12 of the most EXTREME calorie swaps on the High-Street

You can eat out at all of your favorite restaurants and still lose weight, thanks to this handy guide I have put together from online sources and men’s health magazines. Don’t worry it’s not “substitute everything for a salad” guide, remember you do still need to take calories on board, so have a read through and let’s get Lean in 2015! keep-calm-and-eat-good-food 12 – Pizza Express – One of the best things about Pizza Express is that you can eat a whole pizza for under 1000 calories, which is more than you can say for other high-street chains. If you swap the Veggie pizza (Giardiniera 941kcal) for a meaty one (La Reine 719kcal) you will be saving your self over 220 calories. We blame the garlic oils and pesto on the V pizza for this one.

Pizza-ExpressLa Reine (719kcal) Vs Giardiniera (941kcal)

Pizza express G

11 – Cafe Rouge – The menu does offer lighter options of meals for under 600 calories (but mainly too light at times and I want to show you like for like swaps) but surprisingly the Beef Bourguignon (749kcal) will save you as many calories as there are in a snickers bar compared to eating their Salade Paysanne (1,040kcal). We’d love to know what is in their “Lemon and garlic” dressing! This has a total saving of 291kcal. Cafe Rouge B

Beef Bourguignon (749kcal) Vs Salade Paysanne (1040kcal)

Cafe Rouge paysanne-slaatje 10 – Greggs – Eat the Chicken Tikka Baguette with a regular tea (513 kcal) over the Chicken Club Baguette with a regular latte (870kcal). Now these two look seemingly identical at first glance, but look a little closer and you find the Club is smothered with Mayo and despite the addition of bacon, it only has a couple of grams more than the other option. Having a tea instead of latte will further reduce the fat levels, saving you 22.4g of fat in total. Saving you 357kcal.

Greggs TIKKA-BaguetteChicken Tikka Baguette / regular tea (513 kcal) vs Chicken Club Baguette / regular latte (870kcal)


  9 – Pret A Manger – Who would have thought 2 lunches could be so different?! Have the Wiltshire ham & Pickle sandwich, with Salted popcorn (486kcal) over the All day breakfast sandwich with curry and lime crisps (869kcal). Simply switching your sandwich and snap around and you could help your self to a McDonald’s cheese burger for desert and still save your self around 100 calories and 20g of fat (not a BWA recommendation though). Not only is the all day breakfast and crisps option higher in calories it has four times the saturated fats! Switch and save 383kcal.

PretAManger(3)Wiltshire ham & Pickle sandwich, with Salted popcorn (486kcal) vs All day breakfast sandwich with curry and lime crisps (869kcal)

thumb_600 8 – Nando’s – We suggest you order half a chicken and corn on the cob (451kcal) over their 10 Chicken wings and coleslaw (858kcal), as their wings have more than twice the fat of the half chicken, but it’s the coleslaw that surprised us, dishing up 265 calories and 23g of fat. The corn on the cob is the lowest calorie side on the menu with just 00 calories and little fat to speak of – just don’t drown it in butter… Saving 407kcal

nandos 1half a chicken and corn on the cob (451kcal) vs 10 Chicken wings and coleslaw (858kcal)

nandos_3 7 – McDonald’s – It may surprise you, but McDonald’s isn’t a major offender when it comes to the world of nutritional crimes. Having a Cheese Burger and four McNuggets will set you back 462kcal, where their sweet chilli chicken wrap with fries will set you back a huge 719kcal. Don’t assume the wraps are the healthier options, this is fried chicken and a pack of sweet chilli sauce which packs a double calorific hit of 460kcal! The fries are full of fat, so stick to the four chicken nuggets. In total saving you 458kcal per visit.

mcdonalds-CheeseburgerCheese Burger and four McNuggets (462kcal) vs sweet chilli chicken wrap with fries (719kcal)


6 – Strada – These pasta dishes appear on the same menu, but are poles apart nutritionally. Eat the Spaghetti Ragu (635kcal) over the Rigatoni Speck (1113kcal) as it is made with slowly braised minced beef in a red wine sauce, which might not sound like a recipe for weight loss, but beats the Rigatoni by nearly an entire meal’s worth of calories! The reason? The Rigatoni is soaked in a sauce made with cream and two types of cheese. Making this switch will save you 478kcal.

strada 1Spaghetti Ragu (635kcal) vs Rigatoni Speck (1113kcal)

strada 2 5 – Burger King – Now this one is a salad vs burger, but having the Ocean Catch and garden salad (526kcal) is a huge portion which doesn’t leave you feeling short changed. The thing we’d swap out is the Whopper with cheese and regular fries (1025kcal) and the King hopefully illustrates the fattening power of fries with a whopping 291 calories and 12g of fat! The Whopper meal contains over three times the saturated fat of the fish! Saving you 499kcal for this simple yet filling swap.

BK_Ocean-catch Ocean Catch and garden salad (526kcal) vs Whopper with cheese and regular fries (1025kcal)

what_a_whopper_ad_0 4 – Costa – Eat the Butter Criossant and mango cooler (566kcal) over the Lemon muffin and strawberry cooler (1176kcal). Croissants get a bad rep for being full of fat, but they are also full of air meaning they are a minor indulgence compared to the dense muffin. The two “coolers” might appear to be similar but are separated by the creamy version’s higher fat and sugar content. With a total saving of 610kcal! costa-ice-main   3 – Prezzo – Eat the Pollo Siciliana with Gratinated Potatoes (498kcal) over the Crab cakes and Courgette fries (1265kcal). A big surprise here, the crab cakes and courgette fries sound like a good low-carb option, with perhaps a decent hit of vitamins… However, the reality is that the courgettes are battered and deep fried and the crab cakes are full of potato. The chicken and ham with a sensible portion of cheesy potatoes offers a calorie saving so large you could eat it twice over and it would still be the healthier option. Saving 767kcal with this simple swap.

prezzoPollo Siciliana with Gratinated Potatoes (498kcal) vs Crab cakes and Courgette fries (1265kcal)

crab_cakes_80855_16x9 2 – Bella Italia – Eat the Pollo Saltimbocca (699kcal) over the Burger Americano (1508kcal). Bella Italia surprises at both ends of the scale. We all know burger and chips isn’t the healthy option, but clocking in at over 1500kcal means this outstrips a Burger King Whopper and small fries by more than 650 calories! On the other hand the chicken with ham, mash and beans is hearty but thanks to its low fat content is below 700 calories. A total saving of 809kcal.

bellaPollo Saltimbocca (699kcal) vs Burger Americano (1508kcal)

bella-italia-aberdeen 1 – JD Wetherspoon – Could the Large mixed grill be the worst (calorie wise) meal in Britain?! It comes out at the bottom of the class here with 1940kcal containing twice your daily saturated fat. But there is light at the end of the tunnel as their vegetarian five bean chilli with jacket potato comes in at 575kcal, and is delicious, which comes with a more sensible 1.2g of saturated fat and a side salad. Even with a pint or two it’s still safer than the grill! Total calorie saving of 1365kcal!

P1020167Vegetarian five bean chilli with jacket potato (575kcal) vs Large mix grill (1940kcal)

JD We hope that this guide to the high-street’s worst offenders and healthier options helps you reach your goals faster, and you can now go out with more knowledge about what your eating and being more prepared will help out no end. Enjoy your food!