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The Best Wendy's Order for Weight Loss

If you love Wendy's but want to lose weight, dietitians share their top-recommended order.

Just because you're dieting, you shouldn't feel left out of fun takeout and fast-food options. Wendy's is an all-time favorite for breakfast, burgers, chicken, salads, and desserts, and we've found out exactly what you can order at Wendy's when you're trying to lose weight.

Research has repeatedly proven that eliminating things you really enjoy eating can backfire when it comes to weight loss, leading to overeating and binging. It's important to create a healthy balance and understand what may actually work. Get excited because Wendy's can be a great meal option whether you're looking for a quick bite or want to treat yourself.

Keep reading to learn what dietitians say is the best Wendy's order for weight loss.

Wendy's chili with a side of apple slices is the best Wendy's order when you're trying to lose weight.

wendy's chili

According to The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, members of our Medical Expert Board, the best order to place at Wendy's when dieting is Wendy's large chili with a side of apple slices.

"A large chili has only 340 calories but packs in 22 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber," The Nutrition Twins explain. "These are two of the most important components when it comes to weight loss because they keep you feeling satisfied and prevent overeating later while also stabilizing blood sugar."

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It's really important to avoid blood sugar swings when you're trying to lose weight. When your blood sugar shoots up and down, your body releases cortisol, also known as the "belly fat hormone."

"Getting at least 20 grams of protein per meal and at least eight to 10 grams of fiber is ideal, and most fast food meals don't even contain more than a gram or two of fiber," The Nutrition Twins tell us.

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Be mindful that Wendy's chili has a high sodium content. (The chili contains 1270 mg, and The Nutrition Twins caution that the most you should consume is 2300 mg each day or less than 1500 if you have a medical condition or high blood pressure.) So, you should limit your sodium intake for the remainder of your day.

Apples are a yummy touch to complete your meal, as they provide antioxidants and fiber. They're also an excellent way to wrap up your meal with something sweet and are a healthier alternative to sugary snacks or desserts.

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Consider a regular black hot coffee for your beverage, which will only set you back zero to five calories. The next best choice is unsweetened iced tea (five to 10 calories). A cold brew is also a great option, which is 15 to 25 calories. You can add milk, creamer, or sugar, but keep in mind they're not the best add-ons for your diet.

"Each packet of sugar adds 16 calories and four grams of sugar, which is inflammatory and that makes weight loss more challenging, while each tablespoon of half-and-half adds 20 calories and adds up quickly in saturated fat, which also can be problematic," The Nutrition Twins warn.

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Tips when ordering at Wendy's for weight loss:

Wendy's store exterior
Photo: Urban Images. Design: Eat This, Not That!

The Nutrition Twins provide some basic tips to be mindful of when placing your order at Wendy's.

  • Stay away from fried foods, as this is a surefire way to double the fat and calorie count.
  • Use condiments sparingly if you need them at all. Dressings, sauces, and mayo are filled with calories and can accumulate quickly.
  • Creamy beverages, lemonades, and sodas are calorie-packed, so avoid them when you can. "Your brain doesn't compensate for calories you drink, so you still eat just as much at your next meal," The Nutrition Twins say. "If you eat calories rather than drink them, you typically will eat a good deal less at the next meal."
  • Choose the bun, and leave the biscuit and croissant behind. Better yet, go for half the bun, and you'll be a step ahead for the rest of the day.
  • Salads are always great choices but don't get carried away with dressing, cheese, or tortilla chips. They can undo any goodness you're accomplishing with your greens.
  • Opt for the "single" meal options rather than doubles or triples.
  • If you must have fries, stick to the smallest size. This will give you a good taste without the maximum amount of calories.
  • Keep in mind that you can enjoy four nuggets for fewer calories than small fries. (The nuggets equal 180 calories; small fries equal 260.)
Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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