Dining out is a pleasure we all enjoy but, while there’s no such thing as a free lunch, is there anywhere we can still go to grab a guilt-free lunch?
You’ll be surprised at how what seems to be a simple, innocent salad can play host to a multitude of mistakes when it comes to your diet and nutrition. TRAIN magazine asked the experts to give us the lowdown on what we should and shouldn’t order at some of the UK’s favourite eateries.
“Try extra hot if you can tolerate it,” says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at superfooduk.com. “Chillies contain capsaicin, to help with weight loss.”
¼ Chicken breast
At 330 calories and 3.6g of carbs, the chicken alone is packed with 57.8g protein. “You could go for my favourite, which is the quinoa salad. This contains seeds and avocado, which are great for their omega-3 content,” Shona adds.
“I would avoid the chips or the garlic bread, but the majority of the menu you can eat guilt-free.” says Shona. “Just remember portion sizes.” The peri-salted chips cash in at over 1000 cals with 2.9g of salt.
There can be hidden dangers in one or two of the soup bowls. However, Wagas is also home to one of the nation’s only healthy desserts – black rice – with just 68 calories!
Sirloin and shiitake salad
“The dish has mangetout, carrots, baby plum tomatoes and leaves in a pea and herb dressing with red amaranth. With 380 cals, low sugar, low sat fats and high in protein,” says Chris James, trainer and fitness body pro.
Teriyaki beef donburi
“Straight away, rule out all options in the curry and donburi sections,” James says. “These dishes are 800 calories plus, with many being over 1000 calories per serving.” Avoid.
Superfood salads for their health conscious customers, as well as the 800-calorie beef and ale pies! Researching the menu remains key to making the right choices.
Quinoa and buckwheat porridge
“This protein porridge or the avocado on sourdough toast, and their chia pots, are the best choices,” says Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at lilysoutternutrition.com
Smoked ham and cheddar toastie
At 553 calories, it also contains 3.2g of salt and 28.8g of fat – 10g of which are saturates. Lily adds: “The soups can hide up to 3g of salt, while some sandwiches have up to 3.4g – over half of your RDA.”
This offers far more than just pie and chips or a Sunday roast. However, it can be a tough menu to negotiate without cashing in at least a month of cheat meals all at once.
Fusilli with rocket and kale pesto, peppers, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, soya beans, broccoli, sugar snap peas, red onion and sun-dried tomatoes – all with just 510 calories and 2.6g of saturated fat and 0.2g of salt. Winner!
Pretty much everything on the pub classics menu should be avoided. This wellington, as a vegan-safe Sunday roast, sounds like a safe option, but tops over 1100 calories, 28.4g of sat fat and 3.7g of salt.
There’s a gluten free menu as well as a ‘lighter’ menu, which is lower in calories. It’s a pizza joint, so we’re not going to cop out and recommend a salad, either…
Leggera Pollo ad Astra
Shona says: “I love this and it’s less than 500 cals, piled with salad in the middle. “It contains chicken for protein, and garlic oil. A compound in garlic’s thought to be protective to the cardiovascular system.”
Avoid the Hawaiian pizza, as it contains a whopping 1307 calories! These calories come mainly from the large amount of cheese, coupled with a béchamel base. “Not a pizza to eat if you’re trying to lose weight,” adds Shona.
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