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8 Fast-Food Meals Under 500 Calories

When you're trying to improve your health or lose weight rapidly, fast food shouldn't be your go-to—most health-minded people already know that.

As much as we'd love to think that whipping up home-cooked meals every day is feasible, we know better. Sometimes life gets in the way and eating fast food is inevitable, but it doesn't have to derail your diet—and it won't if you know what to order. To help you out, we created this Eat This, Not That! exclusive guide. The eight meals below are all less than 500 calories and have a reasonable amount of fat, sodium and sugar. Refer back to this list next time you find yourself ordering your lunch through a clown's mouth or getting your dinner from redhead named Wendy (you know, the one with the pigtails).

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Flame Broiled Hamburger + Apple Slices + Fountain Water

Calories 260
Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium 460 mg
Carbs 34 g
Sugar 12 g
Protein 9 g

Burger King

Believe it or not, opting for a classic burger—not a salad—is the best way to go at BK. It's relatively low-cal and serves up a decent hit of protein. To round out the meal, opt for the fresh apple slices. Together, this duo makes a fine meal if you must dine and dash. Note: Although the chain does not provide fiber information about their food, it's safe to assume you'll get a small boost of the nutrient from the fruit.

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Grilled Market Salad and Fat-Free Honey Mustard Dressing + Medium Fruit Cup with Blueberries + Fountain Water

Calories 340
Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 900 mg
Carbs 52 g
Fiber 7 g
Sugar 38 g
Protein 23 g


Greens, nuts, fresh fruit and grilled chicken join together to create Chick-Fil-A's scrumptious, low-cal salad. While the sugar stats for this meal may look a bit alarming, most of it is the naturally occurring variety coming from the vitamin-packed side of fruit, so there's no reason to be concerned. This on-the-go meal is a total Eat This! that is sure to keep you on track toward your summer body goals.

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Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast with Corn on the Cob + Chocolate Chip Cookie + Fountain Water

Calories 450
Fat 15.5 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Sodium 815 mg
Carbs 37 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugar 17 g
Protein 44 g


Opting for a Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast instead of the fried Original Recipe variety will save you 100 calories and seven grams of artery-clogging fat! To round out your meal, order a Corn on the Cob and a cookie. Yes, you read that right—a cookie! Sure, you'd nix 135 calories from your meal by opting for green beans instead, but the side is so drenched in sodium it's not worth the savings.

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Hamburger + Apple Slices + McCafé Coffee

Calories 260
Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium 480 mg
Carbs 36 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 10 g
Protein 12 g


In general, finding a full meal that comes in around 250 calories is a major feat. Finding one at a fast-food joint? Near impossible, but McDonald's pulls through with this pairing. The burger serves up 15 percent of the day's iron—a nutrient that helps boost energy—and a solid dose of muscle-building protein. Munching on this Golden Arches meal will ward off hunger and bouts of drowsiness for hours, which will make your weight loss journey that much easier.

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Broccoli Beef + Chicken Potstickers + Fountain Water

Calories 310
Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium 770 mg
Carbs 33 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugar 9 g
Protein 15 g

Panda Express

A Chinese meal that won't break the calorie or sugar bank? This meal is proof that it is possible! Aside from the 15 grams of hunger-busting protein, the broccoli lends this meal a solid hit of immunity-boosting vitamin A and folic acid (a vitamin that helps the body break down, use and create new proteins)—nutrients that aren't commonly found in fast food.

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Single Steakburger + Small Garden Salad + Reduced Fat Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette (two tablespoons) Small Unsweetened Iced Tea

Calories 375
Fat 13.5 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Sodium 585 mg
Carbs 51 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 8 g
Protein 15 g

Steak 'N Shake

The Single Steakburger is typically served with a 240-calorie order of fries, which won't do your waistline any favors. Be sure to specify that you don't want any when you place your order. They will be too tempting to resist if they're sitting in front of you as you munch on your side salad.

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Fresco Crunchy Taco (2) + Side of Black Beans + Fountain Water

Calories 380
Fat 17.5 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Sodium 820 mg
Carbs 38 g
Fiber 11 g
Sugar 3 g
Protein 16 g

Taco Bell

Taco Bell stuffed beef, shredded lettuce and flavorful pico de gallo into a crunchy corn taco shell to create this low-cal—yet mouthwatering—creation. Amp up the belly-filling, heart-healthy fiber of your meal by asking for a side of black beans; toss them into your taco if you're in a hurry.

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Asian Cashew Chicken Salad Full Size with Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette (½ packet) + Apple Slices + Small Brewed Unsweetened Iced Tea

Calories 375
Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 890 mg
Carbs 35.5 g
Fiber 7.5 g
Sugar 16 g
Protein 36 g


To create this nutrient-rich salad, Wendy's threw protein-packed, fire-roasted edamame, spicy cashews and grilled chicken atop a bed of greens. The result is a low-cal, filling meal that will keep you satisfied until supper without boring your taste buds. Add a side of apples to your plate to boost your fiber even further. Besides lowering cholesterol levels, the nutrient helps control diet-derailing spikes in blood sugar.

Eat This, Not That!
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more about Eat This