We know the calories in fast food are never going to be the healthy choice, but sometimes we just want to feel like everybody else and tuck into some greasy fast food.
While most diets would deem this to be a collosal failure and scorn you for your lack of will power, I do the opposite, I actually recommend most people eat fast food whilst dieting.
I’m not saying this just for the sake of controversy, there are reasons why I recommend eating fast food during a diet. Eating fast food while dieting can make your diet more effective.
The purpose of this article isn’t to convince you to eat fast food, it’s to show you how to accommodate the calories in fast food into your diet plan.
Once you’ve read this you’ll be able to answer “Do you want fries with that?” without feeling guilty about killing your diet progress!
Banish The Fear of Fast Food Forever!
Nothing scares a dedicated dieter more than situations where they need to eat and the only available options are fast food.
It could be while travelling on business or simply because your partner or family (who may not eat the same way you do) want to eat somewhere you usually wouldn’t. It might just be because you crave junk food (common while dieting) and you must satisfy that craving.
The fact is despite our best efforts every one of us will find us in these situations so it’s something you need to know how to deal with.
The best way of dealing with this is by ensuring you keep tracking your daily nutrition, know the calories in fast food and include the fast food in your daily numbers.
So if you know your weight loss calorie intake allows you to eat 2500 calories per day and how much protein, carbs and fat you can eat, you calculate how much of that the fast food meal will cost.
Find The Calories In Fast Food And Make Them Fit!
Sometimes we know in advance when and what our cheat meal will be. For example, a few weeks back Lucie and I redecorated out flat and our friends wanted to come to see the fruits of our labour. They suggested we order in a pizza.
Knowing we’d be ordering from Domino’s and remembering how whenever I phone them they already tell me what we usually order (!) I knew what we would be eating: A large Margarita.
Using my spreadsheet where I track my daily food intake I knew my daily nutrition targets were:
Calories: 2,100 (2,052 if we’re being scientific!)
To be able to see how my cheat meal would affect my daily targets I followed two simple steps:
Step One – Find Out The Calories In Fast Food
I knew that a Large Margherita would be shared between two of us so I looked at my
Dominos Pizza Calories
guide and worked out that a large pizza is 10 slices.
As I would eat half, I’d be eating 5 slices. The nutritional information guide listed the info by slice so I simply calculated the total like this:
|1 Slice||5 Slices|
|Protein (g)||10||X 5||=||50|
|Carbs (g)||24||X 5||=||120|
|Fat (g)||5||X 5||=||25|
That’s a lot of calories, carbs and fat for one meal and bearing in mind my nutrition targets for the day I needed to workout how it compared to my targets.
Step Two – Compare The Calories In Fast Food With Your Daily Targets
To do this you simply compare the nutritional information to your targets like so:
|Daily Target||Minus||Meal Totals||Equals||Calorie Balance|
In this example I’m allowed 2100 calories per day, after accounting for the 915 calories in the pizza I would still have 1185 calories to eat that day.
As the cheat meal should be the last meal of the day (as going back to eating diet food afterwards is extremely difficult!) you know how you need to eat leading up to your fast food feast!
Yes! You can enjoy that pizza safe in the knowledge that your diet progress has not been affected!
What About Unplanned Fast Food Feasts?
As I mentioned earlier in this article, sometimes you don’t have advance notice of a meal and you just to grab something and go.
My advice is that you should try to order the low calorie fast food options where possible so the meal isn’t too damaging to your diet. Once you are able to (ideally the same day) sit down and review your daily food intake you should add in this meal and see what you are left with.
In the event that you are so busy you really can’t enter the numbers that day, don’t worry about it. One bad meal isn’t going to derail your progress provided you keep track of your intake the rest of the week.
I’ve had unplanned cheat meals and not been able to count my numbers that day, I still lose that pound of fat at the end of the week because I was tracking my calories and food intake the other 90% of the time.
I’m not saying go wild and eat fast food without tracking it which would be stupid. What I am saying is if you really can’t track your numbers don’t beat yourself up about it just get back on to it the next day.
After all successful weight loss is a lifestyle change so one day won’t hurt you too much and the freedom that comes with being able to eat like everyone else is something that is possibly the single most valuable asset in your dieting arsenal!
So, do you want fries with that?