Weight-loss tips for men: Takeaways

Reviewed by our expert panel
Weight-loss tips for men: Takeaways

Men’s weight-loss expert, Andrew Dickson gives blokes some tips on takeaways.

When it comes to food, men seem to be convenience connoisseurs. Marketers claim convenience and speed are the two main motivating factors for male shoppers and I tend to agree.

For many blokes it is an affront to manhood to plan a meal, write a list of ingredients and make a special trip to the supermarket to gather them – let alone spend hours in the kitchen actually creating the dish. Instead, they (and me) often go for an easier option: takeaways.

So, how do we ‘do’ takeaways well, avoiding calorie traps and making informed choices? I’ve picked four blokey temptations – fish and chips, pizza, Indian and Chinese takeaways – to show you how much energy (kilojoules) an average dish has and I have suggested a number of healthier takeaway alternatives.

1.  Sauce is dangerous. A single squirt from a tartare sauce bottle has about 500kJ. I’d need to run at full pace for about 15 minutes to burn this off. A takeaway kebab will often have two or more sauces – do the maths.

2.  Portion size. One scoop of chips is too much food for any one person. Half a scoop is much more reasonable.

3.  Preparation is important. Sweet and sour pork is prepared by coating high-fat pork in batter, then deep frying it in oil and finally boiling it in sugar (the ‘sweet’ bit). That’s why it’s so energy-dense. Always ask how your food is cooked so you know where the hidden energy is.

Choice Alternative
Fish and chips: A ‘normal’ serving of a battered piece of fish and a scoop of chips has about 5000kJ, which is about half the daily intake for a bloke like me. Opt for 1/2 crumbed fish fillet, 1/2 scoop chips and 2 pieces bread (for a chip sandwich – but no butter). This has about 3200kJ, an acceptable third of my daily energy.
Pizza: Nothing beats pizza and a couple of beers on a Saturday night. Four slices of meat lover’s  pizza and four pieces of garlic bread from an average pizza takeaway joint has about 4500kJ. Ditch the meat lover’s pizza. Go for a simple tomato and cheese variety. Have six pieces – 3/4 of the whole pizza –  but no garlic bread. This has about 3000kJ.
Indian: Butter chicken, a container of rice and one garlic naan has about 6000kJ – ouch. Try a cream-free tomato-based curry like a dhal, or a fish or lamb tikka cooked in the tandoor and served without a sauce. Have the same amount of rice but only half the naan. This has about 3400kJ.
Chinese: Sweet and sour pork on a plate of steamed rice has about 4800kJ. Stir-fried veges cooked in an oyster sauce and the same amount of rice has only about 2500kJ, so you can have a couple of glasses of red wine and still have only consumed about 3500kJ – not a bad meal!
















First published: Oct 2008

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