Let's face it, there are times when our day doesn't always pan out how we imaged and we need to pick up a quick bite to eat and as much as we'd LOVE you to eat Muscle Food products all the time, we know that's near impossible to do.
Well how can you eat out and still eat healthy… That's why we've consulted expert nutritionist Dan Rayner to help solve your problems for you.
Don't stop eating out, just make smarter choices…
This week Dan gives us the low down and what he'd order if he were eating at Burger King.
One of the most popular places in the UK to grab a classic beef burger!
Just like McDonalds, KFC and Dominos, Burger King is usually a stone’s throw away!
With these types of fast food chains getting more and more popular, we need to ask the question about what is it doing to our health?
Of course, if you regularly dine at these places then you’ll be doing your insides no good!
The menu is packed with refined carbohydrates, sugary snacks, salt loaded meals and most options total to some big calorie numbers!
However, is there a little gem on the menu? Those few options where you can in fact enjoy your meal without blowing your carbs, fats, salt and sugars through the roof?
Well, here’s a few pointers if you’re looking to be a little more aware of what you’re actually consuming at Burger King.
The crispy chicken salad. With mixed leaf lettuce, juicy cherry tomatoes, crunchy carrot and crispy chicken.
Coming in at 210 calories per bowl, 16 grams of protein, only 15 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fat.
Firstly, it’s quite a well-balanced meal in terms of macronutrients, with a protein hit, minimal carb content and some fats in there too.
Secondly, for the amount of ‘food volume’ you get from this meal, 210 calories sounds like a good call!
To fill up your plate you could even grab an extra garden side salad!
Remember, if you are watching what you eat, things such as lettuces, mixed leaves, tomatoes, carrots and other vegetables provide you with a lot of food for very little calories.
You just need to make sure that there isn’t anything extra hiding in there! Such as high sugar sauces or high calorie dressings.
The Breakfast Menu
The first thing to catch my eye was the Quaker Oats Pot.
In terms of health it’s the most obvious choice of the breakfast offerings.
Coming in at under 200 calories, only 3 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbs and a surprising 7 grams of protein.
This oats pot will provide your body with a prolonged period of slow release energy and could save you from snacking later on in the morning.
If you, like myself, would rather a higher protein breakfast, then from the other choices available I would choose the Bacon King Muffin.
Out of all the ‘breakfast muffins and croissants’ on the menu it’s the lowest in terms of calories, sugars and saturated fats. As we all know this isn’t the healthiest breakfast going.
However, in terms of finding something that you can enjoy without doing too much damage it’s a much ‘wiser option’.
If you would like your calories, carbs and fats lower, then ask for no cheese on your muffin and take away one slice of bread.
You’ll probably be saving yourself around 100 calories by doing this.
Throw in a black coffee to go with that meal for a nice caffeine kick and to also avoid any high calorie/sugar beverages! Not a coffee person? Go with the mineral water!
As expected these options will be crammed with calories, fats, sugars and salts.
Picking an item from these parts of the menu would simply just come down to ‘damage limitation’.
A classic hamburger or the 4/6 piece chicken nuggets, will both sit under 300 calories, 6 grams of sugar and 3 grams of saturated fats.
Order one of the big boys on the menu and you would be looking easily in excess of 500 calories.
That’s just for the burger, not including the large sodium loaded fries (430 calories) and a large 51 grams of full sugar coke (380 calories).
Let’s throw some more eye-opening numbers in…
- Big King XL (Calories – 1010, carbs – 58g, sugar – 13g, fat – 60g, sat fat – 23g)
- Bacon Double XL (Calories – 890, carbs – 45g, sugar – 11g, fat – 53g, sat fat – 24g)
- Angry Whopper (Calories – 710, carbs – 69g, sugar – 14g, fat – 32g, sat fat – 12g)
- Angry Chicken Tender-crisp (Calories – 660, carbs – 68g, sugar – 9g, fat – 28g, sat fat – 8g)
- Bacon Cheese Chicken Royal (Calories – 680, carbs – 49g, sugar – 7g, fat – 40g, sat fat – 9g)
Ask for no cheese or hold the sauce would go a long way into saving a few of the numbers that you see above!
Once you’ve made these alterations you might have a smaller burger, however you could chuck in that side salad for a bit more food volume!
Make A Few Changes
Even if you really are against the idea of walking into Burger King and ordering a salad, you can always be a little smarter in what you order.
Only eat one slice of the bun, ask for no cheese, go with a single not a double, order a small instead of a large, choose calorie free not full sugar, don’t add extra sauces or dressings, grab a side salad instead of those fries, or avoid that ice cream dessert.
These are all easy decisions to make! Bear in mind, I’m not saying a small double cheeseburger meal is good for you, it’s just better for you than ordering a large meal with a chocolate Sundae!
I’ve written quite a few fast food articles now, and I do always like to make the point that there are ‘healthier’ places to eat.
If you were looking to stay bang on top of your nutrition regime with no slip ups whatsoever, then perhaps Burger King really isn’t for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to just socialize with friends, have a mental break away, but still want to eat something that doesn’t stupidly blow your nutritional schedule, then there are still options available to you!
A balanced life which combines a little bit of fast food with lots of good quality high nutritional value foods will do you no harm. One Burger won’t make you gain 7lbs of fat, just like one salad won’t make you drop 2 dress/trouser sizes