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Surviving diet saboteurs!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Am I the only person who feels like I have to apologise for being on a diet? Whenever there’s a weekend away or a meal out, just being conscientious about what I eat seems to irritate people. I’ve found myself giving into chips or crisps just to appease them, with the logic that it’s just one day, after all, but when you feel you need to start a diet, it’s normally because there have been an awful lot of ‘just one days’.

I’m still struggling with this, to be honest, but I’m starting to come up with some useful tips to help myself survive these occasions. I’d love to know what you all think though – please contribute!

The above technique is not recommended for weight loss.

The Pub
I am always outraged when I find out that alcohol has calories in it. I can't shake the assumption that anything liquid is calorie-free. It's not, of course. Alcohol is evil to the dieter - not least it severely weakens your willpower, both at the end of the night and during the morning after. Of course, the best thing to do is cut out booze entirely if you're dieting, but if you don't want to do that, there are ways to get round the badness and still enjoy a drink. Your best options are spirits and diet mixers. A single shot of gin or vodka is only 50 calories, and if you have it with a diet mixer you're not adding much on there. Beer and cider are shockingly high in calories, as are cocktails and alcopops. There's about 100 calories in one glass of wine, so not too bad... but it quickly adds up if you're drinking a few!

Fry Up
If you’ve had a few too many the night before, this bad boy is hard to resist. I’ve tried to do it when I’ve been staying in a Premier Travel Inn and go for the cereal option, but when everyone is tucking in to nice hot breakfasts, it’s a miserable existence. Now, I go for the best of both worlds – BEANS ON TOAST. Scrambled eggs are normally full of butter, and not many places do poached or boiled eggs, but EVERYWHERE does beans. Brilliant.

The Chippy
Just the thought of real, proper chip shop chips is making my mouth water. Oozing vinegar… YUM. There’s an especially awesome one around the corner from my house. Now, I don’t eat fish, so I can’t help you there, but my favourite healthy takeaway solution is actually a KEBAB. I know, I know. But stay away from the scary Doner wheel, and instead order a chicken kebab. It’s basically grilled chicken and salad in a pitta. If you’re eating it at home, ask for no sauce and then add some light mayo and sweet chilli sauce. So yummy. Super healthy.

PIZZA EXPRESS PIZZA EXPRESS PIZZA EXPRESS. They’re doing some fab low-fat options at the moment, and they really are nice. But if you’re in the supermarket, take a look at their oven pizzas. They are AMAZING. Really flavoursome, sure, but most of them are around 600 calories FOR THE WHOLE THING and 5-7% fat. The Leggera range are all awesome, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the calorie info on the (not marketed as low-fat) Polla Pesto, La Reine and Sloppy Guiseppe.
NOTE: If you’re in a Pizza Express restaurant, make sure you check out the nutritional info on their website first. The salads aren’t always the best option – the Pollo salad is worse than most of the pizzas!

If you’re having a fierce craving for noodles, try to resist the local takeaway and pop down to Wagamama. Most of their food is cooked on griddles. My personal favourite, the Ginger Chicken Udon, is about 500 calories and super low in fat. Also, order Edamame beans – they’ll fill you up, and they’re basically just peas. Yum. If you just HAVE to have a real chinese though, go for boiled rice and avoid anything battered, fried or described as 'crispy'. Chicken is your best bet - try it with oyster sauce, mushrooms or chicken chop suey. Also, Google tells me that chow mein dishes aren't too naughty, but I have my doubts - they always taste so greasy from my local!

Chinese Food Aftermath. Carnage.

I live with my sister, and her boyfriend’s favourite food is curry. I am quite the wuss when it comes to spicy food, so I tend to stick to the mild options. Yup, the ones that are FULL of cream. They’re awful. I’ve never looked up the calories and fat content in a chicken korma because I just don’t want to know. However, there are lots of dry options you can order, such as tandoori chicken or mixed grills – very low in fat, and you can have them with steamed rice, salad - and you can even add some of the little sauces like mango chutney and raita. They’re not all amazingly low in fat, but they’ll be a LOT less than a whole curry.

I think that’s my inspiration run dry for now – also I’m writing this at the start of my lunchbreak and I’m really quite hungry now – but how are you all finding it? What are your secret tips for surviving Diet Saboteurs?


  1. I'm also a fan of the healthy kehbabs! x

  2. this is such a brilliant post. really informative and useful :) x

  3. i HATE it when people get annoyed if i say im eating healthily.
    i usually say that im learning good eating habits so that when i have kids they can be healthy too!
    not much you can say back to that ;)


  4. I can't even avoid the chippy as I work in one :( even though we offer healthy options such as salads, soup and sandwiches that 'emotional hunger' where you crave chips etc is a big bully.
    A few of the ladies who I work with and I have started bringing in our own healthier options like big assorted fruit bowls that we can nibble on during our shifts to ensure we stop reaching for those bloody chips lol

  5. these are great tips. Diet coke is craving especially if you only go out for a few because 2 glasses is really not to calorific!! For me the after drinking eating is the hard bit but I try to stick to not so terrible comfort food like beans, potatoes and plenty of water!!! Sushi is totally low and fat and really yummy which is good too

    Bow Dream Nation xx

  6. These are such brilliant tips. I am always having takeaways as my boyfriend lives on them so it nice to know they dont always have to be so high in fat. I am going to go for one of the healthier options in the future.
    I am a massive fan of curries, they seem to be my downfall. But I am going to make a conscious effort to go for one of the other options and just have the mint dip.

  7. Little tip, order the hot curry and add yoghurt to it! Spices are awesome to speed up your metabolism <3

  8. I find a simple "no, thank you" was quite useful - people stop trying to force feed you after a while, especially if they see you're really trying. If they still try and make you feel bad about refusing cake/chips/booze then they're not exactly displaying friend-like behaviour, are they?

    This is probably going to freak people out a little, but try having a cheese-free pizza, or make your own and don't slather it in cheese. They taste nice without it and it takes away so many cals.

    I basically just avoided takeaways and was very careful when eating out. Your tips are fab but unless you're ordering from a chain restaurant then it's much easier to keep an eye on what you're eating when you make it yourself.

  9. Really like these tips! I always order a shashlick if I have curry, it's vegetables and chicken with a sort of spicy tomato sauce and (apparently) is quite good for you! :)

    Maria xxx

  10. I am always outraged when I find out that alcohol has calories in it. I can't shake the assumption that anything liquid is calorie-free.



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