If your lifestyle leads you to fast food more than you'd like, put on the brakes and keep the following tips in mind:
- Ask the restaurant for a listing of nutritional values, or see if these details are posted on its Web site. Fast-food chains often adjust ingredients and cooking methods, so periodically get a new list or check the Web to make sure your healthy options remain as such.
- Try not to eat inside the restaurant. It's too easy to give in to temptation and go back to the counter to order fries or dessert.
- If a shopping mall's food court is calling your sweet tooth, bypass the cookies and cinnamon rolls. Those sugary scoundrels carry as much fat as many fast-food mainstays. Instead, delight in a cool refreshing fruit smoothie.
- On days when you know you'll be on the run, bring along a healthy snack like an apple or some low-fat granola. When hunger hits, you'll have an option to grabbing a bite at the drive-thru.
- Keep a lightened-up casserole in the freezer for those eventful days that easily turn into busy nights. Then enjoy a nutritious meal when time is tight…and put life in the fast-food lane behind you.