10 High Calorie Fast Food Items You Should Avoid & 10 Lower Calorie Items To Consider

10 High Calorie Fast Food Items You Should Avoid & 10 Lower Calorie Items To Consider

On a good day, fast food isn’t the healthiest option. Our go-to faves are packed with calories, fat, and grease—and while that’s never stopped us before, it should encourage us to try lower-calorie items instead. That said, here are 10 of the highest calorie fast food items out there, and 10 lower calorie items to opt for in their place.

1. Wendy’s Loaded Nacho Triple Cheeseburger

Ground beef, check. Nachos, check. Cheese? Also, check. One little problem with all this: anyone who braves eating it tacks on 1,280 calories to their daily intake. Toss in fries and a drink and you’re looking at a meal with nearly enough calories for the entire day.

Batu-Gezer-Agghkguvs2W-UnsplashPhoto by Batu Gezer on Unsplash

2. McDonald’s Big Mac

Let he who is without Big Mac cast the first bun. While we’ve all likely indulged in this at least once, it’s best kept off our regular menu as it packs a whopping 590 calories—and that’s without any sides.

Erik-Mclean-B4Ozkhj0Giq-UnsplashPhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

3. Taco Bell Nacho BellGrande

We hope you’re sharing this with someone because going it alone means at least 740 calories in one sitting. Sure, it’s loaded with all the goodness you’d expect from nachos, but at what cost?

1024Px-Kfc Taco Bell (32251114560)Phillip Pessar on Wikimedia Commons

4. Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger

A bacon cheeseburger scratches an itch no other quite can. However, you’re looking at a hefty caloric price because Five Guys’ version clocks in around 1,060 calories. Factor in a side of fries, even a small one, and that’s another 500+ calories.

Five Guys (14876291453)Mike Mozart on Wikimedia Commons


5. Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad

Even if you grab this without meat, Chick-fil-A’s Cobb salad runs 580 calories easily. Add some protein, though, and it can skyrocket to nearly 900 calories—we’re looking at you, Chick-n Strips. 

Restaurant Chick-Fil-A In Sugar House SlcSaalebaer on Wikimedia Commons

6. Pizza Hut Meat Lover’s Pizza

No matter how you slice this pie, it packs a serious caloric punch. A personal pizza alone is 710 calories, and if you upgrade to a 9” (which is a small) it’ll run roughly 230 calories per slice. With six slices in a small pizza, you’re looking at 1,380 calories.

1280Px-2015-03-16 15 20 53 Pizza Hut Restaurant In Elko, NevadaFamartin on Wikimedia Commons

7. Subway Meatball Marinara

The next time you’re jonesing for a meatball sub, take a quick moment to reconsider. A 6” from Subway already tips 400 calories, making a footlong 800 calories without any add-ons or a different kind of bread.

1024Px-Subway In Stanhope, NjCHICHI7YT on Wikimedia Commons

8. In-N-Out Double-Double

Skip the in—it’s best to leave this one out. Two beef patties, cheese, onions, and a secret spread all lead to at least 600 calories in this double-double burger. Toss in a side of fries and that’s another 360 calories. 

Ashley-Green-Ubtutdrqj-O-UnsplashPhoto by Ashley Green on Unsplash

9. Chipotle Chicken Burrito

Who doesn’t love a good burrito once in a while? With so many options available, it’s a meal you can make your own every time. But keep that in mind next time you head to Chipotle because a chicken burrito can easily run you 1,000 calories. 

Georgetown Square Chipotle Bethesda Md 20230-4-16 09-00-26G. Edward Johnson on Wikimedia Commons

10. Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich

Without any sides, a Popeye’s chicken sandwich is 700 calories, making it one of the highest-calorie items on their menu. Throw fries and a biscuit into the mix and the number climbs to a staggering 1,180. 

768Px-Popeyes Chicken SandwichDaiisyy on Wikimedia Commons

If you’re still craving fast food, let’s dive into some low-calorie options to explore next time you’re out.


1. Chick-fil-A Nuggets

Did you know that eight nuggets from Chick-fil-A only have about 250 calories? Opting for small fries spikes the count by an additional 320 calories, but you’re still looking at a good meal for fewer calories than some individual items.

Chick-Fil-A At Yonge And Bloor - 01Sikander Iqbal on Wikimedia Commons

2. Taco Bell Beef Crunchy Taco

At its core, the Beef Crunchy Taco is only 170 calories. Even if you were to add another sauce, it won’t run you more than 30 calories max, making this menu item one to indulge in guilt-free.

Jeswin-Thomas-Z Pfagzen9E-UnsplashPhoto by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

3. Wendy’s Jr. Burger

It’s true that you won’t get the same helping as a regular Wendy’s burger, but those watching their caloric intake can turn to a junior size for something close. A junior is only 250 calories, and even if you wanted to grab some cheese, the number only climbs to 290.

Siyuan-Lin-T7Wnni-Dxrc-UnsplashPhoto by Siyuan Lin on Unsplash

4. Starbucks Spinach Wrap

At first glance, it doesn’t look like Starbucks’ spinach, feta, and egg white wrap is very filling. But believe it or not, you can score 19g of protein for only 290 calories—not a bad choice for those watching what they eat.

Hamza-Inayat-Ewk6L 7Uasg-UnsplashPhoto by Hamza Inayat on Unsplash

5. Burger King Hamburger

BK is an optimal choice for burger lovers, but maybe not an optimal choice for those on a diet. Plenty of their burgers top 1,000 calories, however, downgrading to a small one only costs 250 calories. Even a small bacon cheeseburger only tips 339 calories.

Burger King Products In China (4)Dinkun Chen on Wikimedia Commons

6. Dairy Queen Hot Dog

Turn away from the blizzards and cones to indulge in a classic hot dog instead. They clock in at about 330 calories and while the fat or sodium content is nothing to celebrate, the low calories cushion the blow. 

Dairyqueenmarkham3Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine on Wikimedia Commons


7. Subway Veggie Delite Salad

With nothing more than your traditional vegetable fixings, it’s easy to see why Subway’s Veggie Delite is only 50 calories. It’s obviously not a full-blown meal, but does nicely as a light snack or side.

Subway In Burwood PlazaTAC PlazaMaster on Wikimedia Commons

8. McDonald’s Hamburger

A McDonald’s craving can still be sought with their classic hamburger, especially because it’s 250 calories. The only toppings you have to worry about are mustard, pickles, ketchup, and onion—hardly worse than other available toppings.

Visual-Karsa-Y8Fs7Csn-Vw-UnsplashPhoto by Visual Karsa on Unsplash

9. Panera Asian Sesame With Chicken

Just half an Asian sesame salad from Panera provides 14g of protein for only 200 calories. Juicy chicken pieces on a bed of greens, all for reasonable calories? Count us in.

Panera BreadMiosotis Jade on Wikimedia Commons

10. In-N-Out Burger With Onion

The odd trip to In-N-Out is fine, just swap out the double-double burger for their classic one. It still teeters on the higher end at 360 calories, but it’s far better on the stomach without all that extra stuff. 

In-N-Out Burger Hamburgers And FriesMarlith on Wikimedia Commons