In a perfect world, you’d have plenty of time throughout your week to meal prep and cook delicious, healthy food to help you stick to your goal of wanting to lose weight. However, things happen. And sometimes you find yourself in need of a quick meal on the go. Thankfully, there are still some healthy fast food breakfast items you can try that may give you the freedom of saving time and money, while also getting a dose of nutrients in the morning hours.
But what would make a fast food item “healthier” when you’re trying to lose weight? One of the main issues with fast food is that it often lacks important things like protein and fiber and is instead full of fat and added sugar. If you can find breakfast items that are lower in calories and higher in protein and fiber, you can still feel full throughout your morning.
At the end of the day, eating any kind of fast food on a regular basis is going to be potentially harmful to your health. But if you’re in a bind and need a quick but healthy-ish breakfast, try one of these fast food breakfast choices.
If you’re visiting the McDonald’s drive-through, you can still save yourself some calories. While the Egg McMuffin still has a higher fat and sodium count, it can be a better choice than many other McDonald’s items.
“The famous Egg McMuffin comes in at only 300 calories, with 12 grams of fat and 820 milligrams of sodium,” says Janet Coleman, RD with The Consumer Mag. “The best part about the Egg McMuffin is that it is served on an English muffin, which makes it look more like a fast-casual breakfast than just another processed burger.”
You don’t always have to go the breakfast sandwich route if you’re at a fast food restaurant. Oftentimes, there are healthier menu items you may not be aware of!
“If you are trying to avoid eggs, or if you are watching your cholesterol count, this oatmeal from McDonald’s will be perfect for you,” says Coleman. “It has only 290 calories, with just 4 grams of fat and 160 milligrams of sodium. It is also loaded with 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. If you want to add some healthy fruit to your oatmeal, ask for some berries or apples on the side.”
starbucks has plenty of breakfast sandwiches that are low-calorie and have some protein, but it’s their egg bites that pack the most nutrient-dense punch.
“Egg Bites are the perfect weight loss breakfast on the go,” says Britt Bailey, MSNHP, RDN, LDN. “One serving has 170 calories and 12 grams of protein. I do recommend two orders of Egg Bites. Yes, I said it. For weight loss, one crucial factor is prioritizing protein. I recommend 20 to 40 grams of protein per meal for my weight loss clients. Two servings of these bites provide 340 calories, 24 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 16 grams of fat. It’s the perfect fast-food breakfast option for weight loss.”
Chick-fil-A is known for their fried chicken, but many people may not realize that they have plenty of delicious grilled options—even for breakfast!
“The Egg White Grill Sandwich at Chick-fil-A is a great breakfast option for weight loss,” says Bailey. “One sandwich has 290 calories and 26 grams of protein. Add a coffee with light cream, and be full till lunchtime.”
Dunkin ‘Donuts is notorious for its donuts, obviously. But if you’re in a hurry and needing a healthier option, you can get one of their breakfast sandwiches.
“The Turkey Sausage Egg & Cheese from Dunkin’ Donuts will keep you full and satisfied all morning long,” says Bailey. “One sandwich is 460 calories and 26 grams of protein. This is a great moderate-calorie, on-the-go breakfast for your weight loss journey.”
another great starbucks choice is their spinach and egg white wrap with feta! It’s warm, gooey, and delicious, and easy to take on the go.
“This wrap has 20 grams of protein and contains leafy greens, a rare find in fast food breakfast items,” he says Justin Chan, RD, CDE. “Fast food breakfast foods like these that are high in protein and fiber jumpstart your weight loss because they help to keep you full and prevent overeating.”
Let’s not forget about subway. If you’re needing a healthy fast food breakfast, Kimberly Duffy, RDN, LD, CPT, recommends a Subway breakfast flatbread with spinach, tomato and avocado! These come in at 395 calories, 19 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, and 50 grams of carbohydrates.