Best Fast Food Choices for the South Beach Diet

Eat right when eating out

Fast Food
Fast Food. Jordan Lutes/Image Source/Getty Images

It is difficult to find acceptable fast food for the South Beach Diet guidelines. You will need to think ahead and gear yourself to what is allowed so you are not tempted to simply take a standard meal.

Review your lists of foods to avoid on Phase One of the South Beach Diet. These include many things that are standard for sandwiches, so you need to make modifications. The biggest is that you need to forgo the bun and the French fries, as bread and potatoes are too high in carbohydrate and are not allowed.

On a salad you need to eliminate the croutons, carrots, corn, peas and beets. A few strands of shredded carrot probably won't hurt. No fruit or fruit juice or sweetened yogurt, so you'll have to avoid parfaits. For meat, you need to avoid anything that is breaded, such as fried chicken or fish. You should also avoid honey-baked ham.

What can you eat in general? Look for grilled, unbreaded chicken sandwiches and ask for the chicken plain to add to a salad. Grilled fish and unbreaded shrimp are also acceptable. Check the salad dressings for added sugars and avoid those that have too many carbs. Drink water or diet sodas.

Here are my selections from fast food menus that won't break your diet.


  • The salads are the best choices, with oil and vinegar dressing or the fat-free Italian dressing.
  • Meats that fit within the South Beach Diet guidelines are: ham, turkey, chicken breast, tuna salad, Subway seafood and crab salad.
  • Other ingredients that are acceptable: vinegar, olive oil blend, lettuce, tomato, onions, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, green peppers, mustard, mayonnaise.
  • Subway Wraps: The high fiber wrap tortilla is acceptable for the South Beach Diet, but select your own filling ingredients from the list above as many of their advertised wrap combos are not South Beach Diet friendly.


  • Caesar Side Salad - with the caesar dressing, without the croutons.
  • Grilled Chicken Fillet - ask for it alone, without the bun or condiments, eat it with the Caesar Side Salad.
  • Burger, order without the bun.
  • Phase 2 or 3: Chili - while it has carbohydrate, it is low in fat, high in protein and fiber.
  • More: Eating Low Carb at Wendy's


  • Scrambled eggs - or order any breakfast sandwich without the bun, biscuit, bagel or muffin.
  • Side Salad with low carb dressing such as Newman's Own Ranch, Caesar or Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken, low carb dressing.
  • Order any burger or grilled chicken without the bun.
  • More: Eating Low Carb at McDonald's

Burger King

  • Side Garden Salad (without the croutons or dressing): 70 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fat, 5 grams protein Use the lite dressing or bring your own.
  • Chicken Garden Fresh Salad with grilled chicken and the Ken's Lite Balsamic dressing - but ask for no croutons or remove them and don't eat them.

Taco Bell

Order items "Fresco Style" to replace the cheese and sauce with Fiesta Salsa to reduce fat. Order the chicken items, then eat the filling and leave the tortilla and sour cream.

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