I love the West Coast. As an East Coast resident I pine for the sunny skies of So Cal. And when I'm going back to Cali, one of my favorite spots is In-N-Out Burger. They have some great menu options and are especially friendly to a "paleo" diet, however, there are some menu items you want to steer clear from. Here's what you shouldn't eat the next time you're there, and what you might want to try instead.
DON'T EAT: Double-Double
The Double-Double with onion clocks in at a cool 670 calories, 370 from fat, and an artery clogging 41 grams of fat. The other killer on your Double-Double is the spread. Even though it tastes so delicious, opting for mustard and ketchup instead will spare you nine grams of fat and 80 calories.
INSTEAD EAT: Go "Protein Style" with the bun replaced with lettuce and you'll cut out 30 grams of carbohydrates and trim 150 calories.
DON'T DRINK: The Chocolate Shake
Something about milkshakes, burgers and fries really makes you feel like a patriotic American. However, as a healthy American, these work against you. The 15 ounce chocolate shake is a mean 590 calories, and has over 29 grams of fat. No shake solutions here either. The Vanilla shake has the most fat of any of the shakes, and the Strawberry shake finishes the trio with 81 grams of carbohydrates.
INSTEAD DRINK: Stick with the aqua or a diet soda (if you must), and enjoy your burger even more.
DON'T EAT: Cheeseburger with Onion
How could you pass up a 480 calorie cheeseburger, with half of those calories from fat? Very easily if you care about your waistline.
INSTEAD EAT: Opt instead for the hamburger, protein style, without the spread. You'll lose about 90 calories and a significant amount of carbs and saturated fats. It washes down nicely with a bottle of water! You still get that great In-N-Out taste, but without as much of the artery-clogging goodness.
DON'T EAT: French Fries
I hate to keep piling on to In-N-Out's already limited menu, but sticking clear of the fries saves you about 400 calories and about half of those come from fat. Not to mention the oil they are fried in.
INSTEAD EAT: If anything, I recommend carnivoring it out and opt for the protein style, no spread Double-Double. You'll get about the same calories for a single and fries, plus cut out all the empty carbs from the fries.
In-N-Out's menu isn't all that large compared to other fast-food or burger joints. However, that being said, they offer the most customization options to make your burger better for you and not so figure-killing. Opt for protein style, and stay away from the burger spread and sweet stuff like the milkshakes. If you can stick to these simple ideas, you can enjoy In-N-Out after a hard workout. Let it be your reward for a job well done in the gym, on the track, or wherever! And don't forget to check out the nutrition information on their menu before you go.
Ryan Barnhart, MS, PES, is a certified Performance Enhancement
and Injury Prevention Specialist through the National Academy of Sports
Medicine (NASM). He also holds a master's degree in exercise science, as
well as a bachelor of sport management, both from California University
of Pennsylvania. Ryan has worked with numerous collegiate and amateur
athletes across many different fields. Ryan also has had the opportunity
to work with several professional athletes. Recently he has worked with
amateur and professional athletes within the emerging sport of Mixed
Ryan is currently the director of fitness at a 700+ member gym near Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys working with weekend warriors, athletes, and everyone in between. You can contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.