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 order a pizza - because let's face it – Who doesn't look pizza.
Quick note …. We've know we have our High Protein Pizzas but we thought we'd exclude this from the challenge..
What Would a Nutritionist Order… When ordering a Pizza?
Muscle Food have set me the ultimate challenge this week! What would I order at Dominos to remain on track with my healthy eating regime? Now first things first, I am a massive fan of ‘flexible dieting'.
Eating foods you love, combined with foods that hold high amounts of nutritional value, both at a calorie controlled level.
I'm a big believer in this because it's much more realistic to uphold, as you aren't restricting your foods to a certain type, meaning you are able to still socialise and eat out with friends and family!
You should make this a lifestyle that's enjoyable and not just endless hours of cooking up chicken and broccoli. However, I thought Dominos would be slightly pushing it, therefore here's my top advice when it comes to going out and eating pizza.
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.
When we see the word ‘Pizza', we automatically assume a greasy base, processed meats, lashings of melted cheese, high salt contents and enough calories to last you a lifetime!
In some cases, this is true, however if you search through the menus of some of the UK's popular food chains, you might just come across a few choices that will in fact fit into your daily eating regime!
The typical places to order a pizza are usually on your front door step or small car journey away. Dominos, Pizza Express, Ask Italian and Pizza Hut, all examples of restaurants that are highly known for the pizza section on their menus!
Let's explore theses Pizza's in more detail and select a few options that might just well be a winning meal!
Some Quick Pizza Facts
This isn't to scare you off from your next meal out but let's chuck in some numbers and possible eye openers. Kicking things off with a couple of popular Dominos choices.
An American Hot large stuffed crust pizza, Per slice, 255 calories, 5 grams of saturated fats and 1.6 grams of salt. Again, that's per slice!
A large pizza from Dominos comes to you with 10 slices, do the maths and we have 2,550 calories and 16 grams of salt.
That's nearly 3 times more salt than your daily recommendations.
Meat Lovers, large, stuffed crust, one slice, equals to 274 calories and 5.6 grams of saturated fat.
That's a total of 56 grams of saturated fats for the whole pizza, need I say more.
We've all been there and done it, polished off a large pizza with some room still left for that Ben and Jerrys ice cream, and it might be your cheat meal for the week, so fair enough.
However, if you're eating this on a regular basis, then you need to be aware of the potential damage you could be doing!
Wiser Options Out There
A lot of restaurant menus nowadays always have a section dedicated to smarter choices, not just foods such as salads and side orders, but also options such as ‘lighter pasta dishes' and ‘skinny pizzas'.
For example, Pizza Express, giving you the options of Pizza's under 600 calories.
Of course, when it comes to health, we shouldn't just be concerned on the calorie quantity, however, lower in calories can also lead to lower salts and saturated fats.
Such as, the Leggera Pollo ad Astra pizza, coming in at 486 calories, 4 grams of saturated fats and 2.4 grams of salt.
You would get more calories and salts from just 2 slices of some popular UK pizza's!
In fact, some Pizzas ‘per slice' have a higher saturated fat content than the Leggera Pizza range at Pizza Express.
A few other smarter options out there are listed below.
Zizzi's – Skinny king prawn diavola & skinny pollo roquito, both sitting at under 550 calories, less than 8 grams of saturated fats and under 7 grams of sugar. Admittedly the salt content still sits higher than 2.5 grams, however compare those numbers to some pizzas out there and you're onto a winner.
Pizza Hut – Virtuous veg & chicken delight, both total to less than 600 calories and both are under 7 grams of saturated fats. Plus, these Pizzas still provide you with a decent protein number!
Dominos – Personal sizes of Tandori hot & Hawaiian, both below the mark of 500 calories, 6 grams saturated fats and 3 grams of salt. Even Dominos have a ‘wiser option' when it comes to the menu!
Creating A Healthier Meal
There's always a slight few alterations you can do to make your pizza a smarter choice.
Especially when it comes to keeping good portion control, lowering the calorie content and bringing the sodium levels down.
Choose a thin wholegrain base to save on a massive chunk of unnecessary refined carbohydrates.
If it's an option ask for low fat cheese, to avoid huge amounts of saturated fats.
Ask for extra vegetables, to add more micronutrients as well as more fibre to your pizza.
Choose leaner meats, such as chicken, turkey or tuna (if you're a tuna and sweetcorn pizza lover).
Finally, the obvious one, choose the smaller inch option compared to a pizza that doesn't fit on the table
A Final Note
Ok, so you may have to sacrifice to a smaller size, a lighter choice or a skinny option. However, it's just to make you aware that there are in fact better choices around if you want to remain on track with your fitness goals!
Pizza is a food that will always be calorific and loaded with naughty extras, and why shouldn't it be?
We all love a pizza, and now and then its healthy to feast on one, for your mental health and to keep a good relationship with food.
Don't be afraid to now and then treat yourself, as one meal won't make you fat, just like one meal won't make you skinny.
On the other hand, if you regularly go out and order the largest, greasiest and saltiest pizza, your overall health will be heading in the wrong direction.