Fit Fast Food: Wendy’s

If you have seen my video “SH*T Personal Trainers Say”, you should remember my fast food scenes–those were my favorite skits to shoot. Of all the fast food joints out there, Wendy’s happens to be my favorite…not that I visit often or anything! Wendy’s actually happens to have some good healthier options on their menu. Of all the fast food chains out there, Wendy’s nutritional information isn’t so terrible–depending on what you order, of course. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Checkers. My recommendation: STAY AWAY!

Now I’m well aware how many fast food chains make, produce and process their food and I am in no way endorsing or in support of including fast food in your diet. However, the truth of the matter is fast food isn’t going anywhere and as long as it remains convenient and inexpensive, people will continue to go to them. It is estimated that the fast food industry generated over $180 billion in revenue in 2010 and shows no sign of slowing down in the future. The one bright spot in the fast food industry is that many chains have made an effort to be more health-conscious by introducing healthier, lower fat and lower calorie meal options.

The purpose of my “Fit Fast Food” blog is to educate people as to what are the healthier options at many of the popular fast food chains. Most fast food meals are well over 1000 calories. The healthier options I highlight off of each menu are designed to keep each meal around 500 calories. Because I kinda threw Wendy’s under the bus with my “SH*T Personal Trainers Say” video, I felt obligated to start with them.

The best part about Wendy’s menu is that they have several side items that are lower in fat and calories then the most popular side, french fries. These are my recommendations for side items:

  • Small Chili: 210 calories, 6g of fat (crackers add 25 calories and shredded cheese adds 70 calories)
  • Plain Baked Potato: 270 calories, 0g of fat (butter spread adds 50 calories but ask if they can add some chili to add flavor, eat 1/2 of the baked potato to keep calories down)
  • Sour Cream and Chives Baked Potato: 320 calories, 3.5g of fat (again, try to eat only 1/2)
  • Apple Slices: 40 calories, 0g of fat
  • Side Salad: 25 calories, 0g of fat (croutons add 80 calories, use either Italian Vinagerette-80 calories, Light Ranch-50 calories or Fat Free French-40 calories)
  • Caeser Salad: 60 calories, 3.5g of fat (croutons add 80 calories, Lemon Garlic Caeser dressing adds 110 calories)

Wendy’s also has several creative salads. There fat content is higher then I would like but so long as you don’t go crazy on the dressing you can keep each one under 500 calories…if you finish it.

  • Apple Pecan Chicken Salad: 450 calories, 20g of fat (Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing adds 60 calories)
  • BLT Cobb Salad: 450 calories, 25gof fat (use either Italian Vinagerette-80 calories, Light Ranch-50 calories or Fat Free French-40 calories)
  • Spicy Chicken Caeser Salad: 470 calories, 25g of fat (Lemon Garlic Caeser dressing adds 110 calories)

Sandwiches are usually the toughest area in any fast food restaurant to make healthier selections. If you are gotta have a sandwich at Wendy’s these are my top choices:

  • Jr. Hamburger: 250 calories, 10g of fat
  • Jr. Cheeseburger: 290 calories, 13g of fat
  • Grilled Chicken Go Wrap: 260 calories, 10g of fat
  • Homestyle Chicken Go Wrap: 320 calories, 16 g fat
  • Spicy Chicken Go Wrap: 340 calories, 16g of fat
  • 5 piece Chicken Nuggets: 220 calories, 14g of fat

 

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