21 Low Calorie High Protein Fast Food Meals You’ll Love

Navigating the fast food landscape while trying to maintain a healthy diet can be tricky. I often find myself craving something quick and tasty, but I don't want to sabotage my diet goals.

In this article, I'll share 21 low calorie, high protein fast food meals that strike the perfect balance between convenience and nutrition.

A colorful display of 21 fast food meals, each labeled with their low calorie and high protein content

I've discovered that several fast food chains offer satisfying options that pack in the protein without piling on the calories.

These menu choices can help keep me on track whether I'm on the go or just in need of a quick bite.

1) Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Chick-fil-A)

I love Chick-fil-A's Grilled Chicken Sandwich for a quick, healthy bite. It packs 28 grams of protein and only 390 calories. Perfect for a high-protein meal on the go.

The sandwich features a juicy, boneless, skinless chicken breast, marinated for flavor. Add some fresh lettuce and tomato on a multigrain bun for a satisfying, nutritious option.

2) Handcrafted Blackened Chicken Tenders (Popeye's)

I love Popeye's Handcrafted Blackened Chicken Tenders. For a three-piece serving, they’ve only got around 170 calories and pack in 26 grams of protein.

It's always a go-to for a fast, high-protein meal without the extra carbs and fat. Tasty and satisfying, these tenders hit the spot without breaking my healthy eating streak.

3) Turkey Tom Unwich (Jimmy John's)

I love the Turkey Tom Unwich from Jimmy John's. It's a refreshing option when I'm craving a sandwich but want to keep it low-carb and high-protein.

The Turkey Tom Unwich swaps out the bread for a crisp lettuce wrap. It has around 250 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

With about 25 grams of protein, it keeps me full and satisfied without feeling heavy. The hand-sliced turkey breast, fresh lettuce, tomato, and mayo make it delicious and nutritious.

4) Chicken Power Bowl (Taco Bell)

The Chicken Power Bowl from Taco Bell is a favorite of mine when I'm looking to pair low calories with high protein.

With 27 grams of protein and just 460 calories, this bowl offers a balanced meal that doesn’t compromise on taste.

I love the combination of grilled chicken, seasoned rice, black beans, and guacamole—it’s delicious and filling!

5) Roast Beef Classic Sandwich (Arby's)

The Roast Beef Classic Sandwich at Arby's is a go-to option for those looking to stay low on calories. With around 360 calories, it fits well into a balanced diet.

Packed with about 23 grams of protein, this sandwich helps me stay fuller for longer. It's a simple yet tasty choice, featuring Arby's signature roast beef.

I appreciate how easy it is to customize. I can skip the sauce or cheese to lower the calorie count even more, keeping it both healthy and satisfying.

6) Subway Chicken Salad

If you're looking for a delicious and healthy fast food option, Subway's Chicken Salad is a fantastic choice. This salad includes tender rotisserie chicken, which packs a good amount of protein without loading up on calories.

I love how customizable the chicken salad is. I usually add lots of fresh veggies like lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes, making it nutrient-rich and satisfying.

Adding a sprinkle of shredded cheese ups the protein content, helping keep me full for longer. Plus, with Subway’s variety of dressings, I can switch things up to keep my meal exciting and flavorful.

7) Protein Bistro Box (Starbucks)

A Protein Bistro Box from Starbucks sits on a table, surrounded by fresh fruits, nuts, and cheese. The box is labeled with "21 low calorie high protein fast food meals."

I love the Protein Bistro Box from Starbucks, which is both low in calories and high in protein. It comes with two cage-free hard-boiled eggs, a couple of apple slices, grapes, and white Cheddar cheese.

What's really nice is the multigrain muesli bread paired with honey peanut butter. This combination makes for a convenient meal option that packs protein while keeping calories relatively low.

8) Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Wendy's)

When I'm looking for a low-calorie, high-protein meal at Wendy's, I often choose the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. It offers 28 grams of protein and 390 calories.

Made with a juicy, grilled chicken breast, the sandwich is also packed with lettuce and tomato, adding freshness without extra calories. I appreciate that it doesn't feel too heavy.

It's perfect for a healthy option on the go while still being delicious.

9) Roast Turkey & Swiss Wrap (Arby's)

One of my go-to options at Arby's is the Roast Turkey & Swiss Wrap. It offers a great balance of flavor and nutrition.

This wrap has just 520 calories while providing a solid 30 grams of protein. The combination of roast turkey, Swiss cheese, and fresh veggies always hits the spot.

I appreciate that it keeps me full without overloading on calories. The wrap's convenient for a quick, satisfying meal. The sodium content is high though, so that's something to keep in mind.

10) Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (McDonald's)

I love the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich at McDonald's for a healthy, high-protein option. It's only 380 calories, making it a guilt-free choice.

With 37 grams of protein, it helps me stay full and energized. The sandwich also has 44 grams of total carbohydrates and 7 grams of total fat.

When I'm craving fast food but want to keep it nutritious, this sandwich hits the spot without compromising my diet goals.

11) Grilled Chicken BLT Salad (Dairy Queen)

The Grilled Chicken BLT Salad at Dairy Queen is a great pick when I'm on the go and looking for something both low-calorie and protein-packed.

At 280 calories, with its mix of grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes, I find it both satisfying and flavorful.

With 48% of its calories coming from protein and 35% from fats, it keeps me energized without feeling weighed down.

12) Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowl (Qdoba)

I love the Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowl from Qdoba because it’s both nutritious and delicious. It’s ideal for those who want a low-carb meal with high protein.

This bowl features roasted-in-house Mexican cauliflower rice, grilled adobo chicken, and sautéed fajita veggies. It’s topped with fresh pico de gallo, salsa verde, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese.

At under 500 calories and loaded with flavor, it’s a great balanced choice. Plus, the cauliflower rice is a fantastic substitute for traditional rice without sacrificing taste.

13) Grilled Market Salad (Chick-fil-A)

I love the Grilled Market Salad at Chick-fil-A. It's a great low-calorie, high-protein option with deliciously fresh ingredients. The salad comes with grilled chicken, a mix of greens, nuts, and fruits.

With only 330 calories and 28 grams of protein, it's filling and tasty. Kale and mixed greens, topped with grilled chicken, provide essential vitamins and nutrients.

It's perfect for those looking to maintain a healthy diet while enjoying a quick, delicious meal!

14) Black Bean Burrito (Taco Bell)

I love the Black Bean Burrito at Taco Bell because it's a tasty, low-calorie, high-protein option. With just the right mix of ingredients, it's pretty satisfying.

This burrito offers a reasonable 12 grams of protein and comes in under 400 calories, making it a great choice for a nutritious meal when I'm on the go.

15) Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich (Burger King)

When I want a tasty and low-calorie option at Burger King, I go for the Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich. It has just 420 calories and boasts 32 grams of protein.

To keep the calories low, I skip the mayo. This grilled chicken option is fulfilling without loading up on extra fats or carbs.

16) Steak Burrito Bowl (Chipotle)

I love the Steak Burrito Bowl at Chipotle for its high protein content and delicious flavor. It's a satisfying and healthy option for a low-calorie, high-protein meal.

This bowl typically includes steak, fajita vegetables, and a choice of beans and rice. You can customize it further with options like lettuce, tomato salsa, and guacamole for added nutrition.

The steak in this meal only has 150 calories, making it great for anyone looking to stay on track with their fitness goals. It’s a perfect pick for a nutritious, flavorful fast food choice.

17) Teriyaki Chicken Bowl (Panda Express)

sThe Teriyaki Chicken Bowl at Panda Express is a flavorful and nutritious option. With 300 calories and 36 grams of protein, it's satisfying without being heavy.

I love the savory, sweet teriyaki sauce that coats the grilled chicken. Pair it with veggies or brown rice for a balanced, delicious meal that keeps me full and energized.

18) Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast Sub (Subway)

The Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast Sub at Subway is one of my favorite low-calorie, high-protein fast food options.

In a 6-inch sub, you get about 260 calories, making it a guilt-free choice when I'm on the go. The protein content is decent too, with around 22 grams per sandwich.

I love adding pickles, peppers, and a splash of red wine vinegar for extra flavor without many extra calories. This option helps me stay on track with my fitness goals while still enjoying a tasty meal.

19) Cobb Salad With Chicken (Wendy's)

When I crave something filling and nutritious, Wendy's Cobb Salad with Chicken is a go-to choice. It combines grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and ranch dressing.

With just 680 calories, it's packed with 36 grams of protein, making it an excellent option for a high-protein, low-calorie meal. The different components create a burst of flavors and textures that I enjoy.

20) Double-Double w/Onion (In-n-Out)

The Double-Double w/Onion from In-N-Out is a classic favorite. It features two beef patties, two slices of cheese, fresh onions, lettuce, tomato, and In-N-Out's unique spread.

While this meal packs a punch with its flavor, it also offers a noticeable protein boost. With 37 grams of protein and approximately 670 calories, it balances indulgence and nutritional benefit.

If you're mindful of your calorie intake but still crave a satisfying meal, this burger can fit into your diet with some planning. It's a tasty option that doesn't compromise on protein.

21) Baja Chicken Bowl (Panera)

I often find myself craving the Baja Chicken Bowl at Panera. It's a fantastic option if you're looking for a high-protein meal without too many calories. This bowl includes chicken, brown rice, and various fresh veggies.

Each serving of the Baja Chicken Bowl packs a satisfying 740 calories and is an ideal choice for a balanced meal. The ingredients used ensure I get a good mix of proteins and healthy carbs.

Benefits of Low Calorie High Protein Meals

Low calorie high protein meals are essential for those seeking to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, and control their appetite. Consuming these meals can make achieving your fitness goals easier and more effective.

Weight Management

One of the primary advantages of low calorie high protein meals is their role in weight management. High protein content helps boost your metabolism, which means you burn more calories even at rest.

Consuming fewer calories while maintaining a high protein intake helps reduce body fat without losing muscle mass. By choosing low calorie options, you can create a calorie deficit more easily, promoting weight loss or helping you maintain a healthy weight.

Muscle Building and Maintenance

High protein intake is crucial for muscle building and maintenance. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue.

When you consume protein-rich foods, you provide your muscles with the necessary nutrients to repair and grow after exercise. Maintaining a high protein diet while keeping calorie intake low ensures you get the benefits of muscle repair without excess calories.

Satiety and Appetite Control

Low calorie high protein meals are effective at keeping you full and satisfied. Protein takes longer to digest compared to carbohydrates, meaning you stay full for a longer period, reducing the urge to snack between meals.

This feeling of fullness helps control your appetite, making it easier to stick to your dietary goals. Including protein-rich foods in your meals can prevent overeating, and help with weight management and overall health.

Tips for Making Healthier Fast Food Choices

When picking fast food, it’s crucial to make wise choices for a balanced diet. Reading nutrition labels and opting for grilled instead of fried can make a significant difference.

Reading Nutrition Labels

I always take a moment to read the nutrition labels. Knowing the calorie, fat, and protein content helps me pick the more balanced options. Many fast food places now have this information online or on their menus.

I look for meals with lower calories and higher protein. Keeping an eye on sodium content is also key. Too much sodium isn't good for my health, so I try to pick items with less than 600 mg per serving.

Using the nutritional info, I can compare my choices. This helps me avoid hidden calories and excessive fats. For example, a grilled chicken wrap often has fewer calories and fats compared to a fried chicken sandwich.

Opting for Grilled Over Fried

When given the choice, I always go for grilled options over fried ones. Grilled items generally have less fat since they aren’t cooked in oil, reducing unnecessary calorie intake.

For instance, a grilled chicken sandwich is usually a healthier pick compared to a crispy chicken sandwich. I find it still satisfies my protein needs without the added fats.

Many places also offer grilled nuggets instead of fried ones. These can be a great protein-packed choice without the extra calories and grease. Grilled fish is another good option available at some fast food chains.

Common Nutritional Pitfalls to Avoid

When choosing low calorie high protein fast food meals, it is easy to overlook hidden sugars, fats, and serving sizes. These factors can quickly turn a healthy meal into an unhealthy one.

Hidden Sugars and Fats

Many fast food items disguise sugars and fats in sauces, dressings, and breading. For example, a grilled chicken salad may seem like a healthy choice. But if it's loaded with sugary dressing, it defeats the purpose.

Ingredients to watch for:

  • Sauces: Barbecue, sweet and sour, and teriyaki sauces can be high in sugar.
  • Dressings: Creamy options like ranch or Caesar often contain hidden fats and sugars.

Careful selection can help you avoid these hidden pitfalls. Choose vinegar-based dressings and limit high-sugar condiments. Opt for grilled instead of fried options. These small changes can make a big difference in your meal's nutritional value.

Portion Sizes

Portion sizes in fast food can be misleading.

Meals advertised as single servings can sometimes be enough for two. This can result in overeating, even with healthy choices.

For instance, a wrap or burger may seem reasonable, but accompanying it with large fries and a sugary drink can push you over your calorie and fat limits.

Tips to manage portions:

  • Avoid upsizing.
  • Share a meal or take half home.
  • Pair your main dish with healthier sides like a salad instead of fries.

Being mindful of portion sizes makes it easier to stick to your nutritional goals without compromising on satisfaction or taste.

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