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7 Best Fast Food Meals Under 400 Calories for Weight Loss

Enjoy fast food while on a diet with these RDN endorsed meals. 
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

If you are trying to lose weight, one of the first things that most health experts suggest cutting out is fast food. However, you can eat conveniently at a fast food chain without breaking your caloric bank, according to Blake, aka @thenutritionnarc, a diet and fitness influencer who lost 23 pounds in two months. In a few viral videos he reveals exactly what to order when you are in a hurry. The Body Network rounded up some of the contenders and asked The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, to weigh in on each of them. 


Subway: Veggie Delight Salad, 60 Calories

@thenutritionnarcthe lowest calorie, fast food options, available today♬ Le Festin (From "Ratatouille") – Movie Sounds Unlimited

In the first viral video, Blake outlines "the lowest calorie fast food options available today" from fast food joints, starting with Subway's Veggie Delight salad. "This is a pretty hefty portion size," he says about the greens. He goes on to point out that "this whole thing without dressing is 60 calories." And, while protein "is minimal here" he suggests adding on chicken for a surcharge.  

Collingwood Says: "Yes, the salad is low in calories, but also not very filling. Even with some chicken it would come in around 200 calories. I suggest adding double protein (chicken or turkey or other lean protein) and even some cheese to make it last a bit longer. And be ready with a snack a few hours later. Make sure you add as many high nutrient veggies as possible like tomatoes, spinach, peppers, or even a serving of avocado for 45 calories." She also adds an alternative: The Veggie Delight wrap sandwich, which comes in at 330 calories, or the veggie sandwich for 210 calories. "They also have protein bowls, many of which are under 400 calories that are bigger and more satisfying than the Veggie Delight salad."

Related: I'm a Personal Trainer With 2 Surprising Tips to Transform Your Body


Taco Bell: Chicken Soft Taco, 155 Calories


Blake reveals that Taco Bell's Chicken Soft Taco is "definitely my favorite" on the list with 155 calories and nine grams of protein. "This has to be one of the cheapest options out there as well. It costs like what? $2," he says. "Nowadays you can't get away even going to McDonald's for less than 12 bucks highway robbery."

Collingwood Says: "Again, pretty low calories if that is your entire meal. I would recommend ordering two of them and getting extra salsa for veggies and hardly any more calories. And if you're sick of chicken, the beef soft taco is only 180 calories and 9 grams of protein. Get one of each for less than 400 calories." 


Starbucks: Roasted red Pepper and Egg White Bites, 170 Calories


Next up, Starbucks, roasted red pepper and egg white bites, at 170 calories and 12 grams of protein. "A nice little elite chef hack" You can make these at home for way cheaper in a muffin tin, and add whatever you want, like pepper, onions, tomatoes, ham, bacon, cheese, avocado, salsa," he notes. 

Collingwood Says: "I agree on making them at home! I will batch cook egg bites in a muffin tin on the weekend and just warm them easily for 30 secs during the week. If you want to spend the $$ at Starbucks, then these are an excellent choice. But again, not overly filling. Combine with a skinny latte for more calories, some carbs, and protein."

Related: 4 Incredible Ways Your Body Changes When Intermittent Fasting


Chick-Fil-A: Grilled Nuggets, 130 Calories


Blake calls Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets "the absolute king of low calorie high protein snacks." A serving of 8 has only 130 calories and 25 grams of protein, while a 30 pack of them (which he recommends) is 510 calories, 98 grams of protein.

Collingwood Says: Grilled nuggets are an "excellent low calorie protein snack. If you are making it a meal, instead of ordering 30 (!) I would prefer getting 12 nuggets for 200 calories and a kale salad for 170 calories. Much more nutritious with the antioxidants from the Kale."


Panda Express: String Bean Chicken Breast Bowl, 330 Calories

@thenutritionnarc Panda express orders under 400 cal#greenscreen ♬ Le Festin (From "Ratatouille") – Movie Sounds Unlimited

In another viral video he proposes that Panda Express is the "best macro friendly fast food restaurant" offering a variety of options under 400 calories. The first option is the string bean chicken breast bowl. "Today, you can get a taste of Asian cuisine for only 330 calories and 17 grams of protein. We want to make this even lower. My go-to side at Panda Express is always super greens, only 90 calories a serving in the volume is massive," he says. 

Collingwood Says: "Finally some greens recommended besides just a side salad! As long as the sauces aren't too full of oil, you can get good veggies and protein at Asian restaurants. Ask for any non-fried dish without the sauce and double veggies and you will have a nice filling meal." 


Panda Express: Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Bowl with Side of Veggies, 335 Calories


His second suggestion is grilled teriyaki chicken bowl and a side of veggies, with 335 calories and 38 grams of protein. "If you learn nothing else from this video, learn to buy grilled teriyaki chicken from Panda Express," he says. "If you're in a hurry, order a double batch of protein — that's over 70 grams of protein in one meal."

Collingwood Says: "Great suggestion."

Related: I Lost 80 Pounds Eating What I Love & Here Are My Simple Tricks


Panda Express: Beef and Broccoli Bowl, 360 Calories


For red meat lovers he suggests the broccoli beef bowl with brown rice, 360 calories, and 13 grams of protein. "Obviously the protein for this dish is nothing insane, but I think the micronutrients from the red meat would make up for that," he says. 

Collingwood Says: "Excellent choice. You can also ask for double beef and only eat half the rice."

💪🔥Body Booster: You can enjoy fast food at nearly every one of your favorite spots. Stick to ordering lean proteins cooked with as little oil as possible, keep carbs to a minimum, and adds extra veggies. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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