With winter looming, the thought of sitting in a cozy pub with a pot of beer and a parma the size of your face is even more appealing than usual.
But the humble pub menu is a minefield of unhealthy, calorie-laden meals that can undermine even the most rigorous exercise regime. Then there’s the issue of hidden calories in alcohol.
Avoid the winter weight gain and eat well with The New Daily’s tips for navigating the pub menu. You’ll be feeling smug with your healthy meal choices in no time.
What are you drinking?
Alcohol is a hidden source of sugar and calories, with one full strength beer containing 155 calories.
Wine is the best option with between 100-120 calories a glass, but don’t overdo it. Women should have no more than two glasses of wine a day and men no more than four.
If drinking spirits, avoid soft drink and other sugary mixes. A glass of rum and coke has 248 calories. Whisky, vodka and gin are the healthiest spirits. Have them on the rocks or with soda water.
Watch your serving sizes
Pub meals are known for their enormous serving sizes. A single serve of meat is the size of your palm, making most steaks and parmigianas two servings alone. That’s not adding the side of chips.
Try mixing and matching a few entree dishes for a healthier serving size and a better ratio of meat to vegetables. Try an entree calamari dish with an entree of steamed vegetables or salad.
If you can’t go past the parma, ask for the fries to be served separately and share them with your friends.
Avoid fried food
Fried food can be hard to avoid on pub menus, but eating fried dishes are a sure way to increase your calorie and fat intake.
Seek out grilled fish or steak, or see if the pub has any soups or salads on offer.
A fried parmigiana can contain up to 600 calories but a large serve of minestrone has less than 200 calories.
Grilled, roasted, poached and steamed meat are all better options.
Watch the sauce
Sauces on steak, salad and even in pasta can contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar, turning that healthy meal into something quite unhealthy.
When ordering salad, ask for sauce on the side so you can add as little as you want. When ordering steak, avoid accompaniments like blue cheese sauce other creamy sauces.
Just a few tablespoons of blue cheese sauce can contain up to 160 calories. That’s the equivalent of another beer.