Tag Archives: Sandwiches

Eating Out Low Carb at Fast Food Restaurants  – Lunch & Dinner

The Backstory

One of my readers asked about fast food options out there!   I’m here to help!

The Realization

I’ve compiled individual reviews on fast food places, but not a compilation article.  So… here goes!

The Challenge

Let’s face it, we either have busy lives, are late from work, need just a quick bite or simply ran out of time to prepare a meal.  Fast food is a great option, but it is sometimes difficult to find out what is truly low carb.  Hopefully I can assist you finding out what is and isn’t in your carb range. 

Also, at the bottom of the page I give as many direct source nutritional guides as I can find and will keep adding more. 

The Solution

Burger Joints

You can read what I have written about fast food burgers by following this link:


Here you can get the low carb lowdown on what I consider some of the best fast food burger places like Wendy’s and Five Guys.  In a nutshell, you can put a burger (or chicken or egg or vegetables or other) between “lettuce buns” or on a salad and get pretty far. 

My favorite local burger place makes an amazing cheeseburger salad with a side of fried pork rinds.  THEY know how to give low carb options!  (Shout out to Merv’s in Chattanooga!)

I have to admit, I didn’t review McDonald’s because their beef patties were so unappealing when not concealed by a bun.  However, I recently tried their fresh beef Quarter Pounder without a bun and it was quite good.  Still not as good as Five Guys or Wendy’s, but great when other choices are unavailable.

Chicken Joints

You can read what I have written about fast food chicken before by following this link:


Basically, I give you tips on eating at Zaxby’s, Bojangles and Kentucky Fried Chicken so far.  Those basic restaurants will help you with other chicken establishments in your area!  In short, there are usually grilled chicken (or un-battered chicken), vegetable and salad options!

Pizza & Pasta Joints

I’ve not delved into the world of pizza and pasta simply because of the temptations of pizza or pasta or garlic bread is so great.  (I am slowly finding wonderful alternatives, but that is another story!)

However, friends of mine regularly go with their kids to pizza restaurants (or carry out) and simply eat the pizza toppings.  Add a salad and it’s a decent meal, and you can do this anywhere!  Pizza buffets would give you many options.  Make sure you can tolerate an increased amount of cheese and try to work vegetables in with the cheese and meat!  It feels a little wasteful to me, but better that then WAISTful!  (P.S.  A reader highly recommended the Garlic Parmesan Wings at Pizza Hut!  Wings, as long as they are naked with a zero or low carb sauce, are great any where you can get them!)

In pasta restaurants, you can ask for your sauces and proteins to go over vegetables instead of pastas.  I’ve only had one restaurant not accommodate that request.  The next time, I asked a different waiter, and they did.  You never know, but don’t be afraid to ask!

Sandwich Joints

I haven’t reviewed any sandwich restaurants so far. There are plenty of franchise sandwich shops, but there are also many local delis.  In any of these, order a sandwich and discard the bun or bread (we often order double meat) and order a side salad instead of the usual sides of fries or chips.  Even an apple will work, if you have less glycemic issues. OR, most of the sandwich places have meal salads.  You can put your favorite meats, cheeses and vegetables on the salad.  The combinations are pretty endless.

Also, many sandwich places have soups.  BEWARE!  Many soups have flour or cornstarch that have thickened them.  Go for broth-based soups instead.  Avoid the pastas, rices and grain soups.

Other Joints

There are fast food Mexican, Chinese, GreekSeafood and many other restaurants too numerous to name here.  Just follow common sense you already know now and also avoid batters, breading, wraps, tortillas, taco shells, and wrappers.  If you can’t avoid them, it’s okay…  simply eat what is inside! 

Also, there are a lot of barbecue fast food restaurants, especially in the south.  Simply avoid the breads, fries, potatoes, baked beans and chips.  Eat green beans, collards, cole slaw, vegetables or a salad if available.  I tend to not eat at those restaurants who don’t offer some sort of low carb side option. 

You already know you need to avoid the donut shops.  Just be strong!  But sometimes they have sandwiches and salads and you already know what to do with those now.

More Information

Know that you can ALWAYS go to a restaurant’s nutrition pages and find carbohydrate information.  I’ll list the ones that I’ve been to below in the Resource List.  I’ll also keep adding to the list!

Resource List

Click on a fast food restaurant name to see their nutritional information.

Some food providers have gone to an online calculator which makes things more complicated for those of us just wanting to see the list of options.  I’ll note those below with a *.

You can also visit a fantastic site called Nutritionix.  It has a great list you can peruse for your favorite fast food places!  You can go online or use their app to track food and restaurants.  A handy tool!

Another site that has good information is Fast Food Nutrition

Otherwise, here are the direct links:

Asterisk * = Unfortunately they don’t give you a chart, but make you dig for information a bit, answer questions or build a menu.



Pizza & Pasta:




Until next time…!