How To Eat Low Carb at McDonald's

Eating a low carbohydrate diet has been associated with a decrease in weight, and decreasing the amount of carbohydrates a person eats helps decrease caloric intake while eliminating a nutrient-poor source of calories.  The problem is that carbohydrates are found in high concentration in some of our favorite foods, especially fast foods such as those found at McDonald's restaurants.  

By making smart choices you can cut carbohydrates, and thus unhealthy calories, from your diet.  Here are some high carbohydrate foods to avoid at McDonald's, along with some healthy alternatives.

  1. Hold the fries.  McDonald's fries are world-famous, but they are also loaded with unhealthy carbs and excess sodium and fat.  Cutting these out of any meal at McDonald's can start you on the path toward a healthier diet.  McDonald's offers other sides that are much healthier, such as apple slices.  In fact, McDonald's is one of the largest consumers of apples in the world!  If you simply have to have your fries at McDonald's, then consider get the small order of fries instead of the large fries, and perhaps try sharing them with a friend. This gives you a taste of the fries without gobbling a large order of fries, which is a meal in itself.
  2. Say no to the cookies, apple pies and pancakes.  Most McDonald's restaurants offer a variety of bread products, which are universally high in carbs, just like any other bread product.  By passing on these dessert items you will remove a lot of the carbohydrates from your diet.  If you love McDonald's for breakfast, then consider not loading up on the pancakes and hash browns as these can also be loaded with carbs.  Avoid the shakes and ice cream dessert items, as these are likely to be loaded with carbohydrates as well.
  3. Eat a Quarter Pounder without the bun.  By removing the bun from your Quarter Pounder you get all the protein and fat, but you significantly decrease your daily carbs by leaving the bun off.  While you can also remove the bun from any of the chicken sandwiches and hamburgers on the menu, consider ordering a salad instead of a sandwich. McDonald's has several salads which are quite nutritious, especially when you leave the salad dressing off the salad.

Because McDonald's lists the nutritional content of all of their products on their website, and often on the wrappings of the product, you can easily tally both your calories and carbohydrates if you eat a majority of your meals at McDonald's.  In the end, this may help you lose more weight than attempting to guess how many calories are present in food items that list neither the calories nor the carbs.  If you aren't ready for drastic changes in your diet, remember: most people who successfully lose weight do it by making small changes over time.  Downgrading from a large order of fries to a small order will do your health a lot of good.


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