Meal Plans

Restaurant Rules: The Best Fast Food Options

When you're on the go and need a fast fix, sometimes fast food is your only viable option. Alleviate the damage with these healthier choices.

Restaurant Rules: The Best Fast Food Options

Fast food restaurants get a lot of flak. If you listen to nutritionists, gourmet chefs and even burger-lovers, you’ll hear a litany of complaints about how fast food joints have contributed to the nation’s obesity epidemic, the rise of evil factory farming and the degradation of true American cuisine. Sure, they’re all on to something, but if you ask us, more eateries should be like fast food restaurants.

Blasphemy? Consider this: Decades of bashing the fast food industry has had two effects. One, most fast food joints have made a concerted effort to sprinkle their menus with healthy (or at least healthier) items, giving patrons a true choice of what to eat. And two, the majority now readily offers nutritional information to consumers.

The importance of the second outcome can’t be overstated. Whether you’re trying to beat your own obesity epidemic or you’re following all the good advice in this magazine to build up your muscle mass, it’s extremely important to be able to count every gram of protein, carbs and fat that you put in your body. While eating every meal at home makes that goal feasible, it’s not realistic. So if you have to dash into a McDonald’s or Wendy’s, at least you’ll know which is your best bet. And knowledge is power.

We envisioned this article as an easy guide on what to eat when you’re at one of those chains.  We know that not all meals are leisurely affairs and that sometimes you need to fuel those muscles on the run. When you’re rushed, some of the rules you’d normally adhere to go out the window. None of the options listed below are the perfect choice for whichever diet you’re following, but it would still be better to have them in your belly than face hunger and catabolism.

The Best Fast Food Choices for Mass-Gain Diets

Burger King

Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich (with mayo)
510 calories, 37 g protein, 49 g carbs, 19 g fat



Double Quarter Pounder without cheese
640 calories, 43 g protein, 37 g carbs, 35 g fat


6" Double Meat Steak and Cheese sandwich on wheat bread
540 calories, 46 g protein, 52 g carbs, 18 g fat


Single burger with an extra 1/4-pound patty, no mayo, and 1/2 baked potato
745 calories, 47.5 g protein, 70.5 g carbs, 30 g fat