Back again with more macro-friendly fast food menu choices. This week I go to McDonald’s to see how far my calories go.
What is “Macro-Friendly”?
Macro-Friendly: An adjective that describes a food or drink item that has protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber information available to the consumer and does not take up a disproportionate percentage of your daily macronutrients available compared to the volume of food it provides. Example: Chick-fila Fried Nuggets vs. Grilled Nuggets both take up the same volume, however the grilled would be considered more “Macro-Friendly” because 8 fried nuggets have 28g Protein, 9g Carbohydrates and12g Fat. The grilled, on the other hand, have half the calories at 25g protein, 2g Carbohydrates, and 3.5g Fat.
The first thing we all need to keep in mind, is that everyone has different bodies and different goals, thus different ideas of what constitutes macro-friendly. This is just a quick guide for you to pull up on Google while you’re in the proverbial “where do you want to go?” argument with your significant other in the car trying to decide on lunch.
A quick rundown of McDonald’s and the healthier options it has:
- Breakfast options aren’t great for the macro-minded. Go here if you love it or are in a pinch
- 4-5 grilled chicken options are available and are healthy enough.
- If you’re craving a burger – think single quarter pounder
- Good options for low calorie sweet treats
You will not notice a great deal of variety here…probably because the menu doesn’t have a ton of different options. McDonald’s offers about 3-5 items with different carb choices. So it really came down to the best carb choice. As it turns out, that is the English muffin. So, decide how much fat you want and choose from the following options, if you must. However, I recommend trying to find another option if you want your calories to go a bit farther in regards to micronutrients and volume.
Lunch and Dinner
Now we can talk a bit more variety. Grilled chicken options will give you a little more breathing room where fats are concerned, but if you’re craving that burger, go for it. In regards to the salads, always ask for light balsamic dressing, unless you’re swimming in calories for the day!
I have crazy trust issues where customizations are concerned, so I try not to order food that need them, but the chicken sandwich started a little over 100 calories higher without them, so I suggest the following:
- Switch from the artisan bread to a sesame bun
- no crispy onions
Snacks and Treats
When you have a sweet tooth and you’re on the go, it’s easy to go a little overboard. Moderation is always key with these “nutritionally unnecessary” items. Keep in mind, while they may be nutritionally unnecessary, they may be psychologically necessary to stay on track, so don’t feel guilty! If you can find 150-200 calories to be careless with AND you’ve planned a way to get your micros in, I say go for it!
Eat Well and Share the Love
If anyone else you know is struggling to eat out and stay in their macros, send them my way! Also, I’m planning on running through the most wide spread restaurants first and going from there, but if I get a ton of requests for something, I will give them priority. So comment below if you have a favorite restaurant!