Make it Easy: The Best Macro-Friendly Fast Food Restaurants

In today’s fast-paced world, finding a balance between convenience and health-conscious choices can be nothing short of a challenge. Well, you heard it here first – there are fast food establishments that offer surprisingly macro-friendly options.

As we delve into the world of fast food to bring you the top 10 most macro-friendly options, it’s essential to clarify the criteria by which we’re evaluating these establishments. Our ranking process takes into account three vital aspects that matter most: flavor, popularity, and the availability of macro-friendly choices. Alright, let’s get to it.

Ranking System

In this journey through the world of macro-friendly fast food establishments, we’ll keep these three key factors in mind: flavor, popularity, and the availability of macro-friendly options.

First and foremost, flavor is a non-negotiable factor in our assessment. We understand that indulging in fast food should always be a delightful experience. Thus, we’ll be scrutinizing each restaurant’s offerings to ensure we only share the best. After all, what’s the point of making macro-conscious choices without keeping taste in mind?

Popularity also plays a significant role in our rankings. We believe that macro-friendly options should be accessible to as many people as possible. We’re considering the overall popularity and reach of these fast-food chains, making it convenient for you to enjoy these options wherever you are.

Lastly, we’re on a quest to discover where you’ll find the most extensive array of macro-friendly choices. These fast-food spots excel in providing a wide range of options that cater to various dietary preferences and goals, from those seeking high-protein meals to those aiming for low-carb or keto-friendly options.

The Ultimate 10 Macro-Friendly Fast Food Restaurants

1. Chipotle

Chipotle was one of the first fast-food chains to provide comprehensive nutritional information on its website and in-store, allowing customers to easily calculate and adjust their macronutrient intake.

This transparency and flexibility in customization have contributed significantly to its reputation as a macro-friendly haven, catering to a wide range of dietary preferences and goals. We did a full Chipotle macro breakdown, but these are five of our top finds.

  1. Chicken Fajita Bowl – 240 Calories, 34g Protein, 7g Fat, 15g Carbs. Ingredients: chicken, green salsa, extra fajitas, and lettuce.
  2. Spicy Chicken Bowl – 325 Calories, 37g Protein, 8g Fat, 25g Carbs. Ingredients: Light beans, chicken, tomato salsa, red chili salsa, fajitas, and lettuce.
  3. Steak Bowl – 320 Calories, 24g Protein, 8g Fat, 35g Carbs. Ingredients: light rice, steak, tomato salsa, green salsa, fajitas, and lettuce.
  4. Protein Bowl – 425 Calories, 65g Protein, 14g Fat, 14g Carbs. Ingredients: double chicken, tomato salsa, green salsa, fajitas, and romaine lettuce.
  5. Chicken Taco – 140 Calories, 12g Protein, 5g Fat, 13g Carbs. Ingredients: crispy corn tortilla, chicken, green tomato salsa, fajitas, and lettuce.

Reference Chipotle’s website for a full nutritional menu.

2. Chick fil a

Chick-fil-A secures its well-deserved position as number 2 on our list of fast food macro-friendly options.

Did you know Chick-fil-A uses a unique cooking method for its chicken sandwiches? Pressure-cooking eliminates the need for unhealthy frying oils, resulting in a leaner chicken option.

Chick-fil-A’s variety of menu items makes it a staple for your macro-friendly needs and hey – we’ll take a drive-through option whenever we can. Let’s walk through their top options:

  1. Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 330 calories, 28g protein, 41g carbs, 7g fat
  2. Grilled Nuggets 12-piece – 200 calories, 38g protein, 2g carbs, 4.5g fat
  3. Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap w/ no added sauce – 350 calories, 42g protein, 29g carbs, 13g fat
  4. Egg White Grill for (Breakfast) – 290 calories, 27g protein, 29g carbs, 8g fat
  5. Grilled Chicken Market Salad w/o dressing – 320 calories: 28g protein, 26g carbs, 12g fat (light Italian or honey mustard)

For all my sauce enthusiasts: Zesty Buffalo at 25 calories, Barbecue at 45 calories, Honey Mustard at 50 calories, and Light Italian Dressing at 25 calories. All information is taken from Chick-fil-A’s nutritional menu.

3. Panda Express

Panda Express, a unique fusion of American fast food and Chinese cuisine claims its position as number 3 for good reason. Its popularity, coupled with its exceptional macros and delectable menu offerings, makes it a staple chain where we can find some real winners.

With a combination of low-calorie and protein-packed options, these are the must-try foods to achieve your macro goals. You can customize meals to fit your nutritional goals while enjoying the bold flavors of Chinese-inspired dishes. The Big Six:

  1. Grilled Teriyaki Chicken – 275 calories, 33g protein, 10g fat, 14g carbs
  2. Black Pepper Angus Steak – 210 calories, 19g protein, 10g fat, 13g carbs
  3. Broccoli Beef – 150 calories, 9g protein, 7g fat, 13g carbs
  4. Wok-Fired Shrimp – 190 calories, 17g protein, 5g fat, 19g carbs
  5. String Bean Chicken Breast – 210 calories, 12g protein, 12g fat, 13g carbs
  6. Mushroom Chicken – 220 calories, 13g protein, 14g fat, 10g carbs

See here for a full menu analysis and a few more options. All information is scraped from Panda’s nutritional menu.

4. Starbucks

Starbucks is known for its coffee, but did you know about the surprising array of macro-friendly options they have? From protein-packed breakfast sandwiches to salads and bistro boxes.

Today, we’re talking about the most macro-friendly foods at Starbucks. We also covered Starbucks drinks in the past which you should check out another time. The top food choices:

  1. Turkey Bacon, Cheddar & Egg White Sandwich – 230 calories, 5g fat, 17g protein, 28g carbs
  2. Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap – 290 calories, 8g fat, 20g protein, 34g carbs
  3. Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites – 170 calories, 8g fat, 12g protein, 11g carbs
  4. Kale & Mushroom Egg Bites – 230 calories, 14g fat, 15g protein, 11g carbs
  5. Berry Trio Parfait – 240 calories, 2.5g fat, 14g protein, 39g carbs
  6. Bacon, Gouda & Egg Sandwich – 360 calories, 18g fat, 19g protein, 35g carbs

See the Starbucks nutritional menu for all the facts.

5. Subway

Subway’s “build-your-own” sandwich concept is phenomenal, which allows customers to customize their meals to smash their macro goals. Their extensive menu includes low-fat and lower-calorie sauce options, which helps us make more mindful choices pretty easily.

We did a full Subway recap, but our top 7 macro-friendly choices:

  1. 6″ Oven Roasted Turkey – 270 calories, 22g protein, 3.5g fat, 40g carbs
  2. 6″ Subway Club – 310 calories, 26g protein, 4g fat, 42g carbs
  3. 6″ Buffalo Chicken (w/ Grilled Chicken) – 380 calories, 25g protein, 12g fat, 42g carbs
  4. Rotisserie-Style Chicken Salad – 140 calories, 17g protein, 5g fat, 10g carbs
  5. Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Salad – 250 calories, 20g protein, 3.5g fat, 40g carbs
  6. Oven Roasted Turkey Protein Bowl 150 calories, 25g protein, 3g fat, 8g carbs
  7. Steak & Cheese Protein Bowl – 380 calories, 42g protein, 19g fat, 12g carbs

Stick to these sauces: Honey Mustard (20 cal), BBQ Sauce (25 cal), Yellow Mustard (10 cal), Peppercorn Ranch (45 cal), Sweet Onion Sauce Fat-Free (30 cal), Sweet Onion Teriyaki (35 cal) Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (5 cal), Red Wine Vinegar (0 cal), and Lite Mayonnaise (50 cal).

6. McDonald’s

McDonald’s, one of the world’s largest fast-food chains, serves 69 million customers every day, a figure exceeding the population of many countries. McDonald’s famous golden arches are so universally recognizable that you can’t miss this iconic symbol in the fast-food industry. You know the drill – let’s see what macro-friendly options they have to offer.

Keep in mind that McDonald’s is not the most macro-friendly choice, which is why it is 6th on our list. What are we working with?

  1. Hamburger: The Classic – 250 calories, 9g fat, 31g carbs, 12g protein
  2. McDouble w/ no Cheese – 350 calories, 16g fat, 31g carbs, 20g protein
  3. McChicken w/ no Mayonnaise – 300 calories, 10g fat, 38g carbs, 14g protein
  4. Egg McMuffin (Breakfast) – 310 calories, 13g fat, 30g carbs, 17g protein
  5. Sausage Burrito w/ no cheese (Breakfast) – 260 calories, 13g fat, 24g carbs, 10g protein
  6. Fruit & Maple Oatmeal (Breakfast) – 320 calories, 4.5g fat, 64g carbs, 5g protein

For a full McDonald’s walkthrough, keep reading.

7. Wendy’s

Wendy’s is known for introducing the first-ever drive-through service in the fast-food industry, revolutionizing the way people order food on the go. Although options at Wendy’s are a bit higher in calories, they offer a great amount of protein and it can be tailored to make it work.

When you find yourself standing in front of a Wendy’s, remember the following picks:

  1. Jr. Hamburger – 250 calories, 13g protein, 11g fat, 25g carbs
  2. Grilled Chicken Wrap – 420 calories, 27g protein, 16g fat, 41g carbs
  3. Crispy Chicken BLT – 420 calories, 19g protein, 23g fat, 35g carbs
  4. Cobb Salad w/o dressing – 430 calories, 36g protein, 24g fat, 17g carbs
  5. Apple Pecan Salad w/o dressing – 450 calories, 32g protein, 25g fat, 28g carbs
  6. Classic Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich (Breakfast) – 320 calories, 18g protein, 17g fat, 25g carbs

For salads, we have to stick to the following: smokey honey mustard (50-calorie packet) or a squeeze of lemon. See the full nutritional menu.

8. Taco Bell

Taco Bell earns its spot as number 8 on our rankings. First and foremost, the flavor of Taco Bell’s offerings is undeniably enticing, offering a delightful Mexican-inspired taste that many crave.

While some menu items may be higher in calories and fats, Taco Bell offers numerous options that allow for customization and portion control, making it possible to create macro-friendly meals. With 8,200+ locations, it’s a very convenient choice for many.

If you find yourself at this American-Mexican fast food chain, use the following as a guide:

  1. Crunchy Taco Supreme – 190 calories, 8g protein, 11g fat, 15g carbs
  2. Chicken Chipotle Melt – 190 calories, 12g protein, 9g fat, 16g carbs
  3. Grilled Chicken Soft Taco – 160 calories, 12g protein, 5g fat, 16g carbs
  4. Grilled Chicken Chalupa Supreme – 340 calories, 16g protein, 17g fat, 29g carbs
  5. Grilled Chicken Burrito Supreme – 370 calories, 19g protein, 11g fat, 49g carbs
  6. Steak Burrito Supreme – 380 calories, 19g protein, 12g fat, 50g carbs

Full Taco Bell breakdown. All nutritional facts are taken from Taco Bell’s website.

9. Dunkin’ Donuts

Despite being renowned for its baked goods, Dunkin’ Donuts has successfully expanded its menu to include healthier breakfast and snack options.

While Dunkin’ Donuts may not offer the same level of macro-customization as some other fast-food chains, its commitment to providing nutritious choices secures its spot on our list of macro-friendly options.

If you want a full Dunkin’ Donuts review including drinks, click here. Our picks:

  1. Egg and Cheese Wake-Up Wrap – 180 Calories, 7g Protein, 10g Fat, 14g Carbs
  2. Bacon, Egg and Cheese Wake-Up Wrap – 220 Calories, 10g Protein, 13g Fat, 15g Carbs
  3. Turkey Sausage Wake-Up Wrap – 240 Calories, 11g Protein, 15g Fat, 15g Carbs
  4. Hash Browns 6 Pieces – 110 Calories, 1g Protein, 6g Fat, 13g Carbs

10. Burger King

Burger King finds itself last on our macro-friendly fast food list. While Burger King undoubtedly offers some flavorful menu items, they often lean towards being higher in calories, saturated fats, and sugars.

Enjoy these hand-picked menu items when you find yourself at Burger King:

  1. 12 Pc. Chicken Fries – 340 calories, 20g protein, 18g fat, 25g carbs
  2. Flame-Grilled Beef Hamburger – 250 calories, 13g protein, 10g fat, 29g carbs
  3. Bacon Cheeseburger – 340 calories, 18.1g protein, 16g fat, 30.8g carbs
  4. Whopper Jr. – 330 calories – 15.3g protein, 19g fat, 30.2g carbs
  5. Honey Mustard BK Royal Crispy Wrap – 290 calories, 15g protein, 14g fat, 30g carbs
  6. Ham, Egg, & Cheese Croissan’wich – 412 calories, 20.9g protein, 22.5g fat, 31.8g carbs

More options and a full breakdown at Burger King can be found here.

Conclusion

Our exploration of the top 10 macro-friendly fast-food restaurants has revealed a diverse range of options. These establishments have been carefully ranked based on three key criteria: flavor, popularity, and the availability of macro-friendly choices.

Overall, these top 10 fast food chains have demonstrated their ability to balance taste and nutrition, making it easier for individuals to stay on track with their macronutrient goals while enjoying the occasional indulgence.

By considering these rankings and the distinct qualities of each establishment, you can make informed choices that align with your dietary preferences and health-conscious objectives. So, whether you’re in the mood for a flavorful Mexican-inspired meal, a convenient coffee fix, or a classic burger, there’s a macro-friendly option waiting for you.

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