August 09, 2008
Diet Dilemma

For the summer, I've been on a diet. It's the Brad Williams's patented, 'eat less, exercise more' diet.

For a few weeks, Michele and the girls are out of town in Cincinnati. In the past this has meant a plethora of fast food meals and nary a fresh fruit or vegetable.

Now I find myself trying to balance eating better with having a little fast food. Ideally, I want to eat less than 1,500 calories a day.

I started looking at the things I like to eat best at various fast food places and how many calories are in each item. The list grew rapidly. All of this info is easy to find on the internets...

Baja Fresh Bean & Cheese w/ carnitas - 1010 calories
BK Original Chicken Sandwich w/o mayo - 450 calories
Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger - 710 calories
El Pollo Loco Chicken Wing - 91 calories
El Pollo Loco Crunchy Taco - 191 calories
El Pollo Loco BRC Burrito - 387 calories
In-n-Out Burger Double Double - 590 calories
Jack in the Box taco - 160 calories
KFC Crispy Strips (3) - 350 calories
McDonalds Chicken Strips (5) - 660 calories
Panda Express Black Pepper & Kung Pao & rice - 920 calories
Papa Johns Cheese Thin Crust slice - 240 calories
Papa Johns BBQ Chicken & Bacon slice - 340 calories
Subway 6" BMT sandwich - 450 calories
Taco Bell Taco - 170 calories
Taco Bell Soft Taco - 200 calories
Taco Bell Steak Taquitos - 310 calories
Taco Bell Chicken Taquitos - 310 calories
Wienerschnitzel Chili Dog - 290 calories
Yoshinoya Large Beef Bowl - 1160 calories

I was bit surprised that my favorite fast food, Yoshinoya beef bowl tops out the list...

Today, I've already eaten 6 of Michele's homemade potstickers for breakfast. I have no idea how many calories in those, but they are tasty.

If I can avoid the sides like french fries and chips, it looks like I can squeeze in a little bit of fast food and still stay on my diet.

Ideas? Suggestions for this omnivore?

Posted by michael at August 09, 2008 12:09 PM


I suggest you get yourself over to and get a free account there. They offer a phenomenal food tracking engine and database that will really help. YOu can turn off their "suggested meal plans" and just input your own food.

They will give you a nutrition goal range based on the information you give them (how much weight you want to lose over what period of time) -- and you can track fat, carbohydrate, protein, fiber as well as any other nutrient you like. Because of course it's not just about the calories.

The beauty of the site is their food database, and you can also add your own items. So if you know you're going to have that burger, put it in the database in advance -- then you can play with your food choices for the rest of the day to get the desired range of nutrition. If that lunch is too high in fat, you can plan for a lower fat dinner and breakfast to balance -- if it's too high in carbs, you can plan around that. It's all about balance.

Good luck!

Posted by: Ann [] on August 10, 2008 8:46 AM

I don't see chicken crepes mentioned!?

Posted by: Dad [] on August 11, 2008 9:39 AM

Don't be fooled by "low calorie" labeled food, Mike because it is usually loaded with sugar and sugar is the devil!
My best advice is:
1) when you find some extra time on your hands to cook food, cook some in advance so you know you have something in the fridge that just needs to be heated up and it saves you from a quick fix in fast food

2) Fish over red meat and grill it for optimal tastiness

Posted by: Rachael [] on August 13, 2008 12:19 PM

Before you have a meal, drink a large glass of very cold water. This will help with digestion and will fill your stomach and make you feel full so that you will not eat as much.

Eat foods high in protein (lots of eggs, especiallyin the morning). This will sustain you so that you do not feel hungry and cause you to start snacking

good luck !!!!

Posted by: Laura Paoletti [] on August 19, 2008 5:03 PM

Lo-carb. Worked for me a few years ago, then I strayed off the path... been back on for a few months now and dropped about 15 pounds already.

Unfortunately, nearly all fast food is high-carb + high-fat -- a real killer. In-n-out will give you a double-double wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a bun (as for it "protein style"). Yum.

Posted by: jl [] on August 21, 2008 11:46 AM
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