T Nation

Fast Food Replacement - Good Idea?


I noticed that I was eating out alot, and eating SHIT. I am a college student and seriously, I dont have much money to blow. I was eating the 99 cent menu at Wendys and Mcdonalds, and a usual meal for me was 2 hamburgers, the dollar fry and a water. This meal ran me about $3.50 and didnt help me gain too much but fat..

Lately, everytime I start to go eat out, I go to the supermarket deli and buy 3 dollars worth of lean turkey, or beef which ussually is a little over half a pound(There is like 20 different typesd and flavors). I keep bread in my car, and just pile as much on one piece of bread over and over until I eat it all. Way more filling and way better for my body I assume. I know when bulking I need some fat and calories... so do you guys think this is a good idea?


Nah, go to maccas and buy a big mac and 2 cheeseburgers, go to wendys get an icecream and a shake, and a hotdog, open the big mac, insert all the other items, chow down on that.

Of course making your own sandwich is better.

maccas etc.. look good on paper (the paper they put in their shops telling you how healthy it is) but they are bad for countless reasons

full of sugar
full of trans fats

I've seen a cheeseburger last on a shelf for 4 months without smelling, rotting, going mouldy or in any way changing except going a bit stale. Now THAT is scary.

Try it yourself.

If bacteria won't eat it then I certainly ain't going to.


Wendy's chili is a good alternative in a pinch. According to Wendy's website, the large has 25g protein, 35g carbs, 9 grams fat and 8 grams of fiber. IMO this is a better nutritional profile than any of the bodybuilding bars on the market and is a decent fast food meal. It does have a whopping 1170mg of sodium but chugging down a lot of water throughout the day and this is your semi cheat meal you should be ok.


According to my grandmother, Wendy's stole her chili recipe. Back in the 70's, it was a different beast entirely, with only one kind of bean and too watery, etc. I can't remember all the details of what changed. But apparantly she put her recipe in their suggestion box with a note telling them their chili sucks the big one, try this instead, etc. A year or so later, she goes back and they're serving her chili. This is in Dearborn, Michigan. True story, or so she says.


This is a good topic. And whenever the topic of eating clean on a budget comes up, there are so many T-Nation members with so many great ideas!!

Chili is in my opinion one of the best suggestions. Buy hamburger meat on sale, brown, drain all the fat in a colander over the sink, then throw in all the other ingredients (canned tomatoes, beans, onion, spices, etc...) You can buy all the ingredients on sale when they're relatively inexpensive. Eat chili for the week.

Buy really cheap beef roast on sale, simmer for several hours in salted water, tomato sauce and seasonings, refrigerate overnight. Skim any hardened fat from the top. Add any kind of stew vegetables and simmer until tender. Eat a meaty stew for the week.

Same goes for hamburger curry stew. Make it and eat for a week.

I hope you have enough budget to at least make these kinds of relatively inexpensive meals that have good quality protein in them.

When I was 19 in college I was so broke working just over minimum wage and paying for my school tuition and expenses that I barely could find enough change in the seats of my busted-up car to buy the $3.49/case of ramen for the month. Talk about Bad Carbs!

Anyway, good luck to you!!


I was being a bit sarcastic in my previous post but for ALL fast foods the things to look out for are

high salt
trans fats, which are nasty, and often hidden
sugars, again, hidden or disguised or seemingly innocent
who knows what preservatives and colours etc..

I am lucky enough to not have to worry about eating out but when I am stuck out there I look for either a healthy fast food place (rare) or perhaps I will get a piece of fish, grilled, and nothing else.

For people on a budget it is very hard to eat out and save money, it is much smarter to make your own foods at home. I don't know what it is like overseas but in Australia meat is quite cheap, you can get top mince for $9 a kg (U.S $6.84) which is a bit less than $1 for 100g ... which is about the limit of what you need to eat in one serve, really (since you can't absorb much more protein in a single meal). Easy to fry up some patties, then freeze them to be nuked later in the week.

Or as others said, in a chilli is good too.


Did you tell her that when someone takes what you give them freely, it's not called stealing?

Seeing as Wendy's started in Columbus, Ohio, I am going to dismiss all this as nefarious rumormongering from The State Up North.



Your just pissed that you kept Toledo.


A small sized Wendy's chili is one of my favorite cheat meals, a few times a year, after I've done a lot of exercise. I skip the crackers and add a few packets of the hot chili sauce. That hot chili sauce hits the spot!

And sodium shmodium!


To answer your actual question... yes this is a better idea than McD's.


I think she was hoping for a credit on the menu or something, that it be called: "Grandma S's Badass Chili (p.s. Wendy's a ho)"

But they didn't go for that.

Oh, and Upper Pennisula > Toledo, hands down!


I think McD's dollar menu has played a big part in the last 10lbs I've gained

I think its aout $4.50 for 1500 calories... and my pants still fit the same.

Still, yes eating a bunch of sandwiches is going to be better for you