Fast Food Hacks For Lifters

What are your fast food hacks as a lifter? Not everything is equal with fast food. Some choices are much better than others. Some items can be modified to make them acceptable.

I’ll give a few examples of things I’ve done or do:

Arby’s 2 for $7 french dip and swiss. Put the contents of one sandwich into the other, throw away the bun. I figure it is around 65 grams of protein and ~750 calories.

Chipolte double chicken bowl. This one is expensive, but if you do it correctly this one isn’t too far off from a body building meal. If cutting removal of cheese and sour cream helps a lot (but makes me sad).

Leanne chin / panda express - Both offer grilled chicken options. Getting both items as the grilled chicken provides a lot of protein. Both places offer steamed veggies as a side, or white rice instead of noodles / fried rice.

Jimmy Johns / 5 guys both offer lettuce wraps. One of my powerlifting buddies would get two 5 guys burgers (they are double burgers) in lettuce wraps. Expensive, but I think that clocked in at over 100 grams of protein.

Wendy’s - Chili is offered as a substitute to fries. A lot less on calories and a lot higher on protein.

McDonald’s - used to make quad burgers out of McDoubles when they were a dollar. Haven’t done this in a long time with the price increase.

Taco bell - Chicken chipolte melt is 180 calories with 12 grams of protein. Can buy two or three and put them in one tortilla. Tastes better than the original. I figure the tortilla is about 60-80 calories.

Culvers - the plate meals like the chopped steak or the pot roast are pretty good. Can get things like steamed broccoli or a side salad as side options.

There are some obvious ones like never getting regular soda. Fries are also pretty bad for the diet and I never get those either (by never I mean I do sometimes, but like a few times a year).

Hopefully this thread can provide some useful info. I am looking for ideas as well. I think cooking at home is best, but sometimes I give into convenience. When that happens I’d prefer to eat to my goals as close as possible.


None. When it comes to nutrition I put my big boy pants on one leg at time. No cheating! Bring a cooler with your food if you’re traveling. Seriously though, these are great ideas.


Chic-Fil-A nuggies are where its at.
Macros on a 30-count nugget:

You can also get them grilled, but for only 1k cals, im just gonna go hard on the nuggies.


That’s gotta do some damage to the wallet. Not bad though for 950 calories and 100 grams of protein.

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$20 for the 30 count and its enough food to last me like 8 hours before feeling actually hungry again (i usually split them into 2 ‘servings’) Id call that a win.

I also only do this one once every 2 weeks, and on school nights where I’m not coming home until 11pm.

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I try to accept that the combo of cheap, convenient (fast food), and healthy (in this context, good for lifting) is a unicorn. I try to tell myself that it is worth spending more to get something that fits my goals.

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Are kebab shops big in America? For the Brits, always go for chicken shish over any other chicken or doner meat.

Sometimes it’s better to go for 2 burgers over burger & fries. 2 burgers are more filling, already have a ton of carbs, and way more protein. Of course this is dependent on cheese/sauces etc.


Not really.

Depending on goals using one bun for two burgers or two double burgers works pretty well.

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No, but they ought to be. I would buy a lot of chicken on a stick.


I don’t go to Chinese buffets often, but when I do, I get lots of the chicken skewers.


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It is a little crazy how they aren’t. Some cities in the UK probably have hundreds. I live in a super small town and there are 3 within about 100 meters of each other.

I must add though, the British takeaway does tend to bastardize a lot of what you’d expect it to be. Our chineses are nothing like most people would imagine, but we love them all the same.

EDIT: Also well-done guys, I’m getting a takeaway tonight now.

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I don’t eat fast food very often, so when I do, I fully indulge in the experience and throw any concepts of health or gains out the window for that meal. It’s better that way.


You can buy a gallon of milk at McDonalds

Some hot tips from Matt Reynolds and company

The advice Dave Tate got from JM Blakely

Joe DeFranco and Co discuss gaining mass for skinny dudes

JM Blakely discusses the finer points of “hyperpalatability”


I don’t have trouble gaining weight haha, so most of my strategies are opposite of Dave Tate while still going to those same places.

In fairness, this is gaining weight from 275 to 308, which is QUITE a different animal. But an interesting one none the less!

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What do you mean? Getting to 308 is easy…

I don’t know actually want to know what I could get to if I started trying. I am guessing I could hit 350 without much trouble.