Real talk, we can’t be expected to eat healthy all the time. Everyone has cheat meals — or entire cheat days — and that can range from a handful of honey-roasted peanuts to a hefty plate of nachos the size of an infant (I’ll take the latter).
And fast food drive-thrus make it all too easy to obtain a glorious snack-meal that is in no way good for the human digestive system. But we do it anyway. Then we come down off of our high and groan out words like, “Oh, I shouldn’t have done that,” even though deep down we know we’ll absolutely pull this again soon enough.
So let’s talk about those fast food menu items we consider both a blessing and a curse, all those enticing items that dwell north of 1,000-calorie mark. Some crashed into our lives and then fled the menu; others are totally available to order as soon as you finish this list. And for the record, if you don’t count calories, keep in mind that the recommended daily intake of calories is 1,500 - 2,500 for women and 2,000 - 3,000 for men. We’re talking serious gut punches here.
Chicken Rings (20 piece) // White Castle (1,050 Calories)
This technically serves three individuals, but let’s also not make assumptions about anyone’s eating habits. Plenty of people order take-out and get handed an extra fork or two by a presumptuous, or maybe hopeful, server. Meanwhile, chicken rings aren't exactly a caloric surprise, considering that they’re breaded and fried. The tag-along dipping options aren't exactly slimming either, given that your choices are barbecue, honey mustard, ranch, and zesty-zing sauce.
Dave’s Triple // Wendy’s (1,090 Calories)
Even at a casual glance, you can tell this thing crosses into four-digit territory. With three beef patties, cheese and mayo, we’re actually surprised it wasn’t number one on the list. It’s quite the beast to behold, but we’d be up for the challenge, tbh.
Ultimate Breakfast Platter // Burger King (1,190 Calories)
They do say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with that in mind, syrupy pancakes, crunchy hash browns, scrambled eggs, a biscuit and coffee sounds juuust right. That said, at nearly 1,200 calories, it would also have to be the only meal of the day. Maybe.
Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt // Subway (1,220 Calories)
Photo courtesy of Subway
Who knew a chicken sandwich could have this many calories? We’re guessing it’s the melted Monterey cheddar cheese, and bacon... and ranch. OK, we’re less surprised now.
Thickburger El Diablo (Half Pounder) // Carl's Jr. (1,290 Calories)
It’s likely that you don't usually describe food as "unapologetic," but I'm otherwise at a loss for words here. Originally hyped as "the hottest burger in fast food" in an appeal to customers in the southwest, this thing straight went for it right out of the gate. Tucked between its buns is a thick burger patty that's padded with pepper jack cheese, sliced jalapenos, and jalapeno poppers, all with a habanero-bacon sauce going wild in there, too. Also, it should be noted that it was created by an art director, so take that as you will.
Steak Quesadilla // Baja Fresh (1,430 Calories)
So little can mean so much. Made up of just steak and jack cheese in a flour tortilla, topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream, this dish somehow has a caloric intake that sneaks up on you. Hell, people might even be ordering this as a side, in addition to a main meal. We need to warn them! But also, we’d like an extra side of guac, please.
Chicken Carbonara Pasta in a Bread Bowl // Domino’s (1,470 Calories)
Making it very obvious that there's more to their game than pizza, Domino's offers this insane festival of calories. Welcome a mix of bacon and chicken breast with penne pasta drenched in alfredo sauce with mushrooms and onions in there too, all stuffed into a bread bowl (Uhm, the best part). Hope you’re carbo-loading or planning to run a marathon in the near future!
Meat Lover's Personal PANormous Pizza // Pizza Hut (1,480 Calories)
Well, of course this blows out the calorie count! You’re taking a dish that, at a minimum, is made up of dough, sauce, and cheese, then adding two kinds of sausage, beef, and ham with bacon crumbles. There’s legitimately no room for any kind of vegetable. #Respect
Italian Meatball Sub (12 inches) // Quiznos (1,650 Calories)
Such a sandwich seems simple enough, as it's pretty much fontanini meatballs with double mozzarella and marinara sauce, but this behemoth doesn't mess around. Sure, you can tick off a calorie or two by choosing wheat bread over jalapeno cheddar, but this thing will find you. It will come at you with an army of calories and there is little you can do about it (besides ordering a different item, I guess).
Peanutty Swirl Master Blast With Snickers Bar // Sonic (2,190 Calories)
It's good that Sonic is a drive-in because there's absolutely no way you could walk any amount of distance after indulging in an entire day's worth of calories from this single shake. Masterpieces like this are why we look forward to summer, a time when we can swim off such a caloric undertaking after napping for several hours with labored breathing. Honestly, I’m exhausted just thinking about this thing. But hey, there’s no saying no to a PB and Snickers shake.