• Chick-fil-A is the only fast food I eat. Yummy and I know the calorie count of just about everything on the menu!

    From Nicki
    October 12, 2009

  • Chick-fil-A is YUMMY! One of my favorite ‘fast food’ tips is to order a Kid’s Meal. These usually allow you to enjoy your favorite meal in moderate portions!

    From Cheney
    October 13, 2009

Healthy Traveling: Fast Food Friends

By: Jeff, H3 Program Intern

When implementing a new lifestyle plan, one of the greatest challenges is making the appropriate adjustments while traveling.  Seems impossible to eat healthy on the road, right? At times, our environments really do set us up for failure.  Airports are bombarded with fast food joints, snack shacks, and of course oversized muffins.  Restaurants boast gigantic portions and now and then the occasional buffets.  Despite these negative environmental factors, there are still some fast food friends out there and it comes down to a matter of planning.  

In Healthy Traveling, a lecture here at Hilton Head Health, Guests discuss eating tips for airports, hotels, and restaurants.  What’s more, they learn ways to incorporate physical activity into the trip itinerary! 

Another awesome aspect to this lecture is the Healthy Traveling Calorie Count Game.  Guests are split into two groups, recording educated guesses focused on the calorie count of an assortment of popular fast food items.  At the end, the totals are tallied up and deducted from the actual calorie count.  It’s rather interesting because most groups are truly spot-on when it comes to knowing the calories of common restaurant and fast food orders. 

If you’d like, go ahead and try out a shortened version of the game below, how close can you come?  


Predicted Calories


Starbucks – Classic Blueberry Muffin



Wendy’s – Baconator

 McDonald’s – Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait  


Baskin Robbin’s – Cappuccino Blast Turtle Milk Shake


*Actual calories found below

As I mentioned previously, most of our Guests are pretty good at this game, so if we are so good at predicting the calories, why are we still choosing these high calorie foods? 

Primarily, we tend to rationalize these orders by “it’s all I have time for,” or “there are no healthy options when it comes to fast food.”  These are simply common engrained misunderstandings in which we must get away from!  As Bob Wright would say, no matter where you are there is always the Unwise, Better, Best choice.  Moreover, the cool trend we are starting to see is towards healthier fast food options and hopefully in the end this will change our mentality towards eating out. 

Many laws are coming about that may force restaurants and fast food joints to have their nutrition information readily available.  Until these changes are made, we must be aware of some of the healthy options and plan out a few in the case of traveling or if that friend really wants to eat here or there. 

Below are some great ON-the-GO choices and a few resources where some of the healthiest fast food chains let you calculate your meal!

Fast Food Friends:


– Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich; Calories 260, Fat 3g, Fiber 7g Protein 27g 

– Fruit Cup (large); Calories 100 Fat 0g Fiber 3g Protein 1g

– Side Salad; Calories 70 Fat 4.5g Fiber 2g Protein 5g

– Dressing – Light Italien; Calories 15 Fat 0.5g




– Garden Vegetable Soup; Calories 120 Fat 1g Fiber 7g Protein 4g

– Vegetarian Black Bean Soup; Calories 200 Fat 2g Fiber 11g Protein 11g

– Asian Sesame Chicken Salad w/out Wonton Strips; Calories 270 Fat 11g Fiber 3g Protein 26g




– 6’’ Turkey Breast; Calories 280 Fat 3.5 Fiber 5g Protein 18g

– 6’’ Veggie Delite; Calories 230 Fat 2.5 Fiber 5g Protein 8g

– Any of the 6 inch, 6 grams or less of fat subs are considered fast food friends



Those are just a few examples of your fast food friends, but don’t worry there are other options available!

Explore the links above and you’ll really become more knowledgeable on the many healthy options that are available at notable fast food chains.  Let’s change our mindset, move away from “there are no healthy options” to “Man, I can’t decide which healthy option to choose!”

If we can switch those sayings then we’ll be well on our way to battling the great challenge of traveling.  Anyways, I hope this blog was helpful for your next business getaway or when time does not allow for that gourmet meal. 

Lastly, check below and see how you did on the calorie counter!

*Actual Calories:

Starbucks – Classic Blueberry Muffin: 470

Wendy’s – Baconator: 970

McDonald’s – Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait: 160

Baskin Robbin’s – Cappuccino Blast Turtle Milk Shake: 900




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