Count fast food calories before you even get in line

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New Years, that time of resolutions and desires to lose weight, is all but upon us.

Keeping a healthy living resolution can be difficult for the typical truck driver who often has only one choice when dining on the road: which fast food restaurant to stop at. Many truck stops and rest areas offer a couple of major chain options, most of which have few menu items beyond iceberg lettuce salads for those trying to make their pants fit just a little looser.

However, forewarned is forearmed when it comes to eating at most travel centers. The national fast food chains all have item-by-item nutritional information on their websites. So, before you even get out of your cab, look at those website pages and decide ahead to avoid that impulse to say, “Yes, go ahead and supersize that!”

To make you decisions easier, here are a few fast food outlets’ nutrition pages:

  • Carl’s Jr. has a nutrition calculator that allows you to check the calories, carbs, sodium and other contents of each item in your meal. It also provides information on items that are low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free and what it calls “Trim-It” healthier options.
  • Chick-fil-A has a lot of nutritional information, but it makes you work for it. You can choose any menu item and get the basics: Calories, fat, carbs and protein. Click again and it takes a deeper dive and delivers 14 nutritional items as well as a complete list of ingredients and any potential allergens.
  • Iron Skillet, found in TA Petro stopping centers, offers a calorie count for each menu item.
  • McDonald’s, like Carl’s Jr., has a nutrition calculator, which pops up when you click “About Our Food.” You can open any of eight menu categories (e.g. Burgers, Salads, Sides, etc) and choose an individual item. Up pops all the details. Like the Carl’s Jr., you can calculate your entire meal.
  • Sbarro offers a drop-down list with details in 12 categories of nutritional information for its pizza and other dishes.
  • Denny’s website is loaded with details, which you find by navigating from the home page to “Food” then to categories of food then to individual items. Once there, you can click on “Nutritional Facts” on the right side of the page and a drop down delivers more details that you probably want.
  • Arby’s has plenty of nutritional detail listed with each menu item. It also has a PDF of its entire menu with nutritional data.
  • Subway, which a few years ago boldly promoted itself with healthy eating options and an all-Subway weight loss plan, delivers details on each item on its menu.