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55 low calorie fast food options for busy nurses

Flickr | Luca Nebuloni
Flickr | Luca Nebuloni

It isn’t easy staying healthy when you’re eating dinner at 6am and breakfast at 6pm, and you can’t remember the last time you set foot in an actual supermarket (often because your waking hours don’t coincide with the grocery store hours).

We totally get it. When a nurse’s schedule is tight, time and energy don’t always permit a balanced, old-fashioned “utensils required” kind of meal. So, every now and then, fast food—while not necessarily ideal—is going to be the last remaining option before or after a long shift.

That said, there are fast-food options available to any fresh-off-the-clock nurse that won’t blow the day’s calorie count out of the water. And to help you make a less rash, “It’s 3am and I’m hangry” decision, we’ve gathered some fast-food menu options at 500 calories or less to satisfy any nurse in search of a little variety. And for more great ideas, please make sure to check out our Nurse’s Survival Guide.


Breakfast 

Dunkin’ Donuts:

  • Egg white veggie Wake-Up Wrap plus hash browns = 350 calories
  • Egg white turkey sausage Wake-Up Wrap = 150 calories

McDonald’s:

  • Scrambled eggs, English muffin and strawberry preserves = 355 calories
  • Fruit and maple oatmeal = 260 calories
  • Egg and sausage burrito = 300 calories

Burger King:

  • BK breakfast muffin sandwich = 210 calories

Chick-fil-A:

  • Sunflower multigrain bagel with one folded egg and a small fruit cup = 380 calories

Panera:

  • Power breakfast egg white bowl with roasted turkey = 190 calories
  • Breakfast power sandwich with egg, Vermont white cheddar and smoked lean ham on whole-grain bread = 330 calories

Starbucks:

  • Protein bistro box: peanut butter, hard-cooked egg, cheese, multigrain muesli bread, apples and grapes = 380 calories
  • Breakfast wrap with roasted tomato, feta and egg whites = 290 calories
  • Oatmeal with nut medley topping = 240 calories
  • Evolution Sweet Greens and Lemon cold-pressed juice = 50 calories (each bottle has two servings)

Subway:

  • Egg white sandwich on English muffin with black forest ham, Monterey Jack cheese, spinach and tomato, with a Dannon Light and Fit yogurt = 250 calories

Jamba Juice:

  • 12-ounce mango peach energy bowl with pumpkin flaxseed granola topping = 320 calories

Snacks

Wendy’s:

  • Apple pecan chicken salad (half size) = 340 calories
  • Small cup of chili = 180 calories

Jamba Juice:

  • Apple cinnamon pretzel = 380 calories

McDonald’s:

  • Grilled chicken ranch snack wrap = 280 calories
  • Fruit ‘n yogurt parfait = 150 calories

Jack in the Box:

  • Strawberry smoothie = 270 calories

Lunch

McDonald’s:

  • Premium Caesar salad with grilled chicken and low-fat balsamic dressing, plus a fruit ‘n yogurt parfait = 375 calories
  • Southwest Salad with grilled chicken, plus a fruit ‘n yogurt parfait = 480 calories

Dunkin’ Donuts:

  • Tuna salad sandwich on English muffin = 390 calories

Jamba Juice:

  • Ham, Jarlsberg cheese and Dijon sandwich = 290 calories

Subway:

  • Six-inch Subway club on nine-grain wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers and sweet onion sauce, plus apple slices = 445 calories
  • Oven-roasted chicken salad with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olives, cucumbers and honey-mustard dressing, plus a yogurt parfait = 400 calories

Starbucks:

  • Zesty chicken and black bean salad bowl: grilled chicken, black beans, roasted corn, jicama, tomatoes, feta, greens and quinoa with chile vinaigrette, plus a seasonal harvest fruit blend = 450 calories
  • Chicken and hummus bistro box: hummus, grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, cucumber and pita bread, plus a banana = 380 calories
  • Roasted vegetable panini = 350 calories

Panera:

  • Half smoked turkey breast sandwich on artisan whole-grain bread and low-fat garden veggies with pesto soup = 320 calories
  • Power Mediterranean chicken salad and baked potato chips = 430 calories
  • Black bean soup, Mediterranean veggie sandwich and an iced tea = 462 calories

Chick-fil-A:

  • Chargrilled chicken cool wrap= 410 calories

End of the Day 

Chipotle:

  • Vegetarian burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, lettuce and roasted chili-corn salsa = 385 calories

Wendy’s:

  • Chili-topped baked potato = 460 calories
  • Ultimate chicken grilled sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and honey mustard sauce = 320 calories

Taco Bell:

  • Fresco bean burrito = 350 calories
  • Fresco-style ranchero chicken soft tacos (2) = 340 calories
  • Cantina bowl with chicken or steak = 500 calories

Jack in the Box:

  • Chicken fajita pita on whole-grain bread = 300 calories
  • Grilled chicken strips = 250 calories (without dipping sauce)

Panera:

  • Chicken power hummus bowl = 330 calories

Chick-fil-A:

  • Chargrilled chicken sandwich with a large fruit cup = 400 calories
  • Chargrilled chicken salad with a large fruit cup = 395 calories (+90 calories with 2 tbsp. reduced-fat raspberry vinaigrette)

Burger King:

  • Veggie burger with garden salad = 450 calories

Pizza Hut:

  • Thin ‘n Crispy Veggie Lovers Pizza (2 slices) = 360 calories

And if it’s been a particularly long day, you may be in need of something sweet to help you recover. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered on this end, too.


Sweet Treats

Wendy’s:

  • Small chocolate Frosty = 250 calories

Taco Bell:

  • Cinnamon twists = 170 calories

McDonald’s:

  • Strawberry sundae = 280 calories
  • Hot fudge sundae = 330 calories
  • Snack-size Oreo McFlurry = 340 calories
  • Baked apple pie = 250 calories
  • Soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone = 150 calories

Dunkin’ Donuts:

  • Plain glazed donut = 260 calories

Interested in learning more tips? Check out our Nurse’s Survival Guide!

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