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Fast Food Choices
How long will it take to burn that off?

Fitness Over 50

In an effort to save time, millions of Americans every day get something to eat from fast food restaurants. It's quick, easy and potentially devastating to you waistline. Here are a few common choices.

(Click on the logo if you want to visit the company directly and download nutritional information.)

Subway If you order Subway's® foot long whole wheat, Chicken & Bacon Ranch sub, you'll be holding a meal in your hands with 1,160 calories, 60 grams of fat, 22 grams of saturated fat and 2,780 milligrams of sodium. That's nearly half the total number of calories the typical person should get in a day, almost all the fat and all the sodium. And that's before considering any sides or drinks.

To burn that off exercising would take you over 2 hours of hard riding on a stationary bike. Is that meal is worth 2 hours of working out?

Before you order, always ask for the nutritional information first. You'd learn at Subway you can order a 6-inch sub and get it with Oven Roasted Chicken Breast. Top it with plenty of vegetables and that meal has only 310 calories, 5 grams of fat and 830 milligrams of sodium. If you're on a budget, order the foot long and put half in the refrigerator for lunch the next day.

Looking at the menu for one minute can save you hours later on. Here are some other options.

Starbucks Starbucks® Tall Latte with 2% milk has 150 calories and 6 grams of fat. That'll take you about 17 minutes of aerobics to burn off and that's not counting any sugar you may add to make it sweeter. All for a cup of coffee.

Instead order Starbucks Tall Latte with nonfat milk and sweeten it with one of their sugar free syrups. You'll save 50 calories and eliminate the fat completely. As a bonus, nonfat milk foams easier than 2% so you'll end up with a richer milk froth on top.

Pizza Hut Pizza Hut® 12" Medium Hand-Tossed Style Cheese Pizza. One slice will set you back 220 calories and holds 7 grams of fat. A single slice of the Meat Lovers has 310 calories and 17 grams of fat. Remember, that's PER SLICE. Eat two slices of the meat lovers and you'll have to stay on a star climber for 50 minutes to burn it off.

A better bet are any of the Pizza Hut 12" Fit 'n Delicious® Pizzas. With ingredients like chicken, red pepper, green onions, jalapeno's, mushrooms and tomatoes those pizzas are only 150 to 180 calories and no more than 4.5 grams of fat per slice.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Kentucky Fried Chicken® Extra Crispy Chicken Breast. Eat just one and you'll take in 490 calories, 31 grams of fat and 1,080 milligrams of sodium. Add a side of potato wedges and you get 260 more calories, 13 more grams of fat and an additional 740 milligrams of sodium. You'd have to work out with a circuit training program in the gym for over an hour to burn off that meal. Forget about the biscuits, gravy or macaroni salad.

You can still have KFC's chicken breast, just order it without the skin or breading. (Yes they sell it like that!) It has only 140 calories, 2 grams of fat and a more tolerable 510 milligrams of sodium. For your sides go for the veggies. The three bean salad, green beans or corn on the cob have between 30 and 70 calories per serving and virtually no fat. With numbers that low you can eat 2 chicken breasts.

Dunkin Donuts Dunkin Donuts® Glazed Cake Donut will put 350 calories on your hips and 19 grams of fat in your system. You would have to jump rope for almost 25 minutes to burn that off.

The healthier choice is Dunkin Donuts English muffin. That has only 150 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. If that's too plain, top it with some reduced fat cream cheese (or fat free cream cheese if they have it). You'll still be eating 100 calories less than the donut and taking in less than 1/3 the fat.

McDonalds McDonalds® Big Mac® and a small fries will pack 770 calories on you belly with 40 grams of fat. You would have to swim laps vigorously for 52 minutes to burn that off.

Taking a quick glance at McDonalds nutrition menu shows the Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich with the Apple Dippers (a bag of sliced and peeled apples) have only 405 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. You can add a Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait to the meal and still be eating over 200 calories less while avoiding more than 33 grams of fat.

The point to all this is simple. Before you order, ask for the nutritional information first. Spend a minute choosing the healthier options. Remember, it's far easier to spend a minute making a healthy choice than to spend hours working off an unhealthy one.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

4/5/2009