How to Eat Healthy at Wendy's

by Kay Ireland

Chicken may be your best bet at this fast-food restaurant.

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When running late for time or dealing with a time-crunched schedule, fast food can be a necessary evil. A quick pit stop at Wendy's on your way home from a late night at the office may be the closest thing to a home-cooked meal you have, wreaking havoc on your diet and weight-loss goals. Remember that all fast food is not created equally. Less fattening options with fewer calories are available on the Wendy's menu. You just need to choose wisely to find foods that will fit your busy schedule and your healthy eating plan.

Choose a sandwich with less fat and calories than a traditional cheeseburger. According to the Wendy's website, an Ultimate Chicken Grill plus a side salad is less than 10 grams of fat and 500 calories, making it a healthier choice than greasy hamburgers and fat-laden french fries. Grilled chicken is a good source of lean protein, and the side salad provides you with vegetables and fiber. Or, choose one of Wendy's salads like the Mandarin Chicken Salad; it has about 400 calories, even with all of the toppings and condiments.

Swap out your usual burger or sandwich for Wendy's chili. A small chili has a scant 190 calories and is endorsed as a healthy choice by lifestyle website Pair your chili up with a baked potato and side salad, and you have a full balanced meal complete with protein, fiber and carbohydrates for around 500 calories.

Reduce the amount of condiments on your burger, if you must have one. Typical Wendy's burgers boast both mayonnaise and ketchup, and often cheese and bacon as well. Tell your cashier to hold some of the condiments to cut back the amount of calories that you're consuming. Cheese adds around 50 calories per slice, Wendy's bacon adds 30 calories, and mayo will cost you 40 calories.

Take advantage of Wendy's large side-order menu. Unlike most fast-food restaurants, you can choose other items than french fries to complete your meal. A side salad with fat-free french or ranch dressing is a good choice, but you can also choose mandarin oranges, a baked potato (go light on the sour cream and cheese), or chili, all which are far less calories than the 420-calories medium french fry order, and that offer healthy fiber and protein.

Avoid the fountain drink stand and choose a healthier drink to accompany your meal. Instead of soda, choose fat-free milk or a bottle of water to drink. If you must have soda, stick with the diet variety to lessen your caloric intake.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.