Chilly temperatures mean cozy nights spent indoors, and weekend afternoons at the local pub. Unfortunately when it comes to pub food selections, it can be challenging to find even remotely healthy options. So here are the best and worst options to team with your afternoon drinks to help avoid the winter kilo creep.
Avoid like the plague ...
Fish and chips
The mix of batter, potato and oil means just one thing – calories, and lots of them. And let’s be honest, who can stop at just a few chips? The fried fish alone will contain close to 30g of fat, much of which is saturated. And just a small portion of fried chips or wedges will set you back another 20-30g fat.
Another fat bomb with sour cream, avocado, corn chips and fried meat combining to give as much as 60g of fat a serve. Nachos are particularly dangerous as they can be ordered as a snack in between meals and before you know it, a few corn chips have given you the same number of calories as a small meal.
Deep fried chicken teamed with creamy sauce or gravy and a side of chips is another fat and calorie disaster. In fact, the average pub-sized serve of schnitty and chips will give you close to 1000 calories, or almost an entire day’s worth. And that is before you count the drinks you are having with it. If you must succumb, at least share the enormous serves with a friend.
One of the reasons ribs are so tasty is that they contain relatively high amounts of fat, and the large serving sizes mean that a whole rack of ribs served with plenty of salt and sauce can give you up to 100g of fat and 1000 calories a serve. Ribs are also a meal that is rarely served with any vegetables or salad, leaving it a protein and fat overload at best.
Much better options ...
Warm lamb salad
A much more frequent menu item in pubs nowadays, a simple chicken or lamb salad offers lean protein along with plenty of salad or vegetables and is an extremely nutritious and tasty option. If you want to be particularly fussy, asking for the dressing on the side will help to further lower the fat content of a salad by 10g to 15g.
This one may surprise you a little, but if you can be particularly tough and say no to the side of chips in favour of vegetables or salad, a grilled fillet steak can be one of the best choices on the menu. The better the cut of steak, the smaller the portion and fat content is likely to be, so splurge on a fillet for the best flavour, portion control and nutritional profile.
Salmon and mash
Another one that may surprise you as mash is banned on many a weight loss diet but there are far worse choices than a mix of omega 3 rich fish, potato and ideally some vegetables. Again, if you want to keep your carb and fat content down, swap your mash for extra vegetables or a roast potato.
Hamburger / steak sandwich
Let’s be honest. If you are at the pub, chances are you are going to want pub-type food. Of all the traditional pub fare, a steak sandwich or burger is not too bad. Again you are much better off if you can refuse the chips in favour of extra salad but a little meat, bread and salad is still a much better option than many of the fried choices on an old school pub menu.