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 shopping
One of the most popular places to eat on the planet, and with 'protein' being the main hype, you would think it's simple to pick a healthy option. Well it is, you just need a little will power. Nando's is a well-known chain of restaurants, and because of this, you can always use apps like'My fitness pal' to track your calorie intake! My fitness pal practically has the Nando’s full menu packed into its data! You can pick anything off the menu and record whatever meal fits into your day. However, if you just want the healthiest option, but at the same time something that you can enjoy, then I would choose the following.
The Chicken butter-fly. Packed with a whopping 57 grams of protein, virtually no carbs and a small amount of fat. Protein is a very filling macronutrient, it will in fact keep your system feeling fuller for longer. This may then save on any naughty snacking later in the day. My added side choices would then be the sweet potato mash to give me my carb source as well as a nice hit of potassium and vitamins. Out of all the carbohydrate sides on the menu this is also the lowest in calories. Now to get some micronutrients and to fill up my plate, I would choose the chargrilled veg. At only 98 calories and providing me with some added fibre, this will go nicely with my chicken and sweet potato. Or, I may go even lower in calories and have a different side of a mixed leaf salad. Bear in mind I'm choosing options to give you a full meal. I could have just chosen the butterfly chicken, however, we are eating out and I want to make this the healthiest option as well as enjoyable to eat!
I would then wash all of that down with a nice Coke Zero. No calories but still getting that great Coke taste! Compared to a regular Coke where your sugars will rocket sky high! All of that totals to just under 600 calories. Considering the amount of food you're getting, that's not bad at all! High protein, a medium volume carbs and some fats in there for a macro balanced meal. If you were personally concerned about your carb or calorie intake, then just have the chicken solo and leave the sides.
Wanting To Save Calories
If I was to go to into Nando's and I wanted to save on calories but at the same time enjoy my meal, I would choose a classic chicken in pitta with a side mixed leaf salad to add a little more food volume. At Under 400 calories and giving you around 40 grams of protein. That's a winner! You would think it’s easy to just walk in, pick a salad, stay healthy and leave feeling like you’ve stuck to your nutritional regime. However, be careful, a salad ‘sounds’ healthy, but what is actually in it? Most of the salads maybe higher in calories than you first think. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, especially seeing as the salads are filled with foods such avocado, which is a very calorie dense food. Packed full of healthy nutritional fats (omegas) I may add, but if you combine this with some other toppings like buttermilk, feta, Caesar dressing and croutons, you can see why the calories do in fact add up. I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat these foods, I’m just saying you need to be aware that a ‘salad’ doesn’t always mean really low in calories!
No matter what you choose to pick from the huge variety of options, you can always keep good portion control! Ordering a burger meal? Take away one slice of the bun. Deciding to have extras? Choose one side over two. Like the sound of some toppings but want to be careful? Ask for no cheese or ask for a lower calorie dressing. On a final note, it’s very easy to eat out, be sociable and enjoy good times with friends, whilst sticking to a healthy eating regime. You just need a little self-control.
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.
You can also connect with Dan via social media, by searching Dan Rayner Fitness on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.