How to Eat Healthy at Burger King

A cheese burger on a chopping board.
Image Credit: Jacek Nowak/iStock/Getty Images

Burger King probably doesn't spring to mind as the best place to eat when trying to stick to a healthy diet. With the french fries, greasy burgers and sugar-filled drinks, you may find it tough to eat well when faced with so much temptation. A meal like this doesn't have to wreck your diet, though; you just have to make healthier choices.

Step 1

Switch to a chicken burger. Chicken is leaner than beef due to its lower fat content. A Tendergrill chicken sandwich without mayo, for instance, contains 400 calories and 11 grams of fat, whereas a regular Whopper without mayo has 470 calories and 17 grams of fat.

Step 2

Pick fruit instead of fries. In an attempt to get children to eat healthily, Burger King introduced apple fries -- a chopped, peeled apple in the shape of fries -- as a kid's side in 2008. While they may be aimed at the younger generation, they're a much better option than oil-soaked fries. The apple slices contain 30 calories compared to 240 calories in a small serving of french fries.

Step 3

Reduce your serving sizes. One simple way of ensuring you're eating fewer calories and therefore maintaining a healthy weight is to just eat less, even if this again means choosing a child meal over an adult one. A child's meal consisting of a hamburger, apple fries and a fat-free milk has 360 calories, whereas an adult meal of a bacon cheeseburger, medium fries and a small nonfat latte has 770 calories. On a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, you should aim for around 400 to 500 calories for each meal.

Step 4

Toss away the bun, advises trainer Nate Green in his book "Built for Show." The bun is nothing but empty calories since it's made from processed white flour. If this leads you to feel hungry, Green advises ordering a small side salad or doubling up on your chicken burger. A typical bun is around 140 calories.

Step 5

Try a veggie burger. The Burger King vegetarian burger has 220 fewer calories and 19 grams less fat than a Whopper.

Step 6

Order a water or coffee instead of a soda. Water is calorie-free, and the calories contained in a black coffee are negligible. This compares to 190 calories and 51 grams of sugar in the average 20-ounce Coke, Sprite or Dr Pepper from Burger King.

Step 7

Learn your calories. The Burger King website has calorie information for every menu item, as well as details for saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, sugar and protein. Take a look before you leave from home, or ask for one of the nutrition pamphlets when in the store. Pick options that are lower in calories, sugar and trans fat and higher in protein and fiber.