You have probably been saying the words ‘diet starts January’ for a good couple of months now, with the start of a new year being the perfect opportunity to introduce a healthier new you. You have probably consumed all of the Christmas chocolate as quickly as possible during the acceptable window between Christmas and new year with full intentions to throw any left over out on January 1st as 2017 begins. Doing this is all well and good, prepping healthy meals and walking past the confectionary aisles during your shopping is a great place to begin…but what about when someone suggests eating out? Breaking your diet before it has even really begun doesn’t really seem like a sensible option, but then, of course, you don’t want to miss out on a social occasion because you vowed to eat only chicken and broccoli forever and ever amen. Never fear, our handy guide on what to eat in all of your favourite restaurant chains means you can still be the social butterfly you were in 2016, as well as sticking to the new year diet. Watch this space…
Whilst you commonly associate pizza with all things delicious (but bad) Pizza Express have come up with an entire range of low-calorie options that promise not to compromise on taste. If you are eating at a Pizza Express whilst on a diet or counting the calories you are definitely not stuck for options. Their Leggera range includes pasta pizzas and salads which includes the Leggera Pandana which is a pizza with goat’s cheese, spinach, caramelised onion, red onion, tomato and garlic oil. This comes in at under 600 calories and there is also an alternative which includes chicken for all of you meat lovers. Don’t fancy a pizza? Why not try the superfood salad which is bursting with flavour of edamame beans, cranberries, pumpkin, kale and black rice. This is under 500 calories and full of goodness. You don’t even have to scrimp on dessert with the Tartufo Limoncello, creamy gelato with a magnificent lemon centre. Try the coffee as well whilst you’re at it!
Famous for its chicken, it’s actually surprisingly easy to avoid a calorie heavy meal when visiting Nandos. The chicken is packed full of flavour and you have a choice of whether you would like lemon and herb, medium or hot sauce. If you are ordering just chicken with sides then your healthy side options include Supergrain (greens, grains and beans with an avocado and buttermilk dressing, just 204 calories (for a small) and also high in fibre. You can also choose from sweet potato wedges, sweet potato mash, mixed leaf salad and ‘Macho Peas’. If you fancy something different you can choose from a number of healthy dishes on the menu including grilled chicken pitta, a spicy soya and tomato wrap or anything from their range of salads including Supergrain and Quinoa.
Like many others, Prezzo’s ‘lighter’ menu is not one to be scoffed at. Their Warm Winter Superfood salad ticks all of the boxes as it is both healthy and filling, including chargrilled vegetables and Burrata Mozerella. Want to go for a classic? Their Penne Arrabbiata is packed full of parsley, chilli and garlic in a tomato sauce and comes in at less than 600 calories. They also have an entire Gluten Free menu, with most of their delicious dishes available as gluten free options.
If you know anything about Harvester, you will know that its famous for its unlimited salad bar which for a set price, will accompany your meal. Of course, drowning your salad in some of the tempting dressings that are available is probably not the healthiest option but most of the things available there will be within the restrictions of your diet. Healthy main meals to accompany your unlimited salad bar include grilled salmon fillet with maple glaze and Simple Grilled Chicken. Start with Sweet Potato and Red Onion Skewers. Coming for breakfast? Try the New Avocado Brunch; poached eggs, avocado and salsa on toasted breakfast muffins.
The best thing about Pizza Hut is that they deliver, so if you aren’t eating out but are still tempted by a takeaway, there are some healthier options that you can choose from to keep your diet on track. If it is a pizza that you are set on getting, remember that choosing a thin and crispy base will reduce your calorie intake. As there is a salad bar available, why not choose a smaller size pizza and add some salad to accompany it? Try the salmon pasta bake if you fancy trying something a bit different, and if a dessert is on the cards, instead of going for cookie dough or cheesecake (don’t even look at them) why not go for the refreshing mango sorbet?
Sometimes even going out for a bite to eat at lunch or a quick coffee can challenge the diet. Keep it healthy at Costa and avoid a cheese-laden toastie and instead, go for one of the flatbreads or gluten free sandwiches available. Whilst the chocolate tiffin is extremely tempting there are also granola bars that will keep the calories down if you fancy something sweet. Drinks can also be full of calories and to avoid falling into this trap why not ask for your regular coffee with skimmed or soya milk and use Stevia as an alternative to sugar (a natural sweetener that is available at all Costa coffee stores). If you’re ordering something particularly milky or a coffee that includes syrup flavouring, stick to ordering a small! If syrup coffees are your favourite, there are a great range of sugar free ones to choose from, if you can’t see them on the menu – just ask!