Health

The fast-food diet

Your drive-thru fix doesn't have to super-size you. Here's how to make the best choices at 12 takeout restaurants

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function showFoodCourt(bool) { foodcourt = window.open(“/blank.jsp?content=20050606_140435_5736&page=3″,”foodcourt”,”toolbar=0,scrollbars=0,location=0,statusbar=1,menubar=0,resizable=0,width=,height=”); if(!bool) return false; } It wasn’t so long ago that eating fast food meant tossing your weight-loss goals in the deep fryer. Most of the choices packed your daily calories and fat into one meal! The good news is that takeout joints have rejigged their menus by adding low-cal sandwiches and salads and giving makeovers to formerly high-fat entrees. Now it’s easier than ever to eat well on-the-go: you just need to know what to order.

We’ve uncovered the most diet-friendly menu items with help from Theresa Glanville, professor of nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and Shari Segal, a dietitian and professor at McGill University Health Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

Tour our virtual food court for the most diet-friendly menu items at your favourite fast food joints. Plus get more fast food rules to help you shave off calories and fat no matter where you’re eating!

Fast food rules

OK, so you already pass on the fried food, ask for salad dressing on the side and stick to restaurants that let you choose – and control – your toppings. Here are six more strategies to help you shave off calories and fat no matter where you’re eating.

Eat breakfast at home Most fast-food breakfasts are jam-packed with empty calories and fat. McDonald’s Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, for instance, serves up 680 calories and 33 grams of fat.
Know what you want Decide what you’re craving before entering the restaurant. This way, you’ll be less likely to be seduced by in-store marketing for higher-fat meals.
Eat like a kid A Whopper Jr. has 360 calories and 20 g of fat – almost half of the regular Whopper’s 650 calories and 36 g of fat.
Drink responsibly A medium pop (20 oz) holds about 250 calories while a 12-oz juice offers about 160 calories with little nutritional value. Your best bets: water (zero calories) or calcium-packed two-per-cent milk (129 calories per 250 mL).
Share with a friend If you can’t resist a craving for fries, split a small with a friend to save yourself at least 110 calories and more than five grams of fat.
Drive through The easiest way to resist temptation is to avoid it. Using the drive-thru cuts out the sight and smell of other choices, making it easier to stick to what you want instead of tacking on extras.