The festive party season looms and if you’re determined to dine out without paying for it on your waistline, then you might think a Nando’s or KFC are off the cards.
However, according to one chicken-loving personal trainer, you can still eat at the famous chains without compromising your calorie intake.
Graeme Tomlinson, 31, from Aberdeen, aka The Fitness Chef, has claimed Nando’s actually has plenty to offer those on a low-fat diet, and has even revealed the healthy menu options to head for – and the ones you should avoid like the plague.
He’s also unveiled options for those hoping for a quick dinner at KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King, in an attempt to show fast food is fine in moderation.
Nando’s doesn’t need to be a no-go if you’re dieting. Personal trainer Graeme Tomlinson, 31, from Aberdeen, who is known online as The Fitness Chef, said there are plenty of options if you’re looking for a lighter meal
Sinner, sinner chicken dinner! Graeme warned against sides and starters that are high in calories, which could lead to meals being over 2000 calories – with the biggest offender being large fries, a substantial 1256 calories
Fino pitta is not fino if you’re trying to lose weight, with the chicken and salad dish racking up a whopping 778 calories per portion
The Fitness Chef says if you’re trying to lose weight then you should opt for the quarter chicken leg, or butterfly chicken, which are just 256 and 352 calories respectively.
For vegetarians, the best option is the supergreen burger, which is only 422 calories, while the seemingly healthy mushroom and halloumi burger is one of the most calorific options on the menu at 681 calories.
For those who are fans of getting their chicken on the go, KFC also offers options for those hoping to keep trim.
The chain’s regular popcorn chicken is just 135 calories, while three hot wings are just 225 calories.
But if you’re hoping to keep off the calories, steer clear of the Mighty Bucket which contains 1275 calories and the sugary milkshakes that are up to 380.
For those who are fans of getting their chicken on the go, KFC also offers options for those hoping to keen trim. Their regular popcorn chicken is just 135 calories, while three hot wings are just 225 calories. If you’re hoping to stay trim avoid the Mighty Bucket, which contains 1275 calories and the sugary milkshakes that are up to 380 calories
And it’s not just KFC, those wanting to dash to Burger King for a quick dinner should opt for the hamburger, at 250 calories, or the crispy chicken salad, at 210 calories.
The highest calorie options on the menu are the Bacon King burger, at 1040 calories, and the Big King XL, at a staggering 1010 calories.
If you add a large fries, at 400 calories, you’re meal can quickly rocket to around 1500 calories – almost an entire adult’s intake for the day.
Meanwhile, for McDonald’s fans, the McChicken Sandwich, Fillet-O-Fish and six nuggets come in at 388, 329 and 259 calories respectively.
While their famous Big Mac comes in at 508 calories, a quarter pounder and signature classic are higher at 518 calories and 698 calories.
However, the Big Tasty and bacon is a whopping 850 calories, while the grilled chicken and bacon salad is the lightest menu on the item – at just 204 calories.
Those wanting to dash to Burger King for a quick dinner should opt for the Hamburger, at 250 calories, or the crispy chicken salad at 210 calories. The highest calories options on the menu are Bacon King burger, at 1040 calories and the Big king XL, at 1010 calories
For McDonald’s fans, the McChicken Sandwich, Fillet-O-Fish and or six nuggets at 388, 329 and 259 calories respectively. While their famous Big Mac comes in at 508 calories, a quarter pounder, signature classic both come in higher at 518 calories and 698 calories
Writing on his Instagram page, he said: ‘This assortment of slides is not an endorsement of fast food as much as it is not a shaming of it as a food choice.
‘Instead, it is simply a selection of food from some of the world’s favourite fast food chains. This post is therefore an objective arrangement of basic nutritional information’
‘For optimal health, excessive consumption of fast food is not going to be particularly beneficial. But if consumption is moderate and accompanied by an overall supportive dietary process, it can have an enjoyed position in one’s life.
He went on to say how the public should be aware of the total energy consumed in a Nando’s as it will allow individuals to have a successful diet.
‘Once the hard nutritional facts of a Nando’s meal are grasped, one can adjust prior and subsequent nutritional intakes to accommodate what will likely be a calorie dense meal in happiness and calm control,’ he said.
‘Such an eating episode can be free from guilt and enjoyed in serene knowledge that the fruits of the overall diet will yield progress.’
Graeme Tomlinson, aka The Fitness Chef, has analysed the caloric offerings in Nando’s most popular dishes, and told how it fares better than many other express dine-in chains
Choose well and the high-street chain can serve up protein-rich, lean chicken, which is a good choice if you’re watching the pounds
And while most of the chicken served is lean and low in calories, Graeme warned against sides and starters that are high in calories, which could lead to meals being over 2000 calories.
While Peri-Peri nuts are often seen as a small snack to graze on before the main meal arrives, the small portion contains a staggering 793 calories, while a large chips is 1256 calories – more than half an adult female requires in a day.
NANDO’S: LIGHTEST AND HEAVIEST DISHES
The lightest: A quarter chicken leg has just 265 calories
The heaviest: A whole chicken with large chips has the combined calories of 2412
Meanwhile, the hummus, pitta, and peri peri drizzle is 819 calories, while a large spicy rice is 492 calories.
Those opting for a healthier option could go for a saucy spinach, at just 98 calories, or some long stem broccoli, which is only 24 calories.
Graeme added: ‘In comparison to many express dine-in establishments, consumption of chicken, coupled with assortments of nutrient-dense foods, may lead one to believe that Nando’s is the “fat loss” alternative. And this may well prove valid if it is enjoyed.
‘However, instances such as the accumulation of 1/2 a peri peri hummus starter, ten wings, regular chips, macho peas and extra sauce = a caloric intake of 1845 nutrient-inclusive calories. But nonetheless… 1845 calories before drinks are considered’.