Healthy Lunch Options On-the-Go

On a long drive with your family? Or maybe the morning was so hectic that you forgot to pack a lunch? Now you're standing outside of a fast food restaurant trying to figure out what you can eat, while keeping your health and nutrition in focus.

We've all been there before, but don't worry! Restaurants today are expanding their menus to meet the health demands of consumers, without sacrificing flavor. When looking for a meal, it's important to not only consider the overall calories, but also focus on getting a balance of carbohydrates and protein to keep you feeling full for longer.

My Top Picks for Fast Food Lunches:

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

  1. Burrito Bowl from Chipotle  Chicken, Brown Rice, Black beans, Fajita veggies, Salsa, lettuce

    Calories- 545 
    Protein- 44.5g
  2. Calories- 420 
    Protein- 41g
    Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with a Fruit Cup
    Calories- 355 
    Sugar- 29g 
    Grilled Market Salad with Roasted Nut/Fruit Blend
    Calories- 260 
    Protein- 27g


    hummus box

  3. Calories- 270 
    Protein- 20g
  4. Calories- 210 
    Protein- 13g 
    Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Plain Bagel
    Calories- 460

    Protein- 23g

    Quinoa Salad from Zoe's Kitchen

  5. Calories- 500 
    Protein- 18g
    Greek Chicken Pita and Fresh Fruit Side 
    Calories- 540 
    Protein- 43g 

Other Healthier Options:

McDonald's Southwest Salad

  1. Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken from McDonald's 
    Calories- 390 
    Protein- 28g 
  2. Grilled Chicken, Apple, and Cranberry Garden Salad Wrap from Burger King
    Calories- 270 
    Protein- 20g 
  3. Grilled Chicken Salad from Dairy Queen 
    Calories- 424 
    Protein- 38g 
  4. Berry Almond Chicken Salad from Wendy's (half-sized) 
    Calories- 270 
    Protein- 21g
    Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (half-sized) 
    Calories- 340 
    Protein- 19g 

There are lots of other restaurants out there with healthy options too! Try a meal at Panera, Jason's Deli, Taziki's, or build your own meal at Earth Fare or Whole Foods. Just remember to include vegetables and protein in whatever meal you pick, and to watch the sodium content in your meal. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1500mg as a daily adequate intake level, and recommends not consuming over 2300mg per day. Consuming too much sodium can increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and many other issues.

Oftentimes restaurants add salt to meals to enhance the flavor, which is why it's a good idea to try to limit how frequently you eat out during the week. Make it a goal to pack your lunch and pack up healthy snacks so you're not tempted to overindulge. If you are eating out, make it a goal to drink water with your meal instead of soda, and ask for dressings or toppings on the side so you can better control your caloric intake.

Please let me know how I can help! TransFit offers healthy meal planning to help you simplify your lifestyle! Please email me at transfitathens@gmail.com with questions!