One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


How to Eat Light AND Cheap at McDonald’s

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How to Eat at Light AND Cheap at McDonalds 1

Order a: Side Salad with vinaigrette, small fry, a McChicken plain and a courtesy water.

Open the chicken sandwich, remove the bun and cut into chunks.

How to Eat at Light AND Cheap at McDonalds 2

Top the side salad with the cut up chicken and drizzle about 1/4 of a packet of dressing.

How to Eat at Light AND Cheap at McDonalds - 3

~ 410 calories, 20g of fat, 43g carbs, 5g of fiber, 13g of protein. That’s 9 Old WWP or 11 new WWPP.

Total cost: $3.18

And not a bad looking meal!

Swap the apple dippers for fries and shave 200 calories and 11 g of fat from the meal for the same price. Although, I don’t know about you, when I go to McDonald’s I’m getting fries. ;)

Disclaimer: I’m not claiming McDonald’s to be healthy. I’m just saying it is possible to eat light and cheap there (as with any fast food place). You just have to WANT to.

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There are 34 comments so far.

    Kristina @ spabettie

    August 3, 2011

    perhaps it is because I am in the middle of a juice fast (feast!), but this actually looks GOOD right now! ;) and yep, whenever I get the flu (thankfully not often), I know I am starting to get better when I crave a McDonald’s french fry. Every Time.


    August 3, 2011

    That looks delicious! I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in over a year, though I really do enjoy their food (I’m a little embarrassed to write that :-). My son’s wellness class watched Supersize Me last year and he’s challenged us all to stay as far away from McDonald’s as we can. I *do* miss those fries! :-)

    Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake

    August 3, 2011

    Sometimes fast food is just easier, and it truly is possible to not completely blow your calories. I agree with you–I need at least a couple fries to be a happy McDonald’s camper!


    August 3, 2011

    Wonder what the difference in calories/fat/WW points would be if you got grilled chicken instead of the McChicken???


    August 3, 2011

    You can check their site but the grilled is much pricier. You might as well order a premium salad at that point. Not that it’s a bad idea, I was just going for cheap.


    August 3, 2011

    Ahhhhh gotcha. Thanks :-) Although their premium salads are so not “lite”, with all the cheese, bacon, etc. that is on some of them.


    August 3, 2011

    I stick with southwest and asian.. so so so good!


    August 3, 2011

    I’m totally ordering this next time I go to McD’s. Brilliant!


    August 3, 2011



    August 3, 2011

    Fabulous thinking, Roni!


    August 3, 2011

    Brilliant, Roni! I love it! We’re planning a eight hour beach road trip in a few weeks and I was just trying to figure out how to eat well during the inevitable fast food stop. Thanks for making my life easier.


    August 3, 2011

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I don’t often go to macca’s (affectionate Aussie slang for McD’s) probably once every 2-3 months, but with children, it’s a treat every once in a while. I’ve trained them to order the apples, and we all (3 kids + 1 mum) share a small fry! Just enough to taste yummy but not clog our arteries. Anyway, I was just there 2 days ago, rewarding my littlest one for good behaviour while shopping, I let her play on the playground & get a 6er chicken nuggets, sharing a small fry, and I ordered myself a deluxe grilled chicken swch, hold the cheese (never could handle macca’s cheese – yuck!) Anyway, I wasn’t sure anything else looked healthy, and wasn’t about to order a salad! Total: about 600 cal! This is where the “THANKS” comes in. Your salad looks awesome! I am SO doing this in October when we go back :) Thanks for the fantastic healthy option. Would have never thought of that on my own.

    Mary Nell

    August 3, 2011

    Awesome, Roni!


    August 3, 2011

    Great idea. I’ll have to remember that! Lately I’ve been getting one chicken wrap without the sauce. :) And fries.

    Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories

    August 3, 2011

    “I don’t know about you, when I go to McDonald’s I’m getting fries.”
    Agreed! Brilliant way to balance the fries out. Thanks for sharing! :)


    August 4, 2011

    That’s really helpful, thanks Roni.
    My friends love McDonalds but I hate it as I never know what to have but this has just solved that for future pressured visits :)


    August 4, 2011

    I love your balanced and healthy blog and I also happen to work at mcd home office headquarters. It is all about making good choices and mcd has a fair amount of options.


    August 4, 2011

    Awesome! My husband and son ALWAYS want to go to McDonalds for our Friday night “date”. I mostly make him stop at Subway so that I can eat healthier. Brilliant idea. I can’t believe that I didn’t think of this before. Also, I will finally be able to use all those “free apple dipper” coupons that I got around Easter. Halloween is coming. I’ll be ready to get more $1 packs of coupons then.

    Danielle S

    August 4, 2011

    Brilliant – wish I would have seen this last night as that is where we wound up after haricuts and mall shopping – sigh – ah well next time!

    Thanks Roni!


    August 4, 2011

    I can skip the fries, if I am in the position where I have to eat MickyD’s then I got with the McDouble, and a fruit and yogurt parfait…. I think that works out to about 550 calories, 21 grams of fat…. and both are on the dollar menu so it cost 2 bucks…


    August 4, 2011

    I haven’t been to McDonald’s forever…but I’d go for THIS! Thanks so much for the tip Roni! Have a great day!!!


    August 4, 2011

    You rule! Thank you for this post. I like that you ordered the fried chicken sandwich and still made it work. After always trying to eat healthy I often fear fried chicken like it’s the plague but once in a while is ok…thanks for showing us you can be healthy and not become obssessed!


    August 4, 2011

    Roni, this is brilliant, and it does delicious! Try as I may, I can not give up McDonald’s, but this looks completely doable. Thanks for the always great advice!


    August 4, 2011

    I can no longer eat at McDonalds as it causes considerable stomach upset. I guess it is just too greasy & contains too much fat.


    August 4, 2011

    Now that is being creative! I like how you made it possible to work in your fries because you wanted them.


    August 5, 2011

    When I go I get a BLT Ranch salad with low fat balsamic vinegrette. 7 PP including the whole packet of dressing, which I use about half of becuase that’s all I need. A complimentary water, and all is good. (This allows me the 8 points I want to spend on the caramel sundae!) 15 total for a MickeyD’s with no “sacrificing” sounds good to me!


    August 6, 2011

    This is a great post Roni! Have any more tips like this one? I am a fast food junkie trying to lose weight. Thanks!


    August 7, 2011

    Great idea Roni! Especialy for those of us who preferr to eat some place else but get out voted and end up at Mickey D’s or someplace. On the same note- I am finding some of the apps for iPad/iPhone pretty cool in terms of making decisions about what restaurant fare might be the best choice nutritionally. Any thoughts on that kind of stuff?


    August 8, 2011

    Haven’t fiddled with it but I’m sure it’s cool!


    August 8, 2011

    Shelley – I have an old fast food page that needs to be updated but maybe I’ll start a new feature on the blog with fast food ideas!

    Here’s my old page…
    Note : It’s all OLD weight watcher points.


    August 10, 2011

    Just tried this for lunch – oh so packed with flavor! Thanks for the idea, Roni! I’d second the folks who are asking for more light/cheap meal ideas at other fast food places (Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.). I never would have thought of taking the McChicken pattie out and slicing it up on a side salad!


    August 10, 2011

    Awesome! Glad you liked it. I’ll work on more when my husband drags me out to another chain. It happens ALL the time. :)


    August 10, 2011

    I do the same thing with their grilled snack wrap ( hold the sauce ) and throw the extra lettuce on the salad. Sometimes though you get an exceptionally small piece of chicken ….


    May 2, 2015

    You can also order a McChicken Patty, that would be much cheaper