Aussies make no secret of their deep-seeded love of food. But – much like our ability to put things like bill paying and taking out new private health insurance on the back burner (sorry, had to mention the ‘I’ word at least once!) – preparing wholesome, healthy meals isn’t always high on our agenda.

So, it will come as no surprise that more than half of regular Aussies visited a quick service restaurant (i.e. fast food) in the last month, according to a report from EMMA. Most of these fast diners visited up to four times a month, or roughly once a week!

Many of us are regularly visiting these restaurants often, and so we have great expectations when it comes to the quality of the food. One fast food chain was quoted as saying, “Who would have thought you’d see cappuccinos and kale and wagyu beef at McDonald’s?

“But they’ve done it here and customers have responded positively.”

We take a closer look at:

  1. Fast food portion sizes around the globe
  2. Crafting your fast food favourites at home
  3. How long does it take to burn off fast food?

Fast food portion sizes around the globe

A 2016 study from the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found several effective means to tricking the mind into eating healthier.

  • Reducing portion sizes consistently worked in reducing energy intake.
  • Eating nutrient dense foods such as nuts and wholegrain cereals in place of discretionary choices improve the quality of your diet overall.
  • Cheaper and/or freely accessible healthier foods in the workplace may reduce discretionary choices and support diet quality in adults.

The first point is most fascinating. We all know that fast food can be bad for our waistlines, but did you know that French Fries from one country may be worse for you than Aussie ones? That a burger at home might be healthier abroad? We dug into data across the world to find out how your favourite fast food portions differ from country to country.

Fast food portions

Crafting your fast food favourites at home

If you wanted a quick and easy way of keeping a close lid on fast food cravings, why not try and make your favourite takeaway dishes at home? Here’s a list of great recipes for well known meals you’d pick up in a hurry.

  • Big Mac | The Whoot. Ever wanted to construct the king of all burgers in the comfort of your own kitchen? Well, the good news is that making a Big Mac is relatively simple, and will act as a quick fix to even the greatest of hunger pangs! The Whoot outlines exactly how you can make a Big Mac burger at home.
  • KFC Chicken | Recipe Yum. Other fast food recipes are steeped in mystery and intrigue, like KFC’s fried chicken recipe. Well, not only has the case been solved (essentially), but there are also healthy versions of your favourite chicken fillet feed. Head on over to to see how to make healthy, home-made KFC chicken.
  • Boost Juice | Figur8. After all that chicken and beef, you’re probably keen for something a little fresher. Mix up a Mango Magic Boost Juice from Figur8 in about the same amount of time it takes to wait in line for a store-bought version.
  • Chicken Fajitas | Quirky Cooking. Much of the above is pretty ‘North American’ cuisine. Now, let’s take a look at some delicious South American fare! Quirky Cooking will show you how to make Chicken Fajitas – Guzmans-style!
  • Ice Coffee | Black Coffee Shop. If you’re craving that afternoon caffeine hit, wash down your meal with an iced coffee recipe from Black Coffee Shop – similar flavour, but the taste will knock Starbucks out of the park.

How long does it take to burn off fast food?

In some cases, you can have you cake and eat it to, as we’ve previously detailed how much exercise is needed to burn off fast food favourites. For example:

  • A Hungry Jacks whopper with regular fries takes roughly an hour and a half to burn off by running.
  • A scoop of choc chip cookie dough from Baskin Robbins takes about an hour to walk off.
  • A Chicken Guerrero Burrito from Guzman Y Gomez takes two hours and 20 minutes to burn off in a session of yoga!

Check out our ‘Have your cake and eat it’ infographic


Launched in September of 2012, – operated by Compare the Market Pty Ltd (CTM) – has teamed up with a range of Australia’s insurance providers so you can compare some of the latest deals, in one place, side-by-side. The team behind have experience in insurance, comparison, customer service and digital. If this was a stuffy corporate monologue, we’d tell you that we’re a bunch of subject matter experts specialising in User Experience, Customer Insights & Online Strategies. But to be honest, it’s just as accurate (and a whole lot easier) to say that we’re a bunch of people who want to make your experience with online comparison better. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re forward-thinking, that we share an entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that we like to have a bit of a laugh too. We’re all a bit too addicted to chocolate, but no one’s perfect, really.

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