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Diet Tips for Fast Food Dining

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Nutrition Guides While Dieting to Monitor Nutrition & Calories

Dining out and you're uncertain about the calorie content of the food you've got your eyes on? Simply request a Nutrition Guide from the restaurant.  

We've also got a few other Diet Tips up our sleeve that might be of help in keeping those restaurant and fast food calories under control.

Diet Tips to Save Calories Without Sacrificing Your Weight Loss Plan

- Ask for salad dressings and topping to be served on the side.

- Request reduced calorie versions of your favorite dressings. This may save you hundreds of calories.

- Opt for water and lemon OR lime with your meal. Add no calorie sweetener - and you've got a magic zero calorie beverage. It's also a good idea to carry a few packs of your favorite brand of no calorie sweetener in your billfold or purse - just in case the establishment doesn't carry your brand.

- Use a paper napkin to blot off excess grease and oils from foods.

- Share a dessert when possible.

- Order meats and veggies grilled, roasted - anyway but fried or drowning in cheese, sauces and gravy.

- Limit any free foods on the table such as chips, bread and butter. Filling up may cause filling out - and you sure don't want that with a tasty, healthy meal on the way to your table.

Oh - and there comes the waiter now! That roasted chicken and baked potato sure look tasty....

Which fast food restaurants are best for dieters?

Don't count out fast food restaurants while dieting because most have something that you can enjoy on their menu that is low in fat and calories.

With more and more individuals seeking to drop pounds, fast food restaurants are scrambling to meet their needs.

For too long, the fast food industry has driven the Food Selections for the public and slowly as more and more individuals face obesity and health woes related to such, the public is demanding a turnaround. In other words, 'Give us what we need rather than what we want or you'll not be getting my business anymore.'

Fact is, it's very difficult to resist the unhealthy versions of fast food because they taste so darn good.

With this said, our top choice when dining out has to be Subway. Their sandwiches are not only low in fat and calories, they are delicious. And they give the customer of making their low fat sandwich any way that they want - and it still ends up low in fat and calories due to the healthy ingredients offered.

Taco Bell also offers some tasty reprieves for the wandering dieter such as their Original Taco and Soft Taco - both weighing in at under 200 calories. And if you ask, they'll be happy to provide a nutrition guide before you order.

Another fast food restaurant that holds good eats for dieters is McDonald's. Their salads reign king - just watch the salad dressing, croutons and crackers. They too will provide a nutrition guide before taking your order.

Is there a healthier alternative to French fries?

If you're watching your waistline and are craving French fries, there is a tasty option that is calorie friendly and fat-wise.

Simply cut a small potato as thin as possible and 'fry' in no calorie cooking spray. You don't even have to peel the potato.

Serve with catsup if desired. One small potato contains a scant 120 calories - and when sliced thin, that's a lot of potato.

Why do I feel hungry after dining on Chinese?

Chinese foods incorporate a lot of rice, vegetables and sodium. The combination can lend an overstuffed feeling which quickly dissipates, leaving an individual feeling as ravenous as they were stuffed only a short time ago. Here's why:

- Because rice is a high glycemic food, it is quickly utilized by the body.

- Vegetables that are common in Chinese cookery tend to be gassy and like rice, are very filling - often rendering that bloated look and feel. Like rice, most veggies don't hold mystic satiety powers.

- Sodium creates a formula for water retention, and can promote swelling in the body.

Are there any diet friendly options for Mexican dining?

Mexican dining is generally considered taboo for dieters but when a bit of savvy picks from the menu come into play, Mexican dining can indeed be a part of the dieting experience.

Rice, beans, fajitas with lean meat, corn tortillas, flour tortillas, salads, salsa, light sour cream, tostados piled high with salad and smeared with a touch of beans and salsa - all of these foods make for healthy Mexican dining.

- A taco from most fast food restaurants contains about 200 calories.

- A burrito from most fast food restaurants contains about 300 calories.

- While Taco Salads make the diner think the caloric content is nominal because the entree is a salad, Taco Salads can be extreme in calories - from 700 to over 1,000 calories. The giant shell that it's served in contains the bulk of calories so if you order one, skip the shell to save calories, and possibly your diet plan.

- Refried beans contain about 120 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Cheese will add more calories to the count.

- Mexican Rice contains about 200 calories per cup.

- Fajitas are a very smart choice as long as the meat proteins are lean. Grilled peppers and onions contain a minimal of calories. Just watch how much of the flour or corn tortilla that you eat as therein rests the majority of the caloric content.

- Traditional mixed drinks such as Margaritas are high in calories, so skip those totally.

- Mexican desserts such as flans and fried bread with honey are steep in calories. If you must enjoy, know when to stop.

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