For the majority of people, fast food may be equated with unhealthy eating habits. However, even fast food can become an ally in your fitness journey, specifically when you’re trying to gain muscle mass. While it’s not advisable to rely solely on these sources for nutrition, there are choices that can serve as a convenient and protein-packed meal on the go. Let’s look at some of the best fast food restaurants to pack on muscle mass that can support your muscle-building goals.
One of the best options at Chick-fil-A for building muscle is the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Packing a substantial 29 grams of protein, this sandwich is a strong choice for muscle growth. You can also choose the Grilled Nuggets which have 21 grams of protein per serving. Add a side salad to get in some micronutrients and fiber to keep your diet balanced.
Chipotle is known for its customizable bowls, and with a bit of know-how, you can maximize the muscle-building power of your meal. Choose lean protein like chicken or steak, add fajita veggies for micronutrients, and don’t forget the black beans for additional protein and fiber. If you’re in a bulking phase, add brown rice and guacamole to up your calorie intake.
Subway is another customizable option. Opt for the 12-inch wheat bread for complex carbs, then load up on lean meats like turkey breast or chicken. Remember to pile on the veggies for micronutrients and fiber. Avoid high-fat and high-sugar dressings and sauces that can add unnecessary calories.
Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich is another solid option, with 34 grams of protein and only 360 calories. If you’re in the mood for a burger, go for the Junior Hamburger. This smaller option still gives you 15 grams of protein, but with fewer calories than the larger burger options. Pair these with a side salad or apple slices to get a more balanced meal.
McDonald’s might be known for its Big Macs and McNuggets, but they have options that can aid in muscle mass growth too. The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich, for instance, has 37 grams of protein. The Egg McMuffin is also a good choice, especially for a high-protein breakfast, with 18 grams of protein.
6. Panera Bread
Panera offers a range of salads, sandwiches, and soups that can be customized to fit your protein needs. Their classic Turkey Breast Sandwich is a good choice, or you can go for a more protein-packed option like the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt. If you’re looking for a soup option, the Chicken Noodle Soup is a high-protein, lower-calorie choice.
Believe it or not, Starbucks isn’t just about coffee and pastries. They also offer an array of nutritious food options that can aid your muscle building journey. Their Protein Boxes are a convenient and high-protein option for those on the go. The Smoked Turkey Protein Box, for instance, offers 24 grams of protein. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, the Egg and Cheese Protein Box packs in 20 grams of protein.
8. Taco Bell
Taco Bell’s Power Menu can help you load up on proteins while enjoying Mexican-style fast food. A Chicken Power Bowl, for example, provides you with 26 grams of protein and a good dose of fiber from the black beans and vegetables. To further increase the protein content, you could add extra chicken or steak to your bowl.
For those who are fans of fried chicken, KFC can be a good fast food restaurant to gain muscle mass. Their Original Recipe Chicken Breast provides a whopping 38 grams of protein. To make it a more balanced meal, add a side of green beans or corn on the cob, both of which are lower in calories compared to other side options.
10. Burger King
Last but not least, Burger King is another fast food chain that offers some muscle-friendly options. The Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a solid choice, packing in 32 grams of protein. If you’re craving a burger, the Whopper Junior has a more modest 12 grams of protein and fewer calories than its larger counterparts.
When dining out, especially at fast food restaurants, the key to maintaining a healthy diet conducive to muscle building lies in making smart choices. Look for lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, and try to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables for a well-rounded meal. Remember to consume adequate amounts of water and pair your diet with regular exercise and sufficient rest to achieve your muscle-building goals effectively and sustainably. The options mentioned in this blog post provide a solid foundation for those seeking to pack on muscle mass without sacrificing the convenience and enjoyment of fast food dining.
In conclusion, with a bit of strategy, fast food can be incorporated into a muscle-building diet. But it’s important to keep in mind that while these options can provide the necessary protein for muscle growth, they should be part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Also, don’t forget that a proper workout routine and rest are equally important in your muscle-building journey.
Your diet should not be causing stress or discomfort; rather it should fuel your body and satisfy your taste buds. The goal is to develop a lifestyle that can be maintained long-term, and learning how to make healthy choices at fast food restaurants is a part of that journey. Happy muscle-building!
Remember: moderation and balance are vital. While these fast food options can help, they should not replace a balanced, nutritious diet.
As always, consult with a registered dietitian or a fitness trainer to ensure you’re meeting your specific dietary needs and fitness goals. Nutrition is not a one -size-fits-all, and what works best for one person might not work as well for another. This is particularly true for people with specific dietary requirements or restrictions.