Staying on track in the Drive-Thru

We’ve all been there. You’re away from home and you need to eat. What now? You pull into the drive-thru of the nearest fast food joint (GASP!) and you stare at the menu. First of all, you need food, they have food. Let’s let go of the guilt or shame. Second, you need a plan. Here are 5 tips to consider when placing your order.

1. Keep it simple. 

The more complicated an item, the more likely there is to be hidden calories. So forget that bacon guacamole barbeque onion ring cheeseburger. Stick with a plain hamburger or grilled chicken sandwich.

2. Pay attention to the sides. 

The big value meal is tempting. I mean, who doesn’t love a bucket of salty french fries. Consider if you really NEED a side. Usually a main dish is enough to do the job.

3. Stick to one “splurge” piece.

Want the fries? Order a grilled chicken sandwich and skip the bun. Want the bun? Skip the fries. This helps keep things in check but also realistic.

4. Be mindful of your drink. 

This is common sense but we all know soda is packed with sugar. Sweet tea and lemonade are just as bad. Stick to water or unsweetened tea. Better yet, save yourself a few bucks and always carry a water bottle.

5. Have a game plan.

We are creatures of habit. We go the same places. We do the same things day in and day out. Chances are, you could pick out two or three restaurants and they will always be available. So identify those places and check out the menu online. Come up with a plan. Have two or three meals picked out. You’ll be able to make better choices if you’re prepared.

So there you have it. 5 steps to making the best choices while eating on the go. But wait, what about salads?! No I didn’t forget about salads. The reality is, when you’re in this kind of situation, you’re in a rush. You’re driving. Eating with a fork isn’t always possible. AND fast food salads are notorious for being full of “extras.” Those extras add up and you’re usually better off sticking to a plain sandwich.