Try as we might, there just comes a time when fast food may be the only option. Perhaps it is when you are running from one practice to the next with only 15 minutes to eat or when you have 20 minutes to eat dinner before a late-night meeting. Knowing what to order can ease your confusion, worry and stress. Fast food doesn't have to ruin your training, provided you choose wisely and stick to only one time a day only once in a while. So here are some options.............
McDonalds: Egg McMuffin, snack-size fruit & walnut tray, black coffee [510 Kcal, 61gm carb, 21 gm protein, 20 gm fat (6gm saturated)]
Starbucks: Turkey bacon and white cheddar classic breakfast sandwich, 16 oz. caffe latte with nonfat milk and sugar-free syrup (if desired) [460 Kcal, 63 gm carb, 30gm protein, 7gm fat (2 gm saturated)]
Panera: Steel cut oatmeal with strawberries & pecans, 16 oz. cappuccino [440 Kcal, 57 gm carb, 14 gm protein, 18.5 gm fat (4.5 gm saturated)]
McDonald's: Premium grilled chicken classic sandwich, fruit & yogurt parfait, side salad with oil-based dressing on side (i.e. Balsamic Vinaigrette), water [520 Kcal, 75 gm carb, 33 gm protein, 11gm fat (3 gm saturated)]
Subway: 6" roast beef on 9-grain wheat with Swiss cheese, plenty of veggies and olive oil blend; pair with 1 pkg apple slices, water [455 Kcal, 54 gm carb, 28 gm protein, 14 gm fat (5 gm saturated)]
Einstein Bagels: Tuscan chicken pesto bagel thin sandwich, fruit and yogurt parfait, water [510 Kcal, 66 gm carb, 32 gm protein, 14 gm fat (4.5 gm saturated)] **this place has terrible food from a nutritional perspective; it was hard to find a meal that worked here!
Noodles & Co.: Small Bangkok Curry with sauteed shrimp, side salad with fat-free Asian vinaigrette, side of edamame, water [475 Kcal, 60 gm carb, 28 gm protein, 13 gm fat (5 gm saturated)]
Chipotle: Burrito bowl with chicken, brown rice, tomato salsa, fajita veggies and lettuce; water, and bring a piece of fruit from home... [395 Kcal, 56 gm carb, 37 gm protein, 11 gm fat (3 gm saturated)] **Do not recommend eating here if you are watching your sodium intake!
Wendy's: Large chili, side salad with pomegranate vinaigrette dressing and no croutons, 1 pkg apple slices, unsweetened iced tea [430 kcal, 53 gm carb, 27 gm protein, 13 gm fat (4 gm saturated)] **Again this is also relatively high in sodium compared to other choices listed above!
In order to keep the macronutrient and sodium levels reasonable, notice that overall total calories often is low at only 400-500 Kcal. Your needs per meal are dependant on your body weight, current training regimen and performance goals. So, only use these meal options as a guideline. What I often tell my athletes is to keep healthy sides with them - in the car or office - so that they can start with one of the base meals above and then add things like fruit, veggies or unsalted nuts to increase the overall caloric intake without overdoing it on sodium and saturated fat.