Staying On Track At Chain Restaurants
Sometimes when you’re on the go, your only option are fast food/fast casual restaurants. While the majority of these restaurants do not specifically cater to the nutrition-conscious population, there are some healthy options that you can make. It’s important to remember that sometimes restaurants nutrition calculators are inaccurate. A good way to double check the actual nutrition facts of the item is to take the grams of carbs and multiply it by 4, take the grams of protein and multiply it by 4, take the grams of fat and multiply it by 9, and add all 3 totals together for the true caloric value.
At Chipotle you should never order a burrito as the wrap itself has a whopping 46 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fat. Also, be wary of the salads as one portion of their famous dressing has 25 grams of fat. Luckily Chipotle provides its customers with an online nutrition calculator so you can calculate your perfect meal. A good order at chipotle is a burrito bowl with chicken, ½ portion of brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, lettuce & fresh salsa. At 42 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of fat (451 calories) this order is packed with protein and slow-digesting carbs such as brown rice and beans to keep you full for hours. Plus, it tastes delicious!
Notorious for the fat and carb bomb known as the Frappuccino, Starbucks gets a bad rap in the health and fitness world. However, there are still some highlights to the menu that won’t ruin your progress. For drinks, black coffee is always a safe bet, as is their iced tea as long as you order it without simple syrup. If you enjoy fruity things the unsweetened passion iced tea is a great option and won’t add anything to your daily protein, carb, fat, and calorie limits. If you must have something to satisfy that craving for a rich coffee beverage, a tall size skinny caramel macchiato is not a bad choice with 8 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat (105 calories). As far as food goes, some good options are the reduced-fat turkey bacon & egg white breakfast sandwich with 16 grams of protein, 28 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fat (230 calories), and the spinach, feta & egg white breakfast sandwich with 19 grams of protein, 33 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of fat (300 calories).
Panera may seem like a safe choice but if you don’t order the right thing your carb intake will go through the roof. Luckily, to save yourself from a carb overdose, you can always stick to Panera’s “pick two” option, which combines two half portions of your choice (soup, salad, or sandwich). While the nutritional value of the “pick two” combinations will vary, Panera supplies its customers with online and in store nutritional information so take advantage of that. The low-fat Thai Chili Vinaigrette is your best bet when it comes to salad dressings. If you’re dying for a whole sandwich, keep it simple and stick to the kids menu.
It’s fairly easy to make smart choices at subway if you stick to the 6 inch size sandwiches and stay away from anything too crazy like bacon, ranch dressing, and mayonnaise. Some good condiment choices include mustard, vinegar, pickles, and any of the veggies. If you are watching your sodium intake, make sure to check those values out too because deli meat is notorious for being high in sodium. A 6 inch Turkey Breast Sub from Subway is a great choice with 18 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbs, and 3.5 grams of fat (288 calories).
There is a huge range of healthy choices at WaWa when it comes to on the go eating. In addition to their made to order menu, WaWa sells prepackaged fruits and veggies for mindful snackers. When it comes to their made to order food, a good option is the hoagie bowls, which basically consists of one of their hoagies over a bed of lettuce or spinach instead of on bread. Just make sure to watch what spread you choose to top them with, and remember that cheese adds a lot of unnecessary fat! A Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken Hoagie Bowl with no cheese has 25 grams of protein, 28 grams of carbs, and only 6 grams of fat (266 calories).
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written by: Emily Ventura BS Public Health