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Five low(ish!) calorie meal options for takeaway night

Let’s face it, healthy eating and Friday night feasting don’t exactly go hand in hand! Some of our absolute fave meals are tragically some the fattiest ones – which is probably what makes them taste so darn good, eh? But when it comes to takeaway night, there’s no reason why we should have to miss out totally on the foods that make us happy, just because we’re being good. 

Believe it or not, there are loads of cheeky ways we can enjoy low calorie takeaways, that don’t involve eating just a pathetic handful of prawn crackers! The key is to get menu savvy and know which foods to steer clear of and which aren’t too bad. So whatever you fave cuisine is, here’s a quick guide to choosing a dish that’s not super naughty, and only *kind of* naughty, with our lowest calorie takeaway options.

  • Chinese

A Chinese takeaway isn’t just our fave at Skinny HQ – it’s the most popular takeaway cuisine of our nation too, apparently.

Not too naughty:

Instead of your usual order of fried rice, try steamed or boiled rice instead. Other dishes that aren’t so bad include plain noodles, crab and sweetcorn soup, steamed dumplings, steamed fish, chicken chop suey, Szechuan prawns and vegetable stir-fry. Happy days!

Avoid if you can:

Fried rice, crispy duck, sticky sauces like sweet and sour, battered chicken, prawn or pork balls, wontons, spring rolls, sesame toast…and sadly – spare ribs!

  • Fish and chips

Nothing says Friday quite like a fish and chips dinner, does it? When it comes to this option, potion control is a good way to keep cals down. Ask for a smaller piece of fish and less chips. Also say no to adding extra salt too. Fish and chips is also a great option for low calorie takeaways on a budget, as a chippy tea is always on the cheaper side!

Not too naughty:

As opposed to your usual deep fried fish order, try a piece of lightly breadcrumbed fish instead. You can also cut way back on the chips and add on mushy peas or baked beans instead. If you can’t go without your chip fix, opt for thick cut chips instead – as they absorb less oil than thinner ones.

Avoid if you can:

Thin-cut or triple-cooked chips are the most fatty chip options of all that you should probs steer clear of! Chippy pies such as steak and kidney and cheese an onion are also super fatty – as are our beloved jumbo battered sausages and onion rings – *sob!*

  • Indian

It’ll come as no surprise that a big fat cheesy naan and a curry isn’t exactly great for our waistline. But don’t worry – there is still hope for healthier dishes if you’re ordering in an Indian this weekend. Here’s a couple of the lowest calorie Indian takeaway options:

Not too naugthy:

When it comes to a spicy healthy takeaway delivery, opt for tomato-based or curries like tandoori, madras, jalfrezi, rogan and bhuna dishes. These are all way lower in fat than some of the creamier dishes on the menu. Plain rice, roti and poppadoms are also healthier options.

Avoid if you can:

Sadly, the creamier the curry the more calories you’ll take in. Try to steer clear of masalas, pasadenas and kormas. Naan breads, pilau rice and bhajis are also pretty fattening too *sigh*…

  • Mexican

Our fave Mexican dishes sure do pack a flavour punch, but sadly they also pack a calorie one too. Try to go for soft corn tortillas over crunchy or fried ones, and ask for brown rice instead of white. Steady on the ‘extras’ too like cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise.

Not too naughty:

Fajitas, burritos or burrito ‘bowls’ with lean meats, fish or beans are actually pretty healthy! Plus you can have as many peppers and onions as you like – as well as your fair share of salsa and guacamole too. 

Avoid if you can:

Deep-fried dishes like chimichangas, chalupas and taquitos. Refried beans, cheese dips, salty tortilla chips, loaded nachos, sour cream and deep-fried taco bowls should also be avoided if you want to stay within your calorie limit too.

  • Italian

Creamy pasta, cheesy pizza, buttery garlic bread – sounds like heaven eh? Until you have to tot up your calories for the day (yikes!). 

Not too naughty:

Healthiest takeaway pizza options include ones with a thinner crust with vegetable or seafood toppings. You can also have small bruschetta slices, and even Italian soups such as pasta fagioli or minestrone.

Avoid if you can:

Deep-pan or thick/stuffed-crust pizza bases should sadly be avoided, as well as creamy pasta sauces, garlic bread, lasagne, fried calamari, ravioli. *Cries into a loaf of garlic bread*

So there you have it! Our survival guide for a slightly less naughty takeaway night. Remember though – takeaway night is ultimately there to be enjoyed as a big treat, so if you’ve been working hard all week to smash your goals and keep within your count, there’s no reason why you can’t have something a little naughty every now and again. It’s all about moderation, and eating not just what tastes good, but what’s going to make us feel good too!

Have a fab week, 

Lots of Love, 

Team Skinny