Eating out on fast days is never easy. Many standard dishes at popular restaurants are absolutely filled with calories, making fast days almost impossible to manage. That’s why we’ve put together this short guide highlighting some of the best (and worst!) choices at some of the UK’s biggest chains. Tell us what we have left out in the comments!
Pizza Express seems fairly aware of the 5:2 diet – they have a section on their website about it specifically, so in doubt your waiter may be able to help you. Their ‘Leggara section’ pizzas are all under 500 calories – the American Hot Leggara comes in at only 396! Despite that, they are both delicious and filling, making them a fantastic option for a Fastday dinner, and giving you enough room for a snack earlier on in the day. However, there are definitely some things on the menu to be avoided (some of the mains, including the Calzone Verdure, are over 1000 calories) so best to be careful!
We also love ASK, because all of their pasta portions can be ordered as ½ portions with a side salad, which is a fantastic (and flexible) option for fast days. Their ½ portion of Fettucine Bolognese with salad comes in at under 400 calories, while their ½ portion of Linguine con Frutti di Mare is only 297 – giving you plenty of room for anther small meal.
We’d also recommend Jamie’s Italian as a place to eat out on fast days. 20% of the main meal menu options have less than 700 calories, and plenty have even less than that – on the website they recommend their Pumpkin Tortellini and their Baked Shetland Salmon as dishes with less than 500 calories – both of which sound delicious!
And what to avoid!
We struggled to find a way to create a fast day meal at Nando’s. Every mains option we checked was over 500 calories. However, if you’re really determined, we would suggest the ¼ chicken with no sides – but that’s probably not the most balanced of meals!
Although some GBK restaurants do serve smaller 4oz burgers that could ‘just’ work as a fast day meal, their regular options are less satisfactory. A single portion of chips would break your fast day budget, coming in at 633 calories, while the Mighty Burger is an astonishing 1749 calories – around 3 fast days!
Of course, the best thing about the intermittent fasting way of eating is that it is very flexible – so if you find yourself in a place which isn’t fast day friendly, or you simply want to enjoy your meal fully, then simply reschedule your fast day for a time later in the week!