Satisfying and slimming end-of-day meals.
McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's: Plain hamburger, small fries (kid-size at Wendy's) and a diet drink (530 calories total). Don't be fooled by "healthy fish" choices. Burger King's BK Big Fish Sandwich is 565 calories! (For the record, the Original Whopper is 710 calories.)
Taco Bell: Go for the 7-Layer Burrito (530 calories), Cheese Quesadilla (490 calories) or try the Nachos Supreme (450 calories).
Arby's: Beef 'n Cheddar sandwich (480 calories). Skip the side orders here most are too caloric to fit into your diet plan.
Pizza Hut: Three slices with reduced-fat cheese (500 calories). It may not be on the menu, but they can do it just ask.
KFC: Original Recipe Chicken breast and a serving of mashed potatoes with gravy (500 calories total).
Boston Market: Meat loaf (310 calories) with potato salad (200 calories) or Marinated Grilled Chicken sandwich (470 calories, without mayo). Warning: Add in mayo, and whoosh the calorie count rises to 670. And adding cheese (as in the Meat Loaf and Cheese Sandwich) ups the count to 730 calories.
Caveats for Calorie Counters
When you're in a fast-food restaurant, everything is tempting. But beware of the following:
Condiments From mayo to salad dressings, these add major calories.
Croutons (a.k.a. deep-fried caloric wasteland) Innocent-sounding but lethal to your waistline.
Diet destroyers Boston Market's Turkey Bacon Club couldn't be that bad, right? Wrong! At 770 calories, it's a dieter's nightmare. Avoid caloric sticker shock by asking for the nutritional info beforehand.
Liquid (wasted) calories Research shows that juice and soda don't fill you up; drink water or diet beverages instead.
"Supersize" portions Don't be a victim of portion distortion. If you supersize any of the choices listed here, calories skyrocket.
Important note: I haven't focused on the fat and sodium content of fast-food meals because my philosophy is that when it comes to weight loss, the calorie is king. In the long run, of course, you should limit fat and sodium to avoid heart disease and high blood pressure. But in the short term, a healthy weight is crucial to feeling good, and the diet that works is the one that monitors calories.