Making Healthier Choices @ Fast Food Chains & Restaurants

We all have those moments when we don’t feel like cooking, we want to go out to eat with family/friends, or we are on-the-go so we end up at a fast food chain or restaurant. It happens to everyone! I am here to give you a few easy pointers on how to eat-out in a healthier way. I have also attached a list of some examples of healthier options at a few of the more common restaurants. When making this list I looked for keywords like “grilled” and “fresh”, while also looking for the smallest portion size the restaurant has to offer. If you haven’t noticed… Restaurants tend to give us WAY more food than we actually need. It is always okay to order a half portion, or if that is not an option you can order the full portion with a to-go box, so you can go ahead and put away half for later. Remember… eating until you are not hungry anymore INSTEAD OF eating until you are full is the ideal mindset to have!


Keep in mind…

  • You don’t have to have the fries that come with your entrée, ask to see their other options such as steamed veggies, or a side salad.
  • Don’t rush through your meals. This helps give your body time to signal to you that you are no longer hungry.
  • Rethink your drinks! Water is always the best option, and it won’t add any extra calories to your meal.


Here are a few of the lower calorie options on the Menu’s at McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Outback Steakhouse, and On the Border Mexican Grill:


  • Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait: Calories 150, Total Fat 2g, Total Carbs 30g (10% DV), Protein 4g
  • Egg White Delight: Calories 280, Total Fat 10g, Total Carbs 29g, Protein 18g
  • Side of Apples: Calories 15, Total Fat 0g, Total Carbs 4g, Protein 0g
  • Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad: Calories 350, Total Fat 11g, Total Carbs, 27g, Protein 37g
  • Regular Hamburger: Calories 250, Total Fat 8g, Total Carbs 31g, Protein 13g
  • Side Salad: Calories 15, Total Fat 0g, Total Carbs 3g, Protein 1g

Taco Bell

  • Breakfast Soft Taco: Calories 230, Total Fat 14g, Total Carbs 15g, Protein 12g
  • Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla: Calories 330, Total Fat 18g, Total Carbs 27g, Protein 14g
  • Hash brown: Calories 160, Total Fat 12g, Total Carbs 13g, Protein 1g
  • Soft Taco: Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Total Carbs 18g, Protein 9g
  • Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller: Calories 340, Total Fat 16g, Total Carbs 36g, Protein 14g
  • Beefy Mini Quesadilla: Calories 210, Total Fat 11g, Total Carbs 17g, Protein 9g


Outback Steakhouse

  • Side salad with Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing: Calories 80, Total Fat 5g, Total Carbs 8g, Protein 0g
  • Cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup: Calories 170, Total Fat 9g, Total Carbs 13g, Protein 1g
  • Center-Cut Sirloin (6oz): Calories 60, Total Fat 7g, Total Carbs 0g, Protein 38g
  • Grilled Asparagus: Calories 60, Total Fat 4g, Total Carbs 4g, Protein 2g
  • Fresh Mixed Veggies: Calories 160, Total Fat 10g, Total Carbs 17g, Protein 4g
  • Grilled Chicken on the Barbie (Half Order-4oz): Calories 180, Total Fat5g, Total Carbs 8g, Protein 27.5g


On the Border

  • Chicken Enchilada w/ Sour Cream Sauce: Calories 210, Total Fat 12g, Total Carbs 15g, Protein 14g
  • Ground Beef Tostada: Calories 180, Total Fat5g, Total Carbs 14g, Protein 12g
  • Grilled Chicken Fajita Taco: Calories 150, Total Fat 4g, Total Carbs 17g, Protein 12g
  • Side of Grilled Vegetables: Calories 50, Total Fat 0g, Total Carbs 10g, Protein 2g
  • Side of Cilantro Lime Rice: Calories 190, Total Fat5g, Total Carbs 38g, Protein 4g
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup (cup): Calories 300, Total Fat 14g, Total Carbs 26g, Protein 18g

*This list is intended to be a visual aide of how to choose healthier options when you find yourself eating out.