THE 12 MOST EXTREME CALORIE SWAPS
You can eat out at all of your favourite restaurants and still lose weight, thanks to Eat This, Not That! - your guide to avoiding the British high street's menu fat traps
when you're aiming to sear away those extra pounds you put on over winter, then an invite out to dinner - or even just for coffee -can pour cold water on your fat burning. That's because sky-high calorie counts lurk in the most unexpected places on restaurant menus; foods you might have considered to be merely a mild indulgence are often belt-busting, artery-clogging nightmares that could put your fitness regime right back to square one.
But socialising over food needn't be counter to weight-loss goals any longer, because new book Eat This, Not That! has done all the nutritional research for you. You are now able to easily pick out the healthiest items on any high-street menu and save as many as 1,750 calories in just one day
(that's enough to avoid putting on half a pound of fat).
So when planning your next night out, it pays to be prepared. With that in mind, we've compiled 12 of the worst offenders, along with healthier alternatives to bring you one step closer to a beach-ready body come summer.
12 PIZZA EXPRESS
The beauty of Pizza Express is that you can eat a whole pizza for under l,OOO calories, which is more than you can say for most other chains. But beware: what you might think is the healthiest option can be hiding extra calories. Swap this veggie pizza for a meat one and you' ll save yourself more than 200kcal. You can blame the pesto and garlic oil on the Giardiniera for that.
11 CAFE ROUGE
The menu may offer lighter dishes (there's a section dedicated to sub-600 calorie options), but this stew will save almost as many calories as there are in a Snickers bar when compared with the salad. We'd love to know exactly what's in the 'lemon and garlic' dressing. Cafe Rouge promises
more nutritional information soon.
Chicken Tikka Baguette, Regular Tea/513kcal
Chicken Club Baguette, Regular latte/870kcal
These two seem virtually identical at first glance. But look closer and
you'll notice the club baguette is over-loaded with mayo and, despite the addition of bacon, only has a couple more grams of protein than the tikka version. Having white tea instead of a latte will further reduce fat levels, saving you 22.4g offat in total.
9 PRET A MANAGER
Wiltshire Ham& Pickle, Salt Popcorn/486kcal
All Day Breakfast, Curry LimeCrisps/869kcal
Who would've thought two lunches could be so different? But switch around your sandwich and snack at Pret and you could help yourself to a McDonald's cheeseburger for dessert and still save nearly 100 calories and 20g of fat. Not only is the all day breakfast and crisps option higher in calories, but it has over four times the saturated fat.
The wings have more than twice the fat of the half chicken, but it's the coleslaw that surprises, dishing up 65 calories and 23g of fat. The corn on the cob is the best side on the menu at just 99 calories with little fat to speak of - just don't drown it in butter.
Sweet Chilli Chicken Wrap, fries/719kcal
It may surprise you to learn that McDonald's isn't a major offender in the world of nutritional crimes. The cheeseburger is a passable 295 calories with 12g of fat. Don't assume a wrap will be better: this one's fried chicken and sweet sauce packs a double calorific hit of 460. The fries are full of fat and calorie-laden-you're better off with four chicken nuggets.
These pasta dishes appear on the same menu, but are poles apart
nutritionally. The spaghetti ragu is made with slowly-braised minced beef in a red wine sauce. which might not sound like a recipe for weight loss. but beats the rigatoni by nearly an entire meal's worth of calories. The reason? The latter is soaked in a sauce made with cream and two types of cheese.
5 BURGER KING
Ocean Catch, Garden Salad/526kcal
Whopper with Cheese, Regular Fries/l,025kcal
The King helpfully illustrates the fattening power of fries. They account for 291 of the calories here, along with 12 g of fat. This compares unfavourably with the garden salad, which clocks in at just 33 calories despite the huge portion, which ensures you don't feel short changed. The Whopper, meanwhile, contains over three times the saturated fat of the fish.
Mango Cooler, Butter Croissant / 566kcal
Strawberry Cooler, Lemon Muffin/1,176kcal
Croissants get a bad rap for being full of fat, but they're also full of air, meaning they're a minor indulgence compared with the dense muffin. The two 'coolers' might appear to be similar but are separated by the creamy version's high fat and sugar content.
RESTAURANT VERSUS RESTAURANT
Sometimes you just want a certain dish. This list helps you pick your food first, then find where best to eat it
Prezzo Spaghetti with Meatballs/613kcal
Bella Italia Polpette Americano/933kcal
MCDonald's Big Mac/490kcal
Burger King Whopper with Cheese/734kcal
Subway Ham 6in Sub/290kcal
Greggs Ham, Cheese & Pickle Bloomer/620kcal
Bella Italia Tiramisu/333kcal
Pizza Express Tiramisu/539kcal
Pollo Siciliana, gratinated potatoes/498kcal
Crab Cakes,Courgette Fries/l,265kcal
A big surprise. Crab cakes and courgetle fries sounds like a good low-carb option, with perhaps a decent hit of vitamins to boot. However, the reality is that the courgettes are battered and deep fried and the crab cakes are full of potato. The chicken and ham with a sensible portion of cheesy potatoes offers a calorie saving so large you could eat it twice and it would still be a better option.
2 BELLA ITALIA
Bella Italia surprises at both ends of the scale. We all know burger and chips isn't a healthy option. but clocking in at over 1,500 calories means this outstrips a Burger King Whopper and small fries by more than 650 calories. On the other hand, the chicken with ham, mash and beans is
hearty. but thanks to its low fat content is below 700 calories.
1 JD WETHERSPOON
Jacket Potato, Five Bean Chilli/575kcal
Large Mixed Grill/1,940kcal
Could a large mixed grill be the worst meal in Britain? It comes out bottom of the class here, with over twice your daily saturated fat. But there are havens of sensible eating to be found: the pub chain's vegetarian five bean chilli is one of the best, with a more sensible 1.2g of saturated fat and a side salad. Even with a pint or two it's safer than the grill.