You CAN enjoy takeaways and still lose weight!

enjoy takeaways lose weight

You CAN enjoy takeaways and still lose weight!

Good news – you CAN enjoy those takeaways as part of a normal healthy balanced diet and still lose weight if that’s your goal. No need to deprive or punish yourself, just because you have health goals!

You can watch the video I made about this below. Or keep scrolling if you prefer to read the blog.

You absolutely can still enjoy takeaways and still get to your health goals, whatever your health goals are. Remember healthy eating is about the overall balance of everything that you eat and drink. It’s about what you do 80% of the time, there’s no need to eat perfectly! There’s no need to cut anything out completely, so you don’t need to cut out the things that you love. I give you permission to enjoy takeaways as part of a normal healthy balanced diet. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, or eat better or you’re trying to feel more in control of your eating.

How often do you eat takeaways?

First of all it’s worth considering how often you have takeaways. If you have takeaways once a month or less often than that, then in the grand scheme of things it really isn’t going to make a big difference. But try to be honest with yourself about how often you have them. If you’re having them quite frequently, maybe several times a week and you want to reduce that. Ask yourself what you could do to reduce that a little. Remember it’s not about trying to do it perfectly and aim to drop from several times/week to less than once a month. That’d be too big a step to start with.

Explore why you eat takeaways.

What would help you have takeaways less often? Is it about planning meals in advance to make it easier for yourself? Maybe try batch cooking for those days when you’re really busy so you’ve always got food in the fridge or the freezer ready to make quick meals? Is it just that you really love takeaways so maybe you could find out how you could recreate your favourite dishes at home. So then you’re adding less sugar, less salt and less fat than you’d get in the takeaway version. Have I think about how often you have takeaways and why you have them. Explore what’s going on and what you could do to have them less often.

Tweak your choices to make it healthier.

If you have takeaways quite regularly then you could try to tweak your choices to make them a little bit healthier. You can still reach your health goals while enjoying takeaways guilt free. Check out these tips to help you include takeaways as part of a normal healthy balanced diet.

1. Try having a smaller portion

Think about how much you would normally have and try having a smaller portion. Do you have to have all of those side dishes or could you prioritise your favourite dishes? Maybe you could share the side dish with someone if you’re having takeaway with other people. Share that pilau rice or egg-fried rice. How about trying a crispy base pizza instead of the deep pan based? Or say you’re having an Indian takeaway and you normally have rice and chips and chapatis or naan bread – just pick one of those things. Try to portion out the food onto your plate and think about what’s an appropriate amount for your appetite that day. Then put the rest in the fridge for another meal. Obviously if you’re reheating food, do try and take care to heat the food well. Especially rice dishes, which we’re meant to avoid reheating if we can!

2. Consider how the food is cooked

If you’re not sure how it’s been cooked, you can always ask. Then think about whether you want to go for something that is deep-fried or something stir-fried or steamed. Could you ask them to steam, stir-fry or bake the food instead of roasting or frying? Remember you’re paying for the food and they cook it fresh, it shouldn’t be too much trouble. One clue as to how it’s been cooked is, anything with a crispy coating or batter will be deep-fried. Obviously it’s okay once in awhile to enjoy something deep-fried, but maybe not on more of a regular basis.

3. Look at the kind of sauce the food is in.

So what kind of sauce do you normally go for? Maybe you’re having Indian takeaway and the sauce is creamy or coconut based. Maybe you’re having pasta in a cheesy sauce. Or maybe you’re having a Chinese dish and the description says it’s a sweet sauce. These are all signs that the food has a lot of added fat or sugar or both. One option could be to pick a different sauce, something that’s vegetable or tomato based instead. You should be able to find an alternative in most takeaways, whether it’s Italian takeaway, Chinese or Indian. Another option could be that you just don’t have all of the sauce. So no need to feel guilty about having that creamy sauce you love, just have some of it and enjoy it.

enjoy takeaways lose weight
I love a pizza and it’s not the end of the world if it isn’t not the most balanced meal as we don’t have them very often!

4. Enjoy eating the takeaway mindfully

You can use mindful eating to enjoy that takeaway without feeling guilty or overeating. Think about the overall balance of the meal. Are you still getting a variety of different food groups? If the meal is well balanced then it will be more satisfying. Of course you can check out my guide to making healthy eating easy for more info on this for free here.

Think about eating up to table and taking your time over the food. Notice how you feel and stop eating when you feel satisfied. It helps to get rid of any distractions so that you can pay attention to the food and eat mindfully. Also ditch any of that judgmental labelling about yourself or about the food you’re eating. That self-judgement won’t help you, it’s more likely to lead to guilt, overeating and binges. There’s no need to think that you’ve failed or you’ve been bad, because you’ve had a takeaway. Instead eat mindfully, pay attention to the food, enjoy it and stop when you’ve had enough.

Even if you overdo, there’s no need for guilt!

Even if you ignore all of this, you still have whatever you normally have and/or you feel like you’ve overdone it – it’s absolutely fine! Simply draw a line and move forward – it’s done, you can’t change the past. Think about what you’re going to do next. Try to listen to your appetite after you’ve had more food than you need one day, as it’s likely that over the next couple of days you won’t need as much. But it’s about really tuning into your body and learning to listen to your hunger cues.

It’s absolutely 100% OK to have takeaways as part of a normal healthy balanced diet. So ditch all that dieting mentality of thinking you have to completely cut out everything you love.

Ditch dieting forever, because you absolutely deserve better.

Need help to ditch dieting forever?

Want to eat normally again AND lose weight healthily? While still enjoying the cake & chocolate? Hell yes!

I will help you ditch dieting forever, either with my 1-2-1 support. Or if you prefer to work independently, you will learn all the skills I teach my 1-2-1 clients, on my ‘No More Diets’ online course.

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My Weekly Round-up! AKA; what I’ve been up to recently…

  • This week’s blog post has been brought to you by the infamous second coffee!! I normally only have one coffee first thing in the morning, but this week I’ve come down with a bit of a sniffle… It’s making me feel pretty tired and heady so a second coffee has been a bit of a treat.
  • School was back this week so I’ve been trying to get back into a routine and it’s been going pretty well. I was aiming to get back into doing my little exercise routine at least 3 times/week and so far so good. Also enjoyed getting back into walking down by the brook after the school run, I’ve missed it over half term!
  • At the weekend we managed to get another hill walk done We’re so close to completing our little family challenge ’22 Hills In 2022′. Hill number 21 was The Ercall, which is next to The Wrekin – the hill we walked up on New Year’s Day to kick-start the challenge. It was a fairly short walk and not too steep, but a bit nerve-wracking coming down. The soil was quite loose and the wet leaves were slippy, plus I’ve lost my nerve a bit after slipping on my arse a few weeks ago! But we made it down and Sam was very excited to see a massive ‘Fly Agaric’ along loads of other mushrooms, up there. Check out the photo below!
  • I finished book number 20 for my reading challenge ’22 New Books In 2022′. The book was ‘The Travelling Cat Chronicles’ by Hiro Arikawa, described as a must-read for cat lovers. As a cat lover (who sadly can’t keep cats due to being allergic – boo!) I have to agree. It was very sweet, but sad and I’d love to see the film!
  • Speaking of films, I keep getting recommendations for videos to watch on YouTube that are perfect for me! Are they inside my mind?!? Recently I keep getting videos from people renovating abandoned buildings. I LOVE stuff like that. Here’s one from a group who are developing some abandoned land to create an eco type community area. Check it out if you love seeing people doing the DIY instead of doing it yourself! We’ve spent a lot of the last 5 years renovating our house and it’s taken too long for my liking. So I’ve been put off doing it again in the future, but maybe if I leave it long enough we may do it again… watch this space!
  • Bird Nerd Report: Haven’t seen any kingfishers this week, but I did see a cute little grey and yellow wagtail down by the brook. A few times I’ve seen goldcrests too and they were very cute. Also keep seeing two of my faves, goldfinches and long-tailed tits. The one time I saw a load of long-tailed tits, I swear it was the biggest group of them I’ve seen in ages and they were so adorable flitting around chasing each other. I loved standing watching them for ages!
The Fly Agaric – the classic toadstool everyone thinks of when they think of a toadstool! We saw it and it’s two friends up The Ercall (you can only just see one of it’s little buddies down towards the right)

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