Fast Food & Restaurants

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  1. Minimize, not supersize. You can save extra calories and fat grams by eating smaller portions at fast food restaurants. No matter how you serve the food —the more you’re served, the more you’ll eat. It doesn’t matter how hungry you are or what you ate earlier, you generally eat more than you need to if it’s put in front of you.
  2. Water! Shakes and pop contain extra calories. Another way to lower the calories and fat grams in your fast food meal is to drink water. Water has no calories and no fat grams.
  3. Try the light side. Instead of French fries try having a salad. Garden salads contain no fat grams and are over 200 calories less than a small order of fries. Also try to use low fat dressing or no dressing at all to avoid extra calories and fat grams.
  4. Extras, no thanks! Adding extras such as bacon, cheese, and sour cream adds calories and fat grams to your meal. Avoiding extras may help you avoid extra pounds.

Calorie Comparisons

Fact: 1 pound of body fat contains about 3500 calories. 500 extra calories a day = gaining 1 pound per week. What could you save by making different choices at the fast food counter?

Fast Foods High in Calories (Based on National Brand Averages)

  • Large Burger: 700 Cal
  • Fried Chicken Sandwich: 500 Cal   
  • Large Fries: 450 Cal
  • Large Shake: 650 Cal

Fast Foods Lower in Calories (Based on National Brand Averages)

  • Deli Sandwich: 500 Cal
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 370 Cal
  • Hamburger: 260 Cal
  • Small Fries: 270 Cal
  • Garden Salad Without Dressing: 50 Cal
  • 1% Milk: 110 Cal
  • Water: 0 Cal

Fast Food Meal Comparisons

  • Large Burger: 705 calories, 45g fat
  • Large Fries: 450 calories, 20g fat
  • Small Shake: 450 calories, 15g fat
  • Total Calories: 1605 
  • Total Fat: 80g
  • Hamburger: 255 calories, 10g fat
  • Small Fry: 270 calories, 10g fat
  • 1% of milk: 110 calories, 5g fat
  • Total Calories: 635 
  • Total Fat: 25g
  • Fried Chicken Sandwich: 495 calories, 25g fat
  • Small Fries: 270 calories, 10g fat
  • Pop (16 oz.): 230 calories, 0g fat
  • Total Calories: 995 
  • Total Fat: 35g
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 370 calories, 20g fat
  • Garden Salad (no dressing): 52 calories, 0g fat
  • Diet Pop: 0 calories, 0g fat
  • Total Calories: 422 
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Hamburger: 255 calories, 11g fat
  • Garden Salad (no dressing): 52 calories, 0g fat
  • Pop (16 oz.): 230 calories, 0 fat
  • Total Calories: 482
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Ham Sandwich: 235 calories, 5g fat
  • Garden Salad (no dressing): 52 calories, 0g fat
  • Water: 0 calories, 0g fat
  • Total Calories: 287
  • Total Fat: 5g

Sources: Eat Smart, Move More NC, Healthline

This post was last updated on January 3rd, 2020 at 9:16 AM

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