There’s no reason why you have to give up a burger just because you are trying to eat healthy. There are lots of ways to make your weekly trek to the burger joint without wrecking your diet. A burger can actually be a healthy choice as beef is loaded with protein, iron and B vitamins. You have to be careful about how it’s served though or you could easily wreck all your goals. Here’s how to have that burger you’re craving without feeling any guilt later.
1. Order Your Patty on a Whole Wheat Bun
This little trick will help satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full for longer. Why? Because whole wheat buns contain more fiber than refined white ones. Fiber digests slowly so you can fill up on a burger and keep yourself from shoveling in junky snacks before your next meal. This little trick works at home too!
2. Pile Your Burger with Veggies
Forget the bacon, cheese and secret sauce. Those things are loaded with fat and calories. Instead, have your burger piled with your favorite veggies. Not only are they full of fiber, but they have a ton of great flavor too. Go for the classic lettuce, tomato or onions, but you can also try grilled squash, mushrooms, avocado, sprouts or any other vegetable you love.
3. If You Aren’t Set on Beef, Try an Alternative Type of Patty
Sure, ground beef can be a good choice if it’s lean. However, if you aren’t set on it, you can save fat and calories by choosing ground turkey, black beans, veggies or a Portobello mushroom cap instead. They all have a great taste and help satisfy a burger craving without making you feel guilty after it’s gone.
4. Go Easy on the Condiments
Mayo, thousand island dressing, ranch dressing or some other sauce on your burger? It’s pretty easy to go overboard on calories if that’s the case. Skip the sauce and add flavor with fat-free condiments instead. Choices like mustard, barbecue sauce, hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce add loads of great taste to your burger without increasing the calorie count. Easy, right?
5. Skip the Fries and Have a Salad or Fruit with Your Burger
Fries are full of grease, which means they contain a boat load of fat and calories. Opt for a side salad or a bowl of fruit with your burger and you save hundreds of calories and untold amounts of fat. You want the burger anyway, so you can satisfy a craving without wasting all the efforts you’ve made to eat healthy so far.
6. Go without the Bun if You Don’t Love It
As the gluten-free diet trend continues to gain in popularity, more and more restaurants are offering alternatives to bread. Even if you aren’t gluten-free, you can take advantage of this and order your burger without the bun. I’m not a huge bread lover, so this is a great way for me to save calories. Order your patty wrapped in lettuce or on top of a mixed green salad. Yum!
7. Don’t Ruin Your Meal with a Soda or Cocktail
If you really want to save calories, pair your burger with unsweetened iced tea or water instead of soda or a beer. You can save hundreds of calories and you won’t feel full and bloated later. You can do that, right?
What’s your favorite way to eat a burger? Will you try any of these tips next time you hit the burger joint?