Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fast Food For Less Than 700 Calories???

I need to watch my fast food consumption and cut back on it. I'm pretty sure I won't ever totally give up on fast food, but I do need to modify it. I know it's not just the calories that are bad in fast food...the fat...the sodium etc., but even I have my limits. Everything in moderation.

The daily recommended amount of calories I should eat per day is about 2000, if I want to maintain my weight. If I want to lose weight - I need to eat less than 2000 calories per day.

At first 2000 calories sounds like a lot - but if you write down every little thing you eat in a day, you'll find that 2000 ain't a whole lot. And if you eat at a fast food place - you'll probably consume close to 1000 calories in one shot...leaving you with only 1000 calories to cover 2 more meals and any snacks.

Can I eat at a fast food restaurant for less than 700 calories?? I checked out the nutritional information on a few fast food places that I frequent or might frequent in the future - just to get an idea of whether or not I could eat there for around 700 calories - and leave feeling full. I can always cut some calories by ordering diet soda instead of regular or just having water. So based on the kind of stuff I typically like to have at the below places, I've run some numbers.

Taco Bell...Kids' meal at Taco Bell (2 beef soft tacos, cinnamon twists and a 12 oz soda) - approx. 730 calories (picture above).

or I could have

A Gordita Baja Chicken and a Chalupa Baja Chicken and a 12 oz DIET soda for 720 calories

McDonalds...Hamburger Happy Meal - hamburger, small fries, child size soda, 3 pkgs ketchup 645 calories (not sure I'd feel full after that)

Pizza Hut...Personal pan pizza (pepperoni) and DIET soda 640 calories

Dairy Queen...Strawberry Cheesequake Medium Blizzard - 710 calories (and yes I've had that as a meal before)

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken...2 wings, potato wedges, 12 oz soda – 729 calories

Hardees...Medium fries and hamburger, 3 pkg ketchup and DIET soda – 770 calories

Arby’s...Regular popcorn chicken, medium home fries, 3 pkgs ketchup , DIET soda – 772 calories

Jack in the Box...Hamburger, medium fries, 3 pkgs ketchup, DIET soda - 760 calories

Bandana's Bar-B-Q...not fast food but I love going there...60z BBQ pork, side of baked beans, side of fries, DIET soda - 765 calories

By being choosy and going with diet soda more often I can come in close to my goal of 700 calories for eating out. One thing to remember is the ketchup or bbq sauce - which I just realized I didn't include in the Bandana's meal...a little pkg of ketchup can contain 10-17 calories (varied on different websites) and those all can add up pretty quickly if you are a big ketchup user.

In my purse I'll keep a spreadsheet with the nutritional information of the fast food places we like to go to. That way we can check the spreadsheet ahead of time and figure out what we want to eat before going inside.

Most fast food and chain restaurants have websites that include links to the nutritional content of their main dishes. It's actually pretty shocking to see some of the numbers.

Capt Ds... 2 pc fish and fries, 3 pkgs of ketchup, 2 containers of tartar sauce and 2 of cocktail sauce is 1,415 calories!!!!! I love Capt Ds but after seeing that the basic meal that I like getting contains almost an entire day's worth of calories - it's hard to justify going. Sure one time isn't going to kill me...but those "one time" times, add up.

Dairy Queen...Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Medium Blizzard - 1,030 calories. I can't believe that it has over 300 more calories than the Strawberry Cheesequake Blizzard (the kids usually get that flavor - but no more!)

Of course there is always Subway. Remember Jared?? And I do like it - but sometimes I'm just craving some fries and a sandwich just won't work.


Monica said...

Scary when you add it up like that!! The amazing thing is that when my kids do have fast food they claim to be hungry within two hours. How can this be?

Nicole.lascurain@healthline.com said...

Hi Edi,

First off, I came across your site and wanted to say thanks for providing a great health resource to the community.

I thought you would enjoy this interactive infographic which details the dangers fast food has on the body. It will be helpful to persuade anyone trying to cut out fast food out of their diet to visually understand the toll it can take on your body: http://www.healthline.com/health/fast-food-effects-on-body

Naturally, I’d be delighted if you share this embeddable graphic on http://exoticeatingexperiment.blogspot.com/2008/02/fast-food-for-less-than-700-calories.html , or share on social. Either way, keep up the great work Edi!

All the best,

Nicole Lascurain | Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3100 | e: nicole.lascurain@healthline.com

660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.healthline.com | @Healthline