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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Make Your Own Fast Food

Whip up healthier versions of your fast-food favorites.
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Have It Your Way continued...

2. Hamburgers. Ask the butcher to grind up a fresh, extra-lean, top-quality sirloin steak trimmed of visible fat. To make your burgers juicier, mix in a moist, flavorful ingredient, like soy sauce, minced garlic, tomato-based chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, or BBQ sauce. Dress it with condiments such as mustard and BBQ sauce instead of mayonnaise-based sauces, and use plenty of raw vegetable fillers (like onions, tomato, and lettuce). Top it with reduced-fat cheese, if cheeseburgers are what you crave. Then serve your sandwich on a whole-grain bun.

3. Chicken Sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches can be good choices, if they're skinless, grilled (instead of fried), dressed with low-calorie condiments, and served on a whole-grain bun. It's simple to make a BBQ chicken sandwich at home using grilled chicken breasts (you can even use your indoor grill or toaster oven). Serve it on a whole-grain bun topped with plenty of raw veggies.

4. Fried Chicken. The trick to making tasty oven-fried chicken is to dip skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into strips, if desired) in low-fat buttermilk, then coat the outside with a seasoned crumb mixture. Then coat the outside of the coated chicken pieces generously with canola cooking spray (on both sides). Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven until nicely brown (about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the pieces).

5. Milkshakes. For a lighter milkshake, just use light ice cream. Find a flavor that works for you, perhaps light vanilla or chocolate ice cream, or any flavor of sherbet. Adding nonfat or 1% low-fat milk instead of whole milk will shave more calories and fat while increasing protein slightly.

6. Onion Rings and Fries. All you need to make golden-brown oven onion rings or fries is a hot oven (450 degrees), veggies cut or separated into your desired shape, and a small amount of canola oil (or cooking spray) to coat the outside of the fries or rings.

7. Biscuits. Don't let their innocent looks fool you. One biscuit from the Popeye’s chain, for example, contains 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat. Try making biscuits at home following a traditional recipe but using a less-fat margarine with added plant sterols (like Take Control or Benecol) instead of shortening, and using low-fat buttermilk in place of milk or cream.

8. Hash Browns. If you get them at McDonalds, each patty contains 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, and 2 grams trans fat. Burger King's small hash brown has 230 calories, 15 grams of fat, 4 grams saturated fat, and 5 grams trans fat. Instead, buy frozen hash brown patties at your supermarket (make sure you get the ones with 0 grams fat per serving). Then check out the recipe for hash brown patties below.

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