Let's face it, there are times when our day doesn't always pan out how we imaged and we need to pick up a quick bite to eat and as much as we'd LOVE you to eat Muscle Food products all the time, we know that's near impossible to do.
Well how can you eat out and still eat healthy… That's why we've consulted expert nutritionist Dan Rayner to help solve your problems for you.
Don't stop eating out, just make smarter choices…
This week Dan gives us the low down and what he'd order if he were eating at KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken. Doesn’t exactly sound the best start to a health-related article, does it? However, there are smarter options on the famous KFC menu, rather than ordering a whole chicken banquet for yourself.
But surely, it’s protein heaven? In some cases, very much so.
On the other hand, some choices could be taking up half your daily calories.
Even though protein is present in most options, you could also be adding huge amounts of saturated fats, sugars and salts.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a KFC jut as much as then next person and I sometimes choose it as my cheat meal for the week. You may also be doing that too, so the number of excess calories, saturated fats and salts you consume isn’t really your first thought when ordering.
After all, your cheat meal is something that you want to enjoy and not panic about! In some scenarios though some of us will want to pick a much ‘smarter’ option.
If this sounds like you, then read on and see how I would approach my KFC order!
Please bear in mind I shall be looking at most foods individually, rather than a whole meal. Because if you’re out to be wiser, then you won’t be ordering that large side of salty fries and full sugar coke! If you do, then you haven’t made the best of starts.
My Obvious Choice - Salad
The salad selection. Always labelled as the healthy option.
However, just because it’s called a salad, does not automatically make it the healthier choice.
Some are hidden with high sugar sauces and salty extras. Typically, yes, salads usually are the lowest on the menu in terms of calories, but that’s doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.
My selection would be the ‘Zinger Pot’.
Firstly, it’s not the lowest calorie salad, that would be the ‘Plain Salad Pot’, and secondly, the reason I’m choosing the Zinger, is because of the higher protein content.
Coming in at 23 grams of protein compared to the ‘Plain’ of 3 grams. It’s the salad that packs a decent amount of protein without stupidly damaging the calories (380 kcal) or saturated fats (2.4 grams).
One thing to note is that it does also pack in just over 2 grams of salt. Knowing this, I would just ensure my salt content is kept low throughout the rest of the day.
Eating a diet higher in protein will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. I know they’re higher protein choices on the menu, but they also come with the price of some seriously high numbers in the calorie, fat and salt count.
Things to Avoid
The Big Daddy box meal, the Daddy burger and the chicken mighty bucket.
To be fair, from the name alone it isn’t hard to work out that the names you’ve just read will be loaded with calories, fats and salts.
Ready for some numbers?
The Big Daddy box meal, coming in at 1,430 calories, 65 grams of fat, 148 grams of carbs and just under 5 grams of salt.
Need I say more?
Happy times if this is your cheat meal, bad times if your concerned about your waistline.
A Pleasant Surprise
Now and then you can come across a surprise
That food that you researched and you think “actually, that could be a clever pick!”
The BBQ wrap, only 270 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 16 grams of protein and under 2 grams of salt. Looking at the entire menu this was a ‘winner’ in my eyes.
A nice calorie controlled wrap that doesn’t stupidly blow your fat or carb intake, yet also provides you with a solid protein number.
Now my next choice will be a big surprise to most of you I’m sure!
This little snack box only comes in at 135 calories.
I know calories aren’t everything and of course most of my considerations aren’t the healthiest things to eat, however there’s always damage limitation!
Looking at the other numbers you will get only 7 grams of fat and carbs, 10 grams of protein and under 1 gram of salt.
I’ll say it again, no, this isn’t the healthiest type of food, yet if your main goal is to get a balance in life, be able to eat out with friends and stay within your fitness targets, these choices could be for you!
Try Giving This a Go
Here’s a few simple changes or ways in which you can take your eating regime a little more ‘on the button’ shall we say.
Remove the skin from your chicken breast.
This will save on calories, saturated fats and high levels of salts.
Order an individual item and not an entire meal. By skipping a regular sized box of fries, you’ve just saved yourself 310 calories!
Choose water as your drink to help your system stay hydrated due to the extra salts you could be consuming, as well as keeping the count of artificial sweeteners down a notch!
Say no to that sauce or gravy. Just to throw some more numbers at you as eye openers, a large gravy comes in at 275 calories and over 4 grams of salt. That’s a gravy ALONE, not a meal!
Small changes or avoiding certain options can go a long way in helping you stick as close as you can to your fitness regime.
KFC, not the healthiest.
But if you want to dine here, there are options you can pick to ensure you don’t waste that morning gym session.
Sometimes in life there’s nothing like ordering silly amounts of food, going all out and enjoying yourself.
After all, we are all human. Just remember you have better options available to you, if you wish stay within your dieting schedule.
About Dan Rayner
Dan Rayner is the Pure Elite Beach Body Pro World Champion, International Male Model Pro World Champion, part time model and fitness blogger, who is based in Herne Bay, Kent.
He can be contacted on [email protected] for one on one personal training and online coaching. With his website being www.danraynerfitness.com You can also connect with Dan via social media, by searching Dan Rayner Fitness on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.