpressed with a restaurants “healthy” option but I promise Chipotle will not disappoint. Again, I’ll do a “pick this, not that” style for Chipotle so you can customize it how you’d like.
- Style: Bowl or Salad
- Rice: Any rice, but stick to 1 scoop AND they just came out with cauliflower rice which is a bonus
- Meat: I stick with the Chicken, Steak, or Carnitas since they’re Whole 30 approved, I know they have clean ingredients
- Toppings: Lettuce, veggies, guac, fresh tomato salsa, a second salsa of your choice (I pick medium), and salad dressing
- On the Fence: Beans and corn salsa
- Beans add quite a few calories
- Corn is a starch and not necessarily healthy
- Skip: Sour cream, cheese, and queso
- I never thought I could give up Chipotle’s sour cream but I did during the Whole 30 and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I didn’t miss it. Adding two salsa’s is a game changer and loads the bowl up with flavor.
Healthy Jimmy John’s Options
I’ll provide order options from Jimmy John’s but more importantly, I’ll share some tips to keep in mind. JJ’s can sneak up on you and become pretty unhealthy, pretty fast.
TIPS FOR JIMMY JOHN’S
- Skip the mayo
- Do not choose “leave bread in”, let them take the bread out
- Stick to menu item #7 or less: the more fixin’s, the less healthy
- Stick to 8″ subs only
- Try an unwhich or wheat bread!
Healthy Chick-fil-A Options
Fortunately, Chick-fil-A offers grilled chicken that is pretty healthy to begin with making a health conscious choice pretty easy! Similar to McDonald’s, try to stick with a small fry to control the portions and a healthy drink choice, their diet lemonade is my favorite. If you have the will power to skip the fries, pick a salad or fruit cup instead.
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 320 calories, 41 g carbs, 6 g fat, 28 g protein
- Low fat and high protein is always a win in my book
- 8-Ct Grilled Chicken Nuggets: 130 calories, 1 g carbs, 3 g fat, 25 g protein
- Those macros do not even look like restaurant macros. You cannot go wrong with the nuggets, just be careful with your sauce.
- Chick-fil-A Cool Wrap: 350 calories, 29 g carbs, 13 g fat, 42 g protein
- A light option that is packed with protein
- Skip the ranch and stick to a single sauce packet. Sauce sneaks up on you FAST!
- Order a small fry or swap the fries for a salad or fruit cup (if you can LOL)
I hope these order ideas, tips, and tricks will help you the next time you are trying to be healthy on-the-go. Bookmark this post for future reference and let me know if you try a suggestion. Always remember to be comfortably you when it comes to food, so if that means splurge from time to time, DO IT! This post is meant to provide you healthy inspiration when needed.