Did this title throw you off? Most people are surprised when they hear that nutrition professionals eat fast food. Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, they usually make it a point to tell me how healthy they eat or to tell me that they really try to eat “good” the majority of the time. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret….I have never judged someone for what they eat. In fact, I am more likely to judge someone for what they don’t eat!
The reality is life happens. I am a mom of 3 very active boys all with their own activities. Between chauffeuring them from school and sports, going to grad school, completing my internship, and building my business – I am busy! There are plenty of times that I eat in my car on the go.
Yes, the reality is that fast food isn’t the best option, BUT it is a better option than not eating. If your options are fast food or no food – fast food is going to be the best option. Going without food is terrible for your blood sugar, zaps your energy, and is honestly completely unnecessary! We live in a world where we have demonized food so badly that people believe that not eating is better than eating from a drive-thru…it’s not.
One of the best things about Metabolism Makeover is learning how to eat under any circumstance. Once you understand how to eat PHFF, you can feel confident with choosing foods wherever you are! Whether that is at home, family events, potlucks, little league games, dive bars, restaurants, gas stations, or even fast food restaurants.
One of my favorite things is teaching people practical tools to help them confidently make these food choices for themselves.
So this is what I would order at McDonald’s and why…
Egg McMuffin with Canadian bacon – this offers a good amount of fat and a decent amount of protein.
Sausage McMuffin with egg (no cheese) – this has more fat and a little more protein, so chances are you will feel fuller longer with this option.
If your McDonald’s gives you the option of adding another egg to the Sausage Burrito, then that is another good option – without the added egg, it’s not very high in protein so chances are you will feel hungry in an hour or two.
Keeping collagen packets in your car is a great way to help support your protein needs in a pinch. Adding a packet of collagen to your coffee can offer you around 7-10 more grams of protein depending on the brand. I personally love the Further Food brand!
Double Cheeseburger – why double? Because it’s the same amount of carbs as a single, but offers more protein to help keep you full, and it has more fat to help to slow any blood sugar spikes.
6-piece nugget with small fry or a 10-piece nugget without the fry – I’m all about more protein because it satisfies me, but I do have to admit that there’s something about those golden arch fries.
Salads – My McDonald’s didn’t have salads on their current menu, but these are a good option too! You just want to make sure that you are adding a protein source. A 6-piece nugget would be a great addition, as well as making sure to get full-fat dressing. This added fat will help keep you full and allow you to absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins in the salad.
If your McDonald’s has the grilled chicken options, sub for the grilled patty. If not, get the deluxe crispy chicken sandwich and take off the bottom bun. I normally don’t like doing this, but the potato rolls are really thick, so taking off part of the bun can be helpful to decrease some of the excess carbs.
Pro Tip: have the sandwich as-is after a workout when you need to replace glycogen stores.
This is one of the few times that I recommend getting a diet or sugar-free option. Simply because regular sodas are very high in sugar, and personally I would rather have some fries instead of a regular soda! Yes, artificial sweeteners aren’t the best, but it’s not about being perfect – it’s about consistency.
Here are some extra tips when choosing drive-thru options:
Prioritize protein. ALWAYS!
Get the produce – this will increase the fiber content.
Limit sides like hash browns and fries if you are getting a regular entree. Why? Because they lack fiber. This doesn’t mean you can’t have them! Just be mindful of the fact that too much will spike blood sugar and could make you feel sluggish in a few hours.
Make your choices based on what you need at that moment! Remember our bodies are a biology project, not a math equation.
When you understand how your body works, and what different nutrients do for you, you will realize that grabbing fast food isn’t something you need to spend time worrying about. Remember – no one food or meal is going to make you unhealthy, or “ruin” your hard work. Feeding your body is the priority! I’m here to help you feel confident about how you do that and ease any anxiety that you may have surrounding food choices.