Despite your best efforts to eat clean, there are going to be times you are caught starving and your only option is fast food. So what’s better: to go ahead and order something to quiet your grumbling tummy or tough out the hunger and wait?

The first step is to know if you're truly hungry or not. Do you need real sustenance or does it just sound good in the moment? 

Let's assume you are truly hungry – you haven't eaten in over 4 hours and you're fading fast. Do you have access to a healthy option within the hour? If yes, wait. If no, you need to fuel your body. You never want to outright skip meals. Your body needs a consistent flow of energy in order to keep you going and maintain your metabolism and muscle mass. Does that mean you get to order a Big Mac and fries and call it good? Not quite.

Not all fast food is created equally. Fast food is so notoriously bad because it’s the cheapest ingredients available processed in every way possible to make it taste good. Thankfully, the fast food industry has been feeling the backlash about the poor quality of their food as more people are taking an active interest in their nutrition and have begun offering more whole, unprocessed, real ingredients. But even that's not enough, so you're better off with ordering a la carte and making special requests. Look primarily for proteins by ordering plain, grilled chicken breasts, or a chicken sandwich with no bun, and add extra veggies for filling fiber. Many places also offer plain baked potatoes, side salads, or you can order the entrée salads without all the extras (often the salads have more calories and fat than a burger). You can also request your burger with no bun; alternatively, some places now offer whole-wheat buns.

The main things to stay away from are the French fries, sodas and anything ice cream. You can make almost anything fit your macros but if you aren't keeping track you may need to get a little more basic.

 Or, if it’s killing you, just eat a burger and love every minute of it. Life’s too short.

by Kelly Turner

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