Masthead
Weight Loss

The 6 Smartest Fast-Food Lunches

Lunch is the meal most often bought at fast-food joints, according to the marketing company Fluent. Make your visit less fattening with help from Trevor Kashey, Ph.D., of Complete Human Performance.


By Julie Stewart
2 min

Arby’s

Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad (×2)

  • 600 calories
  • 38G fat
  • 21G carbs
  • 5G fiber
  • 44G protein

DOUBLE IT

Order two: Twice the lettuce makes for lots of filling volume, Kashey says. Roast turkey, bacon, and shredded cheddar add flavorful protein. But limit yourself to one balsamic vinaigrette packet. Price for two (may vary): $10.98

Chick-Fil-A

Grilled Market Salad with Zesty Apple Cider Dressing

  • 430 calories
  • 25G fat
  • 31G carbs
  • 4G fiber
  • 25G protein

ACCENTUATE TASTE

This salad hits that satisfying sweet-and-salty spot by combining apples, strawberries, and blueberries with savory ingredients like chicken. Don’t skip the dressing; it amplifies the satiety factor. $7.84

Einstein Bros. Bagels

Albacore Tuna Salad Sandwich on a Multigrain Roll

  • 590 calories
  • 28G fat
  • 59G carbs
  • 10G fiber
  • 31G protein

FAVOR FISH

One weekly serving of nonfried fish is better than none, but eating more could lower your risk of metabolic problems, the European Journal of Nutrition suggests. A multigrain roll adds filling fiber. $6.99

Jimmy John’s

Beach Club Unwich with Extra Avocado Spread

  • 480 calories
  • 39G fat
  • 9G carbs
  • 2G fiber
  • 30G protein

BE BOLDLY BREADLESS

“They’re very amenable to custom orders,” says Kashey. To keep a lid on carbs while preserving the protein, order this as an “unwich”—swaddled in lettuce. They’ll also scoop out the soft part of a roll. $7.25

McDonald’s

Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich and a Cutie (mandarin orange)

  • 420 calories
  • 7G fat
  • 52G carbs
  • 3G fiber
  • 37G protein

KEEP IT AUTHENTIC

That’s a real chicken breast in this sandwich, not a preformed poultry patty. Round out your lunch with a Cutie—a seedless, easy-to-peel, irresistibly sweet “dessert”—for vitamin C and antioxidants. $5.48

Wendy’s

Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad

  • 450 calories
  • 15G fat
  • 42G carbs
  • 8G fiber
  • 40G protein

GO LEAN AND GREEN

Grilled chicken, feta cheese, and hummus pack this salad with protein, which helps you maintain muscle mass and control hunger. This is a complete meal in a bowl. “No sides needed,” says Kashey. $6.99