Why is it that as soon as people leave the comforts of home and eat anywhere else, all sense of health, nutrition and portion control go out of the window? It is the ‘treat factor’? I get that, but these days we eat out so often that these ‘treats’ are actually having an impact on our health and weight – you can only have so many of what some call ‘cheat’ meals before you’re dismissing the point. Anyway, I can assure you, you could eat out every day and stay fit, strong and healthy, if you picked the right dishes. I’m guessing with it being half term many people will be treating their kids to a cheeky burger or pizza anyway, which is fine; a treat is a treat if it’s not every day.
These are the top 10 chain restaurants in the UK according to a trend report, in order of turnover. Is anyone else as shamed but not surprised that these are mostly fast food outlets? However, I’m not here to judge, I’m here to advise, so I’ve looked through the menus and given you a few ideas about what I would choose if I had a meal at one of these restaurants. The same rules apply here with drinks as normal – no sugar (including fruit juice), and keep milky drinks such as lattes low fat, and consume in moderation. Remember these are not perfect meals, they’re not the best ingredients or freshly homemade, but when faced with limited choices you make the best decisions with what you’ve got.
- Grilled chicken salad with or without bacon, dressing on the side to add a little of your own if you want.
- Carrot Sticks & Apple Slices.
- Oatso Simple with Apple Slices for breakfast.
- Chicken Breast & Pepper Skewers, with Piri-Piri Sauce and a Side Salad.
- Salmon Salad or Skinny Steak with Salad.
- Piri-Piri Half Roast Chicken with Salad instead of Coleslaw and Chips.
- Original Oat Porridge.
- Chicken & Bacon or Tuna Layered Salad.
- Any Soup (without bread).
- Grilled BBQ Rancher salad (no croutons).
- Grilled BBQ Rancher Twister (no fries).
- Any Coffee with a little milk (Espresso, Americano etc.) but no sugar.
- Tea (any).
- Skimmed Chai Latte.
- Fruit Salad is available at some branches.
- Tea (any).
- Skimmed milk Chai Latte.
- Any coffee with a little milk & no sugar (Americano, Espresso etc.).
- Berry Good Bircher Muesli, Sunshine Bircher Muesli, Perfect Porridge (no honey or dried fruit).
- Any salad.
- Any Fresh Fruit or Fruit Salad, Fruit & Nut Mix, Roasted Almonds.
- Buffet Salad (no sweetcorn, potato, pasta, couscous, or coleslaw) with Low Fat French Dressing or Salsa.
- Breaded Chicken Strips, Texan BBQ Wings, or Garlic King Prawns.
- Spicy BBQ or Redhot Wings.
- ¼ of any Thin Crust ‘Small’ Pizza, plus salad which you make at home.
- Any Salad topped with lean meat, fish, egg etc. (e.g. Chicken Tikka or Tandoori, Beef, Turkey, Ham).
- ¼ Chicken Breast or Leg (no skin).
- Beanie Burger (no bun). Portobello Mushroom & Halloumi Burger (no bun).
- Avocado & Green Bean, or Mediterranean Salad, or Mixed Leaf Salad (dressing always on the side to add a little yourself).
Enjoy! And remember, don’t panic , it’s just one meal!