When you are following a strict diet or tend to eat healthy the majority of the time there’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a juicy hamburger or deep pan cheesy pizza, but at the end of the day calories are calories and there’s always a way to make better choices.
Option One: The Takeaway
Now everyone loves a good takeaway, and if you’re the type to always sit in on a Friday night and order from Just Eat then there’s a few ways to avoid overloading on empty calories and messing up your diet. There’s no shame in treating yourself every now and again but calories add up so lets make them count. The main thing I always order when going for a takeaway is a chicken kebab. This is probably the healthiest option going when it comes to takeaways. High in protein from the chicken, comes on a pita which is a good source of carbohydrates and you can load it with lettuce, onions, tomatoes & chillies. So far so good. When it comes to the sauces I like to hold off on the garlic mayo’s and other creamy sauces as that’s where a lot of the saturated fats hide. I do however like to add chilli sauce as usually it’s just tinned tomatoes and chillies which, being thermogenic, will help spike my metabolism and aid fat burn.
Now if you’re not into kebabs and want something a little more Baltic then Indian is my next choice. From there I will usually order a Tandoori Mixed Grill which is essentially a bunch of different meats grilled and thrown into a tray with your choice of sauce. With curry sauces, the best options to go for are the tomato based sauces such as Madras or the hotter, spicier sauces like Vindaloo.
Typically a cheat meal is needed when you’ve dropped too much weight in a short period of time and you need to avoid further weight loss – this typically applies to those who compete. Or you just want to reset mentally and give your body a reefed with something a little more sinful and feel guilt free about it. You have to earn a cheat meal, if you aren’t eating healthy and making sensible meal choices most of the time then that forth burger you’ve ate this week isn’t exactly a cheat meal. It’s a bad diet. So how do we clean up the guilty foods we like to eat? By cooking fresh and substituting ingredients.
Take burger & chips for example, get yourself some lean beef burgers, pan fry using 1cal spray to avoid any additional saturated fats, use a wholemeal bun or lettuce wraps instead of bread and top with salad and home cooked sweet potato fries.
A pizza can be made on a whole meal wrap with a pasta sauce base, a little protein cheese, and topped with tons of meat & veg. [shopping hack: buy store brand pasta sauces & products as they are typically the lowest in sugars. This is because the branded companies can afford to put extra additives and sugars in their produce].
Finally desserts – how do we fix our sugar and chocolate cravings without piling on the lbs. A little trick I like to do is add protein powder to things to manipulate the flavour. For instance, one of the main things I’ve been doing recently is adding the USN Diet Fuel in Strawberry to my 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt which makes it taste like Angel Delight. Another is using the GF-1 in Chocolate Peanut Butter and making protein balls by mixing 2 scoops with 1tbsp Peanut Butter and 100ml Almond Milk. Tastes like little chocolate bars. Chocolate Shakes using Chocolate Diet Fuel, Almond Milk & Ice is another or just adding 1 scoop to your McFlurry will help balance out your macro ratio.
If you’re goal is to bulk then eating what you want may not hinder your results as much as they would if you’re trying to stay lean or are cutting. You don’t have to go crazy on cheat days and screw up your results, remember they’re there for a reason. If you don’t need one – don’t take one, and if you do remember to make smart choices.