10 steps to healthier takeaways

Takeaways are often cheap, convenient and satisfying but, unfortunately, they're not always very healthy. But that can be changed.


Some takeaway meals can push your recommended daily maximum amount of fat and salt over the edge, which can lead to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. 

Did you know, an average takeaway with starter, main and side will clock in around 1500 calories. This is even without drinks!

A dessert will on average add around another 500 calories. To burn 500 calories, it will take you 145 minutes walking or 52 minutes of running. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Note if interested: some takeaways now list calories on their online menus. If this is the case, choose in advance to avoid snap decisions you might regret later.

Choose your food from the menu in advance, and stick to it!

10 tips to pay attention to when ordering takeaways

1. Check on the menu how the food has been prepared: steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted or poached, is the way to go. Stay away from foods that are described as; crispy, crunchy, fried, rich, creamy, breaded, battered, tempura. Those foods will usually contain more omega 6 – pro-inflammatory oils – that make you ill and age your skin.

2. Go for tomato-based sauces over creamy or cheese-based ones. E.g., Spaghetti Bolognese instead of Carbonara. 

3. Chunky chips/fries are better than thin ones: because the thin ones soak up much more oil. 

4. ‘No doubling on carbs’ rule: eating potatoes with rice or having garlic bread as a starter followed by pizza as a main is nutritionally unhealthy on so many levels! Simply too many carbs. Just think how your poor insulin is doing and how it’s going to shift all that excess carbs into your belly fat. Yup, that’s what is happening here.

5. Stop ordering those appetisers: you know, prawn crackers, Italian breadsticks and poppadums. These are just cheap thrills. And I can tell you – you eat them out of habit only. And they all cost you around 200 calories with no nutritional benefits what so ever! Sorry not sorry.

6. Do not order a takeaway when you are hungry: before ordering takeaway, have a light snack: a slice of cheese (30g matchbox), hummus with a slice of pita, few olives, or nuts, anything to take the edge off of your hunger!

7. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and diminishes your ability to control what you eat.

8. Order different courses:

  • If ordering a main meal- don’t have a starter or a dessert.
  • If ordering a starter and dessert don’t have a main course.
  • Obviously, stay clear of ‘supersize’ or ‘go large’ options!
  • If you’re having dessert, share it.

9. Order a half size portion, child portions or starter size main course: you can do this, you are in charge! 

10.  Don't be afraid to ask your ‘takeaway operator’ to help you ‘healthy-up’ your meal: for example, you could ask for a salad or boiled potatoes instead of the usual fries. You can also ask for items to be prepared with less oil or cheese. And yes most of the takeaways places will do it for you, you are their valuable customer.

A final word of nutrition wisdom

Easy as it is to ring Deliveroo, Just Eat etc, having a takeaway once a week is not too bad, but ordering it three or more times a week is very unhealthy and will definitely help you pile on the pounds and expand your waistline.

Enjoy making healthier choices. You are the boss of your health.

With love and empowerment,

x Angelika 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sutton, Surrey, SM1
Written by Angelika Cutuk-Short, MSc Functional Nutritionist / Hormone and Weight specialist
Sutton, Surrey, SM1

Angelika has a masters in nutrition and is a qualified NLP mindset coach. She is a specialist in weight loss management. She combines nutritional science with motivational coaching to change her client's mindset and bad food habits so they can lose weight for good, feel sexy, more body confident and finally fit those favourite jeans.

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