Mini Fast-Food Survival Guide

Nov 11 2015
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

Occasionally, I find myself at a fast-food drive-thru. It's not an everyday occurrence, but it happens. Do you have any tips on ordering smart at these burger joints? And please don't tell me to get a garden salad!

Drive-Thru Jenny
Answer@2x Hi DTJ,

You've come to right place! We've all been in a situation where we're pressed for time and/or craving a quick fast-food fix. But that doesn't mean your only options are a 500-calorie monster burger or, like you said, a garden salad. Read on...

A few general tips
An easy way to save around 100 carby calories is to ditch the top half of your bun. Or skip the bread altogether, and get your sandwich wrapped in lettuce! Save another hundred or so calories by requesting no mayo or other creamy sauces. Ketchup and mustard are A-OK, though. And if you're going the chicken route, always order it grilled, not crispy (a.k.a. fried)!

Get a McDouble without cheese, and ditch the top half of the bun. With twice as much beef as the basic burger, that has a reasonable 265 calories and 13g fat (PointsPlus® value 7*). The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is another solid choice, especially if you ditch that top bun half -- then you're looking at 250 calories and 4.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 6*). If you’ve gotta have fries, go with a kid-sized order, for 110 calories and 5g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*).

Your best bet here is the Jr. Hamburger -- 240 calories and 9g fat (PointsPlus® value 6*). The Grilled Chicken Wrap is also a good pick -- order it without the cheese, and it has just 230 calories and 7g fat (PointsPlus® value 6*). In terms of sides, the chili is a decent choice -- a small one has 170 calories and 5g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). Not bad!

Burger King
The veggie-topped Whopper Jr. sans mayo is a steal, with 240 calories and 10g fat (PointsPlus® value 6*). When it comes to the Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich, it's worth ditching the mayo and top half of the bun -- then you're looking at 265 calories and 8g fat (PointsPlus® value 7*). There's also the MorningStar Veggie Burger -- skip the mayo and half of the bun, and it has 260 calories and 7g fat (PointsPlus® value 7*). Want a side? A 30-calorie order of apple slices is where it's at.

Happy chewing and drive-thru-ing!

Chew on this:

Today, November 11th, is Veteran's Day. To honor members of the U.S. military, tons of restaurants are serving up free meals to veterans.

Everyone visits the drive-thru now and then. Be a pal, and click "Send to a Friend!"

Have a Question for Hungry Girl?

Send it in! She answers new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).


We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.