Fast-Food Shakedown: Hardee's/Carl's Jr.

Which meals are packed with protein and which ones are fat bombs?

The two-headed fast-food chain branded as either Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. is well known for its risqué and sexy commercials starring the likes of Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, and Charlotte McKinney stuffing their pretty faces with thick, juicy burgers piled high with mounds of bacon and fattening sauces. Clean meals are gonna be tough to find here.

The two companies merged back in 1997 (Hardee’s coming from the East Coast, Carl’s Jr. from the West), with both brands bolstering each other’s menu—Hardee’s brought some tasty breakfast items and Carl’s Jr. boosted the lunchtime burger selection. The company also swallowed up another brand called Green Burrito/Red Burrito, which gave the conglomerate some cleaner, fresher food choices like burritos and tacos, but locations serving these items are limited for now. If you can find one, go for the grilled chicken burritos for a solid pre-workout fast-food fix—just be careful with the sneaky taco salads, since they can really add up in the calorie and fat department.

 PRE-WORKOUT PICK 

Look for foods with protein for sustained energy and some complex carbs to fuel muscle. Stay away from fat- and calorie-heavy foods.

CHARBROILED BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICH

Charbroiled chicken breast, tomatoes, lettuce, seeded bun, and BBQ sauce.

Calories: 340 | Protein: 32g |  Carbs: 42g |  Fat: 4g

 POST-WORKOUT PICK 

After an intense workout you need to build your glycogen stores back up with carbs and lean protein to jumpstart muscle-tissue repair and the building of new proteins.

REDHOOK BEER-BATTERED COD FISH SANDWICH

Cod fillet fried in batter made with Redhook ESB beer, lettuce, tartar sauce, and a sesame-seed bun.

Calories: 550 |  Protein: 21g |  Carbs: 74g |  Fat: 19g

 STEALTHY FAST-FOOD FATTENERS 

Some items that appear harmless are actually fat and calorie bombs. Steer clear:

SINGLE ALL-NATURAL BURGER

Grass-fed beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, mayo, ketchup, mustard, bread-and-butter pickles.

Calories: 790  | Protein: 28g  | Carbs: 56g  | Fat: 51g

 

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