Keep these tips in mind when ordering fast-food meals:
—When unsure what to order, go to the children's menu—you'll get the smallest size possible, plus healthier sides like apple slices.
—Hold the mayo to eliminate more than 100 calories. Unless you say otherwise, it's usually slathered on your sandwich.
—Toss the packages of crispy noodles and croutons that come with salads. These extras don't add anything except calories and fat.
—Use half the packet of salad dressing. Thanks to the sugar, even low-fat and fat-free versions of most dressings can easily be more than 100 calories.
—Make sure you order chicken grilled—not "crispy," which means fried—on sandwiches and salads.
—Opt for leaner breakfast meats like ham or Canadian bacon instead of high-fat, high-cal sausage and regular bacon.
—Request they cook your burger without added salt. At McDonald's you can order one minus the "grill seasoning," a mix of salt and pepper.
—When grabbing a beverage, choose a no- or low-calorie one, like water, diet soda, unsweetened tea, or low-fat milk.
Originally published in the April 1, 2011, issue of Family Circle magazine.