Advice From Dietitians On How To Eat Healthy At Panda Express, Chipotle And Other Fast Food Spots

By Grace Wong
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Fast food doesn’t necessarily have to be unhealthy food. There are simple ways to approach a menu and fill up on nutritious items. Dietitians Bethany Doerfler Lori Welstead share some tips and tricks for choosing healthy options.

Chicago Tribune

At the start of the new year, you probably promised yourself that you were going to eat healthy and exercise more.

Your Pinterest board was filled with Buddha bowl recipes, and that pair of gym shoes was getting more action than it used to.

But as January marches toward its end, you find yourself taking fewer Mason jar salads to work, and you can’t even remember the last time you went to the gym.

It’s those times that you have to lean on healthy habits you’ve developed when your willpower was stronger.

In a sea of seemingly unhealthy fast-food options, there are still ways to approach a menu and fill up on nutritious items. To help with that, we asked two dietitians to give us some tips and tricks for choosing healthy options and then made them prove the tips would work by taking them to popular fast food and fast casual restaurants.

We accompanied Bethany Doerfler, a registered dietitian at the Digestive Health Center at Northwestern Medicine, and Lori Welstead, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the University of Chicago, to some of Chicago’s favorite lunch spots to show us how to hack the menu for the healthiest options and give us tips on how to stay on track.

Their suggestions are geared toward people who want to maintain their weight or lose weight. For women, this means a 1,200- to 1,600-calorie daily diet, and for men, 1,600- to 2,000-calories a day. To accomplish those numbers, Doerfler recommends sticking to 400 calories for breakfast and lunch and 500 calories for dinner, which leaves some room for “two thoughtful snacks.”

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