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Macro Friendly Fast Food

Macro Friendly Fast Food Blog post featured image written By Noah Quezada Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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Finding a fast food restaurant that offers foods that fit within your macronutrient goals can be difficult.

However, there are a few restaurants that offer great options for those tracking your macros.

In this blog post, we will discuss the top three macro-friendly foods from 18 different fast food restaurants.

Stay tuned for tips on how to order these items when you’re out and about!

What is macro-friendly fast food:

What is macro-friendly fast food? It’s food that contains the right amount of macronutrients to help you reach your goals.

The number of macros that each individual needs can vary, however in general when looking for fast food options that will not break your macro bank, look for items with the following:

  • Lower saturated fat content
  • 20-30 grams of protein
  • Reasonable calories
  • Lower sodium content
  • Carbohydrate (Does it have fiber)
  • Get some sort of fruit or vegetable with your meal

By following these general guidelines you will be able to find Macro-Friendly foods no matter where you go!

5 tips for eating fast food and tracking macros

Here are five tips for eating fast food and tracking macros:

1. Plan ahead by meeting your macros throughout the day, you’ll set yourself up for success, and therefore that one meal will have a much lesser impact. This is where macro meal planning can help. 

2. Look for restaurants that have options that fit your goals. An example, if you’re trying to get in more protein, look for a place that offers lean protein options and steamed veggies.

3. Log the food you plan to eat. This will help you keep track of your macros and make sure you’re staying on track.

4. Focus on getting the most nutrition for your buck. Look for foods that are high in fiber and lean protein, and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and simple carbs.

5. Don’t sweat it. Today fast food has been demonized and if that’s the only option you’ve got, that’s ok. I have worked one on one with people that struggle with being perfect on their “diet.” Let me tell you, there is no such thing.

18 Macro-Friendly Fast Food Restaurants

Taco Bell:

When it comes to affordable and convenient Mexican food, Taco Bell is often the go-to option. However, many people are unaware that Taco Bell offers some great healthy options as well. Here are the top three macro-friendly foods from Taco Bell:

The Macro-friendly options at Taco Bell are:

Power menu bowl with grilled chicken 

460 calories, 27g protein, 41g carbs, 21g fat

Burrito Supreme Chicken 

370 calories, 19g protein, 49g carbs, 11 g fat

Chicken soft taco 

160 calories, 12g protein,  16g carbs, 5g fat 

Mcdonalds:

McDonald’s is often seen as an unhealthy choice, but there are actually some great options on the menu if you’re looking for macro-friendly foods. Here are the top three macro-friendly choices at McDonald’s:

The Macro-friendly options at McDonald’s are:

Artisan grilled chicken sandwich

380 calories, 36 g protein, 45 g carbs, 6 g fat

Egg McMuffin 

310 calories, 17 g protein, 30 g carbs, 13 g fat

McChicken 

400 calories, 14 g protein, 39 g carbs, 21 g fat

In-n-Out Burger

With only the two options of a hamburger or cheeseburger, In-n-out is limited. I am going one step further and ringing the bell of high sodium and high saturated fat content. With all of that, In-n-out is a personal favorite place to get a burger, so I had to include it. Your option is limited to the single with or without a bun.  

The Macro-friendly options at In-n-Out are:

Hamburger with onion (one patty) 

380 calories, 16 g protein, 39 g carbs, 17 g fat

Hamburger protein style 

240 calories, 13 g protein, 11 g carbs, 17 g fat

Chick-fil-A

The Macro-friendly options at Chick-fil-A are:

Grilled nuggets (eight counts) 

130 calories, 25 g protein, 1 g carbs, 3 g fat

Grilled chicken sandwich 

380 calories, 28 g protein, 44 g carbs, 11 g fat

Egg White Grill 

290 calories, 26 g protein, 30 g carbs, 8 g fat 

Panda Express

With the steamed veggies, whole grain carbohydrates, and lean protein sources you can make a ton of macro-friendly combinations at Panda Express. Using a serving size of a bowl, base of brown rice, steam veggies, and then the choice of your protein source.

The Macro-friendly options at Panda Express are:

1 entree bowl with brown rice (Base)

310 calories, 9 g protein, 43 g carbs, 4 g fat

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken 

300 calories, 13 g protein, 8 g carbs, 13 g fat

Kung Pao chicken 

320 calories, 22 g protein, 19 g carbs, 17g fat 

Broccoli Beef 

150 calories, 9 g protein, 13 g carbs, 7 g fat

Smashburger

Smashburger is a restaurant that is often seen as a healthier option than other fast food chains, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. A majority of options are high in saturated fat and sodium. Here are the top three macro-friendly foods from Smashburger:

The Macro-friendly options at Smashburger are:

Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich 

470 calories, 34 g protein, 36 g carbs, 8 g fat

Avocado chicken club sandwich 

580 calories, 36 g protein, 37 g carbs, 35 g fat

Truffle Mushroom Swiss Grilled Sandwich 

560 calories, 40 g protein, 33 g carbs, 33 g fat

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box is a fast food chain that has a reputation for being “unhealthy.” While yes a majority of their options are higher in calories, fat, and sugar, there are a few macro-friendly choices on the menu.

The Macro-friendly options at Jack in The Box are:

Southwest Chicken Salad w/ Grilled Chicken Strips 

350 calories, 34 g protein, 28 g carbs, 15g fat

Chicken fajita pita 

330 calories, 24 g protein, 33 g carbs, 11 g fat

Grilled Chicken Strips with Teriyaki Dipping Sauce 

310 calories, 44 g protein, 16 g carbs, 8 g fat

Need a refresher on counting macros? Read more on counting macros for beginners

Subway

Subway Subs is a great option for anyone looking for a macro-friendly meal. There are tons of options on the menu that are high in protein and you can always pile on the fresh veggies.

The Macro-friendly options at Subway are:

6″ Oven Roasted Turkey and Ham

270 calories, 19 g protein, 40 g carbs, 4 g fat

6″ Oven Roasted Turkey 

260 calories, 19g protein, 39g carbs, 3 g fat

6″ Oven roasted chicken 

280 calories, 21 g protein, 41 g carbs, 5 g fat

Qdoba

Qdoba is a great choice for those looking for a Mexican fast food restaurant. They have a variety of options that are all relatively healthy and Macro-friendly.

The Macro-friendly options at Qdoba are:

The base of your burrito bowl is Cilantro Lime Rice, Black Beans, Fajita Veggies, and Salsa. 

455 P16 C65 F 16

Grilled Chicken adobo 

190 calories, 16 g protein, 2 g carbs, 9 g fat 

Pulled Pork 

140 calories, 17 g protein, 9 g carbs, 4 g fat 

Grilled Steak 

230 calories, 19 g protein, 3 g carbs, 15 g fat

KFC

Are you surprised to see that KFC has macro-friendly options? Of course, there are less optimal food choices however it is important to remember that there is no “healthy” food. You are better off focusing on your overall nutritional eating pattern rather than focusing on a single food.

The Macro-friendly options at KFC are:

Honey BBQ Sandwich 

350 calories, 24 g protein, 22 g carbs, 3.5 g fat

Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast, Green Beans, & Mashed Potatoes 

350 calories, 41 g protein, 23 g carbs, 8 g fat 

Kentucky Grilled Chicken thighs, Green beans, & Mashed potatoes with gravy 

310 calories, 21 g protein, 25 g carbs, 14 g fat 

Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John’s is a sandwich restaurant chain that is popular for its quick, easy and affordable sandwiches. The whole grain bread that Jimmy John’s uses are a source of fiber which can increase your total daily fiber intake.

The Macro-friendly options at Jimmy John’s are:

Turkey Tom #4 SF 

480 calories, 23 g protein, 48 g carbs, 19 g fat

Slim #2 SW 

460 calories, 33 g protein, 57 g carbs, 11 g fat

Slim #4 SW

460 calories, 30 g protein, 59 g carbs, 9 g fat

Popeye’s

Popeye’s did not have a long selection of macro-friendly fast food meals however they do have Blackened chicken breast with green beans and mashed potatoes which comes out to 410 calories, 53 g protein, 28 g carbs, 9 g fat

The Macro-friendly options at Popeye’s are:

Blackened chicken breast 

280 calories, 43g protein, 3g carbs, 3g fat

Green beans 

20 calories, 3g protein, 7g carbs, 2g fat

Mashed potatoes with Cajun gravy 

110 calories, 3g protein, 18g carbs, 4g fat

Chipotle

Chipotle is a classic Macro-friendly restaurant. They have a variety of healthy and delicious options that will fit into your diet. I must warn you though, that the saturated fat and sodium content of these meals can add up quickly.

The Macro-friendly options at Chipotle are:

Chicken bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa 

565 calories, 45g protein, 15 g fat

Steak bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa 

535 calories, 34g protein, 68 g carbs, 14 g fat

Barbacoa Bowl with white rice, pinto beans, fajita veggies, green tomatillo salsa

545 calories, 37 g protein, 68 g carbs, 15 g fat

You will notice that there is no sour cream, cheese, or guacamole on any of these. Three servings of fat are not recommended for the general population. With that, choose one source of fat, sour cream cheese or guac.

Wendy’s

Wendy’s is dishing out some great macro-friendly meals with the Summer Strawberry,  Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and the Grilled Asiago Ranch Chicken Club.

The Macro-friendly options at Wendy’s are:

Summer Strawberry Salad 

380 calories, 37g protein, 15g carbs, 19g fat

Grilled Chicken Sandwich 

350 calories, 32g protein, 35g carbs, 8g fat

Grilled Asiago Ranch Chicken Club 

490 calories, 40 g protein, 34g carbs, 21g fat

Taco John’s

Taco John’s is known for their potato ole’s and fresh-made tacos. Surprisingly, they also offer a few Macro-friendly meals. The Chicken or Steak  Soft Taco, Chicken Super Burrito, and the chicken Boss Bowl are all great Macro-friendly options.

The Macro-friendly options at Taco John’s are:

Street Taco Chicken or Steak 

190 calories, 14g protein, 13g carbs, 5g fat

Super Burrito, Chicken 

440 calories, 24g protein, 64g carbs, 17g fat

Boss Bowl, Chicken, Pico de Gallo 

610 calories, 32g protein, 79g carbs, 20g fat

Sonic

Did you know that a Route 44 fountain soda drink has 105 grams of sugar!!!

While Sonic is known for its delicious drinks, they also offer some macro-friendly food options. The Sonic Grilled Chicken Wrap, Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and the Crispy Chicken Tenders are all Macro-friendly meals.

The Macro-friendly options at Sonic are:

Chicken Wrap-Grilled 

480 calories, 31g protein, 39g carbs, 14g fat

Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich 

470 calories, 30g protein, 39g carbs, 22g fat

Crispy Chicken Tenders (3 counts)  

260 calories, 21 g protein, 16g carbs, 12g fat

Panera Bread

Panera Bread is known for its pastry sandwiches and soups. While these items might not be Macro-friendly, they do offer a variety of Macro-friendly salads and sandwiches. The Egg & Cheese on Artisan Ciabatta, Strawberry Poppyseed with Chicken, and the Deli Turkey on Country Rustic Sourdough are all Macro-friendly meals.

The Macro-friendly options at Panera Bread are:

Egg & Cheese on Artisan Ciabatta 

360 calories, 19g protein, 40g carbs, 14g fat

Strawberry Poppyseed with Chicken – Whole 

350 calories, 23g protein, 37g carbs, 14g fat

Deli Turkey on Country Rustic Sourdough – Whole

600 calories, 35 g protein, 73g carbs, 19g fat

Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard

Good Time’s is a really difficult place to find food options low in saturated fats and sodium. The Macro-friendly options at Good Time’s included are still relatively high in both. 

The Macro-friendly options at Good Time’s Burgers & Frozen Cust

Burger, Old Fashioned Burger

380 calories, 37g protein, 15g carbs, 19g fat

Burger, Mushroom Swiss Burger 

350 calories, 32g protein, 35g carbs, 8g fat

Black Bean Burger, Southwestern 

430 calories, 21 g protein, 46g carbs, 15g fat

Conclusion

In this roundup, we’ve listed 18 of the best Macro-friendly fast food restaurants. No matter where you are in the United States, there is sure to be a restaurant near you that will fit into your diet. 

In addition to listing some great options, we also reviewed three recipes from each restaurant. Lastly, we provided five tips to help you make the best choices when dining out.

Macro-friendly eating does not have to be difficult or boring. With a little planning and these tips, you can enjoy delicious meals while still staying on track with your fitness goals. Thanks for reading!

Are struggling with your macros. You are tracking them and not seeing any progress? Schedule an appointment with me I have helped hundreds in the same situation.

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