Hungry Girl’s 4 Steps to Beat Fast-Food Cravings

Use this fast-food fake-out guide from expert Lisa Lillien to ditch the drive-through while still eating your favorite foods.

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Step 1: Avoid Fast-Food Phonies

Fast-food phonies are foods that you think are healthy but aren’t. Don’t let the words “fresh” or “premium” fool you, they are often traps for people who mean well and are trying to make smart choices. Common phonies include:

Veggie Burgers
Some veggie burgers have as much as 640 calories and 35 grams of fat. That’s almost as much as a double cheeseburger and small fries!

What to order instead: A regular hamburger. Restaurants often rely on fatty extras to amp up the flavor on veggie burgers or chicken sandwiches, usually using special sauces, mayonnaise, cheese and more.

Nonfat Smoothies
Smoothies seem like a healthy choice, but some pack in 540 calories and 0 grams of fat. That’s the same amount of calories as a hot-fudge sundae!

What to order instead: A reasonable-sized smoothie will have about 400 calories. Smoothies are often loaded with added sugar, sometimes in the form of straight-up syrup. They often have other fattening add-ins like granola, peanut butter and more. Remember a smoothie isn’t just a drink; it’s more like a meal replacement.

Step 2: Build a Fast-Food Cheat Sheet

Break up your cheat sheets by cuisine. For example, if you are at a burger joint, don't be afraid to get grilled chicken or even a burger wrapped in a lettuce bun with onion, tomato, ketchup and mustard. Ditching the bun alone saves you around 200 calories. And swapping their special sauce, which is typically loaded with mayo, ketchup and mustard will save you lots of calories. Also, leave off the cheese! Use this fast-food cheat sheet below to make ordering out easy.