Fast Food Macros

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"Macros" is short for macronutrients, which refers to the total amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates (carbs) and calories. Counting macros is used in the dieting practice of If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), a plan that consists of eating whatever you want, as long as you adhere to your macronutrient goals

When people think of dieting, the first thing they usually think of is changing what they eat. "Dieting" has long been associated with "eating healthy" or, as bodybuilders term it, "eating clean". But this is not the focus with eating a macro based diet.

While eating healthy food obviously has benefits, you don't have to eat healthy to lose weight. Unless you have a medical condition, you lose weight by eating fewer calories than you expend. While some research has shown that the source of those calories can matter, it's in fact a very very small impact. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

Here's the basis of a macro based diet:

1. Know how many calories your body burns in an average day. This is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

2. Calculate your macros based on whether you're cutting, maintaining, or bulking

3. Split those calories up between fat, protein and carbs in a ratio that is most beneficial for muscle preservation and fat loss without a drop in daily energy. Typical numbers might be half a gram to a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, with the remaining calories split between fat and carbs.

Sodium in Fast Food

One thing to be aware of is the overwhelming amount of sodium in most fast food. While the occasional fast food meal is not going to do harm, too much sodium in your diet can have adverse health effects, the main one being high blood pressure. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2,300mg per day. As an example, the Italian with Grilled Chick Salad sub from Firehouse Subs has 2,330mgs of sodium, more than the USRDA!

There are some cool tables below:

  • Top foods by total of protein
  • Top foods by protein per calorie
  • Least sodium per gram of protein
  • Least sodium per calorie

  • Top by Total Protein

    The top 10 foods listed by total grams of protein

    RestaurantFood ItemProteinFatCarbsCaloriesSodium
    Zaxby's20 Buffalo Fingerz, no sauce1791586123708660
    Zaxby's20 Chicken Fingerz1771427522709810
    Zaxby's20 Buffalo Wings, no sauce122118715702140
    Sonic Drive-InAsian Sweet Chili Boneless Wings, 241198424622108250
    Culver'sFried Chicken Dinner, 4 piece, no roll115574511403130
    Sonic Drive-InHoney BBQ Boneless Wings, 241148419920406000
    Zaxby'sWings and Things, Large92124.3148.220814556
    Zaxby's10 Buffalo Fingerz, no sauce8877.630.711714289
    Zaxby's10 Chicken Fingerz8769.636.711314869
    QuiznosItalian Meatball, 12", no dressing8577.511614703430

    Top by Calories per Gram of Protein

    The top 10 foods listed by the number of calories per gram of protein

    RestaurantFood ItemProteinFatCarbsCaloriesCal/ProteinSodium
    Jimmy John'sTurkey Slim Unwich140.51604.3530
    El Pollo LocoChicken Breast, Skinless403.501804.5560
    Moe'sFish (Junior)910414.621
    Moe'sFish1210554.628
    Boston MarketSkinless Chicken Breast bowl, no sauce271.501304.8280
    Boston MarketMediterranean Chicken Carver Sandwich271.501304.8280
    Boston MarketRotisserie Chicken Carver Sandwich271.501304.8280
    Jimmy John'sTurkey Tom Unwich, no mayo140.53705.0530
    SubwayChicken Strips161.50805.0210
    Jimmy John'sSprouts10055.00

    Least Sodium per Gram of Protein

    The top 10 foods listed by the least amount of sodium per gram of protein for foods with 5 or more grams of protein (lower is better)

    RestaurantFood ItemProteinFatCarbsCaloriesSodiumSodium/Protein
    Panda ExpressBrown Steamed Rice9486420151.67
    Moe'sFish121055282.33
    Moe'sFish (Junior)91041212.33
    Five GuysBunless Hamburger323404401003.13
    Five GuysBunless Little Burger16170220503.13
    Wendy'sSour Cream and Chive Baked Potato82.563310354.38
    StarbucksCherry Yogurt Parfait14739280705.00
    StarbucksBlueberries and Honey Yogurt Parfait142.5422401007.14
    Boston MarketSwiss Cheese66080457.50
    PotbellyExtra Swiss66175457.50

    Least Sodium per Calorie

    The top 10 foods listed by the least amount of sodium per calorie (lower is better)

    RestaurantFood ItemProteinFatCarbsCaloriesSodium/CalorieSodium
    Panda ExpressBrown Steamed Rice94864200.0415
    Tijuana Flats Burrito BuilderJalapenos0.100.320.050.1
    PotbellyAvocado153440.073
    Tijuana Flats Burrito BuilderGrilled Onions0.303.4150.071.1
    Tijuana Flats Burrito BuilderDiced Onions0.303.4150.071.1
    Tijuana Flats Burrito BuilderGrilled Peppers0.30.11.680.110.9
    Wendy'sSour Cream and Chive Baked Potato82.5633100.1135
    PotbellyMushrooms10160.171
    Five GuysBunless Hamburger323404400.23100
    Five GuysBunless Little Burger161702200.2350