Most doctors and nutrition gurus would kill me for saying this, but it's true! You don't have to completely say goodbye to your favorite fast food restaurants if you are dieting or trying to be more healthy. The following is a list of fast food menu items that are well within an acceptable calorie range:
Jack in the Box
Chicken Fajita Pita - no salsa - 280 calories
Hamburger - 310 calories
Asian Chicken Salad (wi/ Grilled Chicken & no dressing) - 160 calories
Beef Soft Taco - 210 calories
Chicken Soft Taco - 190 calories
Mexican Rice - 190 calories
Tender Roast Chicken Breast (no skin) - 169 calories
I believe Subway is the healthiest of the mainstream fast food restaurants. They put their calories right on the menu. They offer healthy sides such as yogurt and apple slices. And you get to choose exactly what you want on your sandwich and what type of bread. I do opt for the cheesy bread and I do get cheese slices, but I only put oil and vinegar on my sandwiches - and that cuts down on a lot of calories. The oil and vinegar tastes great and I get a somewhat well-rounded meal (protein with veggies). I usually get a foot long, eat half and then save the second half for lunch the next day. Love that Subway!
I feel like it's not just the fat and calories in fast food, but also the salt, the MSG and other additives and flavorings they put in to make things "tastier". I know that when I go on road trips and eat fast food in any quantity, that my rings stop fitting, my eyes get swollen, etc. Even the fresh produce gets treated to stay bright and crisp looking. Plus, the salads that make it to mass market fast foods are very boring and limited in their vegetable selection.
When I started my major diet/exercise regimen a few years ago to begin dropping my 40+ pounds, I knew I had to stop eating fast food. Since then, I've eaten McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. on very rare occasions-I'd say less than 10 times total in more than three years. I've stuck with subway, watching what I eat and trying more often to order smaller sandwiches. Since I've cut out the fast food, I've found that when I do eat it, it makes me feel pretty terrible. I agree with Tamar-it has to be additives, I think, and all the extra calories.