Macro Friendly Fast Food: Finding Balance in On-the-Go Nutrition

11/4/20236 min read

‍Short summary:
  • Macro-friendly fast food: a convenient solution for busy individuals.

  • The importance of a balanced distribution of macronutrients, with a focus on high protein and lower carbs and fats.

  • Popular chains that provide macro-friendly options.

  • Tips such as choosing grilled items, skipping high-calorie sides, etc.

  • The importance of prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods for overall health and fitness progress.

In today's fast-paced world, striking a balance between our busy schedules and healthy eating goals can feel like a daunting challenge. But what if you could enjoy the convenience of fast food without compromising your nutrition?

Welcome to the world of macro-friendly fast food options! This growing trend allows you to savor your favorite on-the-go meals while still staying on track with your health and fitness journey.

So, let's explore the delicious possibilities of macro-friendly fast food and discover how you can find the perfect harmony between convenience and wholesome nutrition.

What Does it Mean to be Macro-Friendly?

Before we delve into the world of macro-friendly fast food, let's briefly explore what it means to follow a macro-friendly diet. The term "macro" refers to macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A macro-friendly meal is one that provides a balanced distribution of these nutrients; however, it is higher in protein and contains fewer carbs and fats.

Choosing Macro-Friendly Fast Food

Fast food establishments are often associated with highly processed, fried, and unhealthy options. However, with a little knowledge and strategy, you can make choices that align with your macro goals at popular fast food restaurants. Let's explore some of the best macro-friendly menu options available at various popular chains.


McDonald's may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of healthy options, but there are still some macro-friendly choices available:

  • Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken - 320 calories: 14F/9C/42P

  • Egg White Delight McMuffin - 260 calories: 8F/29C/16P

  • Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken - 350 calories: 11F/27C/37P

  • Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich - 380 calories: 7F/44C/37P


Chick-Fil-A offers a range of options that fit well into a macro-friendly diet:

  • 12-count Grilled Nuggets - 210 calories: 5F/3C/38P

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich - 310 calories: 6F/36C/29P

  • Grilled Market Salad with Grilled Nuggets - 350 calories: 14F/27C/31P

  • Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich - 430 calories: 16F/36C/37P

  • Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap - 360 calories: 13F/30C/40P

  • Egg White Chicken Grill - 300 calories: 7F/31C/25P


Subway has long been praised for its healthier options. Here are some macro-friendly choices:

  • 6" Roast Beef - 320 calories: 5F/45C/25P

  • 6" Oven Roasted Chicken - 320 calories: 5F/45C/23P

  • 6" Turkey Breast - 280 calories: 3.5F/46C/18P

  • 6" Rotisserie Chicken - 350 calories: 6F/45C/29P

  • 6" Steak, Egg White & Cheese - 450 calories: 18F/45C/28P

Taco Bell

Mexican food lovers can still enjoy macro-friendly options at Taco Bell:

  • Fiery Doritos Locos Taco Supreme - 190 calories: 11F/15C/9P

  • Grilled Steak Soft Taco - 200 calories: 10F/17C/12P

  • Fresco Soft Steak Taco - 140 calories: 4F/17C/10P

  • Fresco Soft Chicken Taco - 150 calories: 6F/16C/9P

  • Chicken Power Bowl without avocado ranch, rice, guacamole - 260 calories: 10F/17C/24P

Panda Express

Craving Chinese food? Panda Express has some macro-friendly options:

  • Kung Pao Chicken - 290 calories: 19F/14C/16P

  • Grilled Teriyaki Chicken - 300 calories: 13F/8C/36P

  • Grilled Asian Chicken - 300 calories: 13F/8C/36P

  • Teriyaki Chicken - 380 calories: 13F/14C/41P

  • Broccoli Beef - 150 calories: 7F/13C/9P

Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs offers some healthier options compared to traditional fast food chains:

  • Small Club on a Sub without mayo - 290 calories: 9F/31C/20P

  • Small Hook & Ladder without mayo - 260 calories: 7F/31C/18P

  • Small Turkey Bacon Ranch without mayo - 310 calories: 13F/29C/20P

  • Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken without dressing - 260 calories: 8F/15C/34P

  • Chopped Salad with Turkey and Grilled Chicken without dressing - 350 calories: 9F/20C/52P

Buffalo Wild Wings

Craving some wings? Buffalo Wild Wings has macro-friendly options to satisfy your cravings:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad - 420 calories: 18F/27C/41P

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich without toppings - 360 calories: 9F/38C/34P

  • Naked Tenders (4) - 170 calories: 1F/1C/37P

  • Grilled Chicken Buffalo Wrap with Ave Sauce - 410 calories: 18F/25C/36P


Arby's may not be the first choice for healthy options, but here are a few macro-friendly choices:

  • Prime Cut Chicken Tenders - 360 calories: 23F/28C/38P

  • Double Roast Beef Sandwich - 510 calories: 38F/38C/38P

  • Chopped Farmhouse Salad with Roast Turkey - 230 calories: 13F/13C/23P

Burger King

Burger King offers some macro-friendly choices for those on the go:

  • BK Veggie Burger without mayo - 310 calories: 7F/42C/22P

  • Whopper Jr. Sandwich without mayo - 250 calories: 10F/27C/15P

  • Hamburger - 220 calories: 8F/26C/10P

  • Garden Grilled Chicken Salad - 320 calories: 14F/16C/33P

  • Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich without mayo - 320 calories: 6F/38C/28P


Wendy's offers some macro-friendly options for a quick meal:

  • Asian Cashew Chicken Salad - 380 calories: 14F/36C/36P

  • Grilled Chicken Wrap - 270 calories: 11F/24C/20P

  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich - 360 calories: 8F/38C/34P

  • Small Rich & Meaty Chili - 170 calories: 5F/16C/15P


Starbucks isn't just for coffee – they have some macro-friendly food choices too:

  • Spinach and Feta Wrap - 290 calories: 10F/33C/19P

  • Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl - 360 calories: 15F/38C/14P

  • Protein Bistro Box - 370 calories: 19F/37C/13P

Tips for Choosing Macro-Friendly Fast Food

While these options can fit into a macro-friendly diet, it's important to approach fast food with some guidelines in mind. Here are some tips to help you make the best choices:

  • Look for grilled options: Opt for grilled chicken rather than fried to reduce fat and calories.

  • Skip the sides: Avoid high-calorie sides like french fries and soda – opt for a side salad or fruit cup instead.

  • Choose smaller portions: Opt for smaller portion sizes to keep your calorie intake in check.

  • Load up on greens: Look for options that include greens or vegetables to increase your fiber intake.

  • Avoid condiments: Skip the high-calorie condiments and dressings, or opt for lighter alternatives like salsa or hot sauce.

Can You Enjoy Fast Food and Still Reach Your Goals?

The answer is yes – you can enjoy the occasional fast food meal and still make progress towards your goals. It's all about balance and moderation. While macro-friendly fast food options can fit into your diet, it's important to prioritize whole, unprocessed foods, fruits, vegetables, and ample protein for optimal health and results.

Conclusion: Finding Balance in On-the-Go Nutrition

Macro-friendly fast food options provide a convenient solution for busy individuals who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the go. By choosing wisely and making informed decisions, you can enjoy your favorite fast food meals without compromising your nutrition goals. Remember, it's all about finding balance and making choices that align with your overall health and well-being. So, the next time you find yourself in need of a quick meal, refer to this guide to make macro-friendly choices and stay on track.


1. What food chains have good macro foods?

There are several food chains that offer macro-friendly options. Here are some examples from the search results:

  • Arby's: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Chick-Fil-A: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Chipotle: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Firehouse Subs: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • In-N-Out: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Jack in the Box: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

  • McDonald's: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Panda Express: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Subway: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Taco Bell: Offers macro-friendly options according to multiple sources

  • Burger King: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

  • California Chicken Pizza: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

  • Carrabba's: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

  • Cheesecake Factory: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

  • Blaze Pizza: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

  • Shake Shack: Offers macro-friendly options according to one source

It's worth noting that while these food chains offer macro-friendly options, it's still important to pay attention to portion sizes and ingredients to ensure that the meal fits within your specific macro goals.

2. Can you eat junk food if it fits your macros?

Yes, you can technically eat junk food if it fits within your daily macronutrient goals. However, while it's possible to include occasional treats, it's essential to prioritize nutrient-dense foods to support overall health and well-being. Strive for a balanced diet that primarily consists of whole, unprocessed foods, while leaving room for occasional indulgences in moderation.

3. What is a macro-friendly diet?

A macro-friendly diet focuses on achieving a balanced intake of macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The aim is to consume the right proportions of these nutrients to support your individual fitness goals, whether it's building muscle, losing weight, or maintaining overall health. A typical macro-friendly diet emphasizes higher protein intake, moderate carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

4. What fast food is less fattening?

While most fast food options can be high in calories and unhealthy fats, some choices are relatively less fattening and can be incorporated into a balanced diet. Some examples of less fattening fast food options include:

  • Grilled chicken sandwiches or salads with light dressings.

  • Fresh vegetable-based sides like salads or fruit cups.

  • Smaller portion sizes and skipping high-calorie extras like fries and sugary beverages.

Remember, moderation is key, and it's crucial to make informed choices that support your overall health goals when eating fast food.