Choosing a Takeaway

Diets don’t work if you go all in and completely deprive yourself from what you enjoy. So here we are giving you a few tips to ensure that a craving for a takeaway doesn’t compromise all your efforts. It’s all about making the smartest choices.

A takeaway should be seen as a treat and not a regular event. Some takeaways come in at a whopping 4,000 calories a serving. Now if you are eating that every week, then the pounds are sure to pile up pretty fast. If you want to maintain good results, then a takeaway option should be seen as a once a month or more treat.



An Indian can actually be one of the healthiest choices for a takeaway, but you need to make wise choices. Look for the tomato-based sauces over the creamy ones – a madras or jalfrezi rather than a korma, passanda or masala. The dry tandoori dishes are also better choices. Be wary of the sides. Avoid the deep-fried options such as a bhaji or samosa and look instead for the vegetable and chickpea side dishes. Rather than the naan bread, a better choice would be a chapati. The pilau rice contains unhealthy oils and so a better option would be plain boiled rice. You could also choose chicken or fish options rather than the fattier lamb.



When opting for a pizza, I would look for small pizzerias instead of the large chain options. Here you will be able to specify a thin crust, which is a much better option. Some small independents now do a sourdough base, which again is a good option. Also look at the toppings. Many of the heavy meat laden options are high in processed meats and salt, look instead for the vegetable options. For the side dishes choose the salad over the potato wedges and dips.


Fish and chips

The main problem with the fish and chips is that it’s deep fried in unhealthy oils and battered. It’s usually high in salt which will increase your blood pressure. If there is the option for fish without the batter, then you could try this option. Also consider sharing the chips or asking for a smaller portion. Have a side of peas so at least you are having some vegetables. Avoid the meat options such as the saveloy, which will be very high in salt.



A burger doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Choose a side of salad or vegetables rather than the chips or consider sharing the chips and also having a salad. You could opt for a bunless burger, which many restaurants now offer. Like the pizza advice, look for small independents rather than the bigger chains as you can usually add in salads and vegetables and ask for the sauce on the side.



Avoid anything that mentions deep fried or the word ‘crispy’ and look instead for the steamed or stir fry options. Also avoid the sweet and sour options which are usually very high in sugar. For a starter look for the crab and sweetcorn soup or steamed dumplings and hold on the prawn toast and the often free, prawn crackers. Chinese options are often very high in salt, which is why you feel thirsty afterwards. Use chopsticks to eat – which will slow you down and fill you up quicker, so you don’t over indulge.


Many takeaways are generous in portion size. Consider sharing or portioning up on a plate and then putting the rest away in a container in the fridge before you start eating. Also eat from a plate rather than the takeaway container so you can judge the portion size more accurately.

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Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC