Milkshakes are one of the most calorie-dense menu items out there. Chocolate shakes at western regional favorite In-N-Out and eastern competitor Shake Shack each pack an average of 600 calories. Instead of pairing your burger with one of these desserts, bring along some dark chocolate (or buy some at a nearby store after the meal). Four pieces will average you just over 200 calories — about 400 less than the shake. Plus, good quality dark chocolate is high in phytonutrients like polyphenols and flavanols that some research suggests may help fight disease.
Although it looks beautiful, the whipped cream topping on your latte or smoothie is pretty high-calorie. It also doesn't pack much else, nutritionally-speaking, aside from sugar. That means the cream is a classic example of what dietitian Nichola Whitehead calls "empty calories" because they "only give a temporary fix." Order your next drink without the whip and shave off about 100 calories.
Get another (plain) burger instead of fries — cut 100-500 calories
Yes, you read that correctly. If you're looking to lose weight but want to indulge in some fast food, the two easiest ways to shave calories from your meal are avoiding shakes and sodas and declining the fries. Fries typically have anywhere from 400-500 calories. Getting them animal style at In-N-Out brings the total to more like 750 calories. By comparison, a plain hamburger from the popular chain (without cheese or "special sauce") is about 300 calories and has more protein than the fries, which helps keep you feeling full. All in all, that's up to 450 calories less than the California-style fries.