Now for the long answer. While we all know the down-side of take-away food, the convenience and remembered taste still make us want it. Unfortunately, most take-away foods are high in carbohydrate which, when your goal is to lose weight, is not going to do you any favours. Pizza has the dough base and very little vegetable or protein in the toppings. Burgers have a double helping of bread wrapped around the filling, and the bread is often not the dense, healthy-looking bread the dietitians recommend. Fries and chips seem natural partners to many take-aways, but with the potato providing a lot of carb and the deep frying a lot of fat, you get a double whammy to stop you losing weight.
“But I’ll get Thai food without the rice” you think. This is a great move for the weight-conscious, but Thai food is based on the combination of taste sensations sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The ‘sweet’ part of this comes from sugar, so this alone increases the carbohydrate you consume.
Take-aways that are not so high in carbs may be very high in fat. Fat carries the flavour, so this probably starts to explain why so many take-aways taste so good. Deep-fried chicken pieces are heavily crumbed so you get the carb and the fat. Indian food is usually extremely high in fat and has very little protein. Sushi is predominantly rice and has a sugary dressing in the rice to help it stick together. Even the salad bar adds noodles, croutons, or sweetened dressings so these can be a trap.
If you get caught out, make the best choice possible. A single take-away meal is unlikely to stop you from losing weight in the long-term; it may just put a bit of a speed bump in your weight loss journey.
If you eat a take-away meal and you still lose weight, then that’s great. If you eat two take-aways in the week and still lose weight and still feel good, that’s fine. Most people find that there is a limit for them – an individual take-away limit – beyond which they feel like rubbish and/or they stop losing weight.
So if you’re serious about losing weight, get organised at home so cooking a quick meal is always easy. Use the weekend or a quiet evening to plan ahead. Plan your meals, organise your shopping list, and then go to supermarket and get everything you need. Keep a bag of microwave vegies and an individual portion of microwave fish in the freezer, so even if you’re tired, cranky and in one of those ‘can’t be bothered’ moods.
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