If you’re looking for fast food meals under 500 calories, this article will share delicious ideas from 5 popular chain restaurants.
So, even if you happen to find yourself at the notoriously unhealthy McDonald’s, you’ll have options to choose from to make sure you’re staying under your calorie budget.
Low-calorie options are available at just about any fast-food restaurant, and there are unique ways to mix & match items on these menus that still allow you to stay on track with your weight loss goals.
If you’re watching your calories, this page will teach you how to eat at a reasonable calorie deficit to help you lose 4 – 5 pounds per month.
Here are the restaurants we’ll discuss in this article.
For each restaurant, you’ll find 5 meal ideas under 500 calories:
- Taco Bell
- Panda Express
Let’s start with Subway, since many of us are already aware of the various healthy choices we can get from this sandwich food chain.
1 – Subway
Of all the restaurants on this list, Subway wins as far as the amount of food you get to eat compared to how many calories you’re taking in. I get Subway sandwiches often, and it’s pretty amazing to me that there are a number of footlongs on their menu under 600 calories.
However, since this article is focused on meals under 500, we’re going to be sticking with 6-inch sandwiches. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from. Make sure to go with Italian bread for the following sandwiches. Add all the veggies you want, and mustard is totally fine too.
5 SUBWAY MEALS UNDER 500 CALORIES
- Six Inch Turkey Breast, Bag Of Baked Lays, & Diet Coke – 410 calories
- Six Inch Black Forest Ham, Bag Of Baked Lays, & Diet Coke – 420 calories
- Six Inch Subway Club, Bag Of Baked Lays, & Diet Coke – 440 calories
- Six Inch Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Bag Of Baked Lays, & Diet Coke – 450 calories
- Six Inch Cold Cut Combo, Bag of Baked Lays, & Diet Coke – 490 calories
2 – McDonald’s
Of course, McDonald’s is notorious for being one of the worst places we can eat at. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just have this craving for it, and I just go get myself a Big Mac and that’s that!
Here are some meal options at McDonald’s that are all under 500 calories. You’ll see two options below with coffee. Make sure your coffee is black without cream & sugar. If you’re going to sweeten it, use zero calorie sweeteners, and you’ll be fine.
5 MCDONALD’S MEALS UNDER 500 CALORIES
- Hamburger, Small Fries, & Diet Coke – 470 calories
- 6 Piece Chicken McNuggets, Small Fries, & Diet Coke – 490 calories
- Double Cheeseburger & Diet Coke – 440 calories
- Egg McMuffin, Hash Brown, & Plain Coffee – 450 calories
- Sausage Burrito, Hash Brown, & Plain Coffee – 450 calories
3 – Taco Bell
One of the ways to significantly cut calories at Taco Bell is to order your items “Fresco Style”. This is actually a delicious alternative to the way items are traditionally served.
Fresco style simply substitutes higher-calorie items like sour cream, mayonnaise and cheese with a healthier alternative of freshly diced tomatoes. You actually aren’t missing very much either. From my own experience, Fresco style versions of their items are just as delicious as their originals.
I’m all about being able to eat more food while still cutting calories, so I love the Fresco option. It’s not requires, but for the sake of this article, all items below are fresco style. That way, you get way more food, which leads to a full belly. Feel free to add as many sauce packets as you like to these meals.
5 TACO BELL MEALS UNDER 500 CALORIES (ALL ITEMS FRESCO STYLE)
- Chicken or Steak Burrito Supreme, Crunchy Taco, & Diet Pepsi – 480 calories
- 3 Crunchy Tacos & Diet Pepsi – 420 Calories – 420 calories
- 2 Crunchy Tacos, Black Beans & Rice, & Diet Pepsi – 450 calories
- Steak Gordita Supreme, Grilled Steak Soft Taco, & Diet Pepsi – 470 calories
- Double Decker Taco Supreme, Soft Steak Taco, & Diet Pepsi – 490 calories
4 – Chipotle
I choose to eat Chipotle when I’m craving wholesome and healthy fast food. Their ingredients are top-notch, and the food is delicious. The only downside with Chipotle is, you’re packing on a ton of calories if you don’t order the right items.
I do feel that because the foods at Chipotle are very calorie dense for the most part, this may be one of the tougher restaurants to really get good meals under 500 calories. For instance, items like rice, tortillas, and guacamole, are very high in calories. But let’s see what we can do.
Here are some meal ideas that bring down the calorie count without sacrificing flavor.
5 CHIPOTLE MEALS UNDER 500 CALORIES
- Burrito Bowl With Steak, Cheese, Black Beans, Tomato Salsa, Fajita Veggies, & Lettuce – 440 calories
- Lifestyle Whole30 Salad Bowl With Chicken, Lettuce, Fajita Veggies, Tomato Salsa, & Guacamole – 470 calories
- 3 Steak Tacos In Corn Tortilla Shells With Lettuce, Cheese, & Tomato Salsa – 490 calories
- Steak Burrito With Lettuce & Green Chili Salsa – 490 calories
- Chicken Salad With Lettuce, Cheese, Black Beans, Fajita Veggies, Tomato Salsa – 490 calories
5 – Panda Express
Panda Express is one restaurant I don’t know as well as the rest on this list. The main reason for this is cause when I get Chinese food, I just order from a local restaurant. In fact, I never understood the logic behind the Panda Express chain, cause there are so many great Chinese restaurants all around me.
The few items I’ve tried are great though. And one big plus about Panda Express that you won’t find at many other Chinese restaurants is that they have a handy nutrition calculator on their website.
5 PANDA EXPRESS MEALS UNDER 500 CALORIES
- Wok Seared Steak & Shrimp, Side of Broccoli, Chocolate Chunk Cookie, & Diet Coke – 490 calories
- String Bean Chicken Breast, Chicken Pot Stickers, Cup Of Hot & Sour Soup, & Diet Coke – 470 calories
- Black Pepper Angus Steak, Cream Cheese Rangoon, Side Of Broccoli, Fortune Cookie, & Diet Coke – 480 calories
- Broccoli Beef, Chicken Potstickers, Cup Of Hot & Sour Soup, Fortune Cookie, & Diet Coke – 450 calories
- Kung Pao Chicken, Vegetable Spring Rolls, & Diet Coke – 480 calories
Low Calorie Fast Food In Summary
I hope you found these fast food meals under 500 calories to be helpful. If you head out to any of these restaurants, you could technically open this page, and choose any one of the meals listed above to ensure you’re getting a meal under your 500 calorie budget.
Some of these got a little tricky. I’ve found that especially when it comes to fast food, you’ve got to carefully mix and match items. More often than not, one item will have far too many calories to be added, so you’ve got to find just the right substitute.
Luckily, chain restaurants always have their nutrition facts easily available, so it’s not hard to do this. There are more variations you can do of course, and if you want to get more creative with your meals, click on any of the nutrition calculators above.
I teach people how to eat at a reasonable calorie deficit to lose unwanted fat, and I love when I get a chance to show them ways they can still lose weight by eating the foods they love.
So, this article was actually fun to write for that reason. If you’d like to learn how to calculate your own calorie deficit, and lose 4 – 5 pounds per month, while enjoying your favorite foods, visit this page here.
I’ve helped many friends lose significant weight by following the exact calculations laid out at that article. The best part is you don’t have to follow any kind of fad diet or restrict your favorite foods. Weight loss is very simple and enjoyable when you follow a few simple guidelines.
Thanks so much for reading. I really appreciate you being here. If you have any questions or comments regarding anything in this article, let me know below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible.