It’s 2AM on a Saturday which means it’s closing time. Wired, you and your crew are desperate to continue the night. Suddenly, someone says, “I’m starving” and just like that your stomach rumbles- just like clockwork. Next thing you know, everyone is starving and it’s time for the late night eating festival to begin.
Let’s be real. You, barely still making it into your skinny jeans, are less than thrilled by this idea, particularly since you know that the late night feeding frenzy won’t consist of celery and kale. Not to mention, just the thought of the bloating that will happen tomorrow after the hundreds of alcoholic calories you consumed throughout the night out is not doing wonders for your confidence.
You’re not going to bail, because all that dancing and talking has got you everything but tired. The local late night food spot is also just a continuation of the social scene. Everyone hits it after the parties come to a close. Some of the best college memories are sitting with your friends around a late night meal. Talk about fomo!
So you decide to tag along with your crew to whatever late night location is closest but you’re still a little guilty about it. The problem is you can’t go and not eat. You’re not going to say, “I’m not eating,” “I can’t eat that,” or god forbid, “I’m on a diet,” because you’re convinced that if you do, people will judge you for being uptight, naggy or unable to enjoy yourself. The guys will brand you a pain in the ass, and your girls will immediately be looking you up and down to check out every lump, bump and bulge.
So what’s a girl to do?
First of all, our advice, get over yourself. If you really don’t want to eat, don’t! The truth is no one is really spending as much time thinking about what goes into your mouth as they are contemplating their own cheese fries. That said, there’s a good chance you’re hungry too, and if you want to eat, you totally should be able to while still feeling good, and you can. Just about every fast food restaurant these days has decent options (beyond a bland salad with no dressing) that you can enjoy while still feeling your strong, confident self. Here are some suggestions:
Go for the Skinny Slice Crust. With less dough and less meat and cheese (but still plenty of sauce and veggies), each slice is 250 calories or less, or 300 calories or less if you create your own ( red sauce only and no more than 7 toppings (3 meat toppings max to keep that calorie count down).
For a good balance between calories, fat, carbs, protein, and sodium, pick the grilled chicken sandwich, customized with extra lettuce, tomato, and no mayo (mustard or ketchup are fine). Skipping the mayo saves you about 6 grams of fat and 50 calories, bringing it down to 300. Want to make it even lighter? Ditch the top half of the bun to cut back nearly 165 milligrams of sodium, 100 calories, and almost 20 grams of useless carbs. Drink? Chances are you already had more than enough to drink. Pick water with a slice of lemon. Good for detoxing and not waking up feeling like crap too. (This applies wherever you are eating btw).
Pick a six-inch Turkey Breast Sandwich on nine-grain wheat bread. Load it up with veggies, avocado (a great, healthy fat), and some mustard. It’s got all you need: protein, fresh veggies, and a not so terrible carb, for 360 calories. Plus, it’s very satisfying, and who doesn’t love a good sub?
Choose Kentucky Grilled Chicken, green beans and (surprise!) a small, mashed potatoes with no gravy. Casually (again remember, ego in check, no one is paying as much attention to you as you think), pull the skin off the chicken. You can still dip in sauce. Just avoid the creamy, mayonnaise based ones. As for the mashed potatoes, a serving without gravy is only 90 calories, so it’s all good!
The Whopper Jr. with cheese but without mayo or fries at only 300 calories is your new bff (and it won’t look you up and down to see if you are getting chunky either). You can get a side salad and pile the lettuce from the salad onto the burger to make it feel more substantial.
If you like chili (and if you don’t, we’re sure you can learn), Wendy’s chili is a great choice. It’s just 310 calories, and packed with protein. It also takes a long time to eat, so you won’t be sitting around feeling irritated while everyone else is still chowing down.
Welcome to the Fresco menu. You can’t go wrong. Each item on the Fresco menu has 350 calories or less and under 10 grams of fat! Plus, you can order ANY item Fresco-style, and Taco Bell will replace the cheese, creamy sauces, sour cream, and/or guacamole (which we consider a healthy choice btw) with pico de gallo.
Yes, the portions are huge, and it’s easy to go overboard, but you can do it, we promise. Just order like a number of the registered dieticians we’ve spoken to say they do. Go for bowls over burritos and use creative tactics to fill up in healthy ways. Here a just two examples:
Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
Double fajita veggies, double black beans, guacamole, romaine lettuce, tomatillo green-chili salsa, no rice: Don’t want your calories on a tortilla. Get double beans for protein and double veggies for extra fiber. Again, that guacamole is packed wth healthy fat, and topping it off with romaine lettuce gives you the crunch of chips with none of the calories.
Chicken Salad Bowl
Double fajita vegetables, cheese, and guacamole, rice, fresh tomato salsa. Load up on the cheese and guacamole because they both contain healthy fats that promote nutrient absorption. Choose whichever rice you prefer (white or brown) or beans (but not both). With all your veggies and salsa and guacamole, you can skip the salad dressing – your salad will still taste great.
So there you have it. With the She’s Fit to Lead guide, you can still be one of the gang, and back, breathing in those skinny jeans in no time.