UK Diet Page 8
This page contains Anne’s advice on How to Eat Out.
Including Canteen food and Sandwiches.


Eating out is risky. No matter how careful you are, you can’t be 100% sure what you’re eating. Besides, restaurants have no responsibility for our weight. Their job is to excite our taste buds. And the fastest way to excite our taste buds is to serve dishes covered in fat or sugar. My advice? If you really want to lose weight, take a break from eating out, for a short while. Home cooking is the only 100% guaranteed way to control what goes into your mouth. But if you must eat out, here are a few sensible suggestions.

Rule 1. Choose a sensible restaurant
Please avoid all fast-food restaurants (i.e. those serving instant food like burgers, fried chicken or any other ‘instant’ fried food.) Eating in these places is too risky. Limit yourself to sit down restaurants or any fast food restaurant which offers low-fat non-fried options.

Rule 2. Choose sensible food
Choose fish, lean chicken, lean turkey, lean beef, lean pork.
If meat comes with fat attached, cut it off: i.e. cut it all off.
Avoid pizzas with meat & cheese.
Avoid all burnt or blackened food.
For dessert, choose only fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt (any type), low-fat ice-cream or sorbet.

Rule 3. Choose a sensible cooking method
Choose only grilled, oven-baked or boiled food.
Avoid all dishes cooked in fat, especially fried food.

Rule 4. Choose a sensible sauce
Choose tomato based sauces.
Choose any light sauce, made without: fat, oil, cream, cheese, mayo or full-fat dressing.
Avoid all fat-based gravy, cheese or cream sauces, mayo or dressings that aren’t low-fat.

Rule 5. Add something sensible
Add soy sauce, lemon, tomato sauce, yogurt or low-fat dressing.
Don’t add cream, cheese, mayo, tartar sauce, or full-fat dressing.



In 1997, the World Cancer Research Fund published a report entitled: Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective. Here is a very short summary of it’s main dietary recommendations.
1. Our diet should contain mostly foods of plant origin
We should eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, together with pulses like beans and lentils, plus cereals, bread and potatoes (or rice, pasta). Red meat is best eaten only in small quantities.
2. Eat 5 or more portions of fruit & vegetables, every day
For best results, we should eat a wide variety of these foods. [Note: (1) A portion = 80g / 3oz; (2) The figure of 5 portions a day is based upon the ‘average’ adult requiring 2000 calories per day.]
3. Eat 7+ portions of cereals, pulses, starchy-type foods and other plant food, every day
For example, choose 7 portions from: porridge, home-made muesli (containing wheatflakes, oats, rye flakes etc.), other cereal, rice, bread, pasta, lentils, beans, potatoes, nuts and seeds. Whenever possible, choose wholegrain or ‘brown’ varieties, like brown bread, brown rice and brown pasta.
4. Move away from meat, especially red meat
Switch to fish and free range poultry. Eat no more than 3oz of red meat (beef, pork, lamb) per day
Avoid smoked, barbecued and heavily processed meat.
5. Eat less fat
Choose low fat options. Cook with less fat – don’t fry, instead grill, boil, bake or roast. Use oils which are low in saturated fat. Do not overheat. High fat diets may increase the risk of cancers of the breast, lung, colon, prostate and rectum. Also they tend to cause people to put on weight and become obese. Unfortunately, obesity increases the risk of cancer of the breast, womb and kidney.
6. Alcohol consumption is not recommended
If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to less than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women. [1 drink = 8 grams of alcohol: i.e. half pint of beer, one glass of wine (at 8 glasses per bottle) or one spirit measure.] Alcoholic drinks increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, colon and liver. They may also increase the risk of breast cancer.


Some of us are so ashamed of failure that we go to any lengths to avoid it. For example, even if we want to lose weight we won’t try dieting in case we fail. If this sounds like you, then take my advice: don’t be afraid to fail. Failure isn’t the terrible thing we think it is. On the contrary, it can actually be very good for us. Remember, all our basic learning is done by trial and error. We try something, we make a mistake, so we do it again in a different way and eventually we succeed. If you watch your child doing a new jigsaw puzzle, you won’t see him solve it straightaway. He’ll make mistakes. He’ll try this piece, then that piece, then another, until he gets it right. Well it’s the same for us adults when we do something. We also need to make mistakes before getting it right. To put it another way, failure is a vital ingredient in success. In fact, if you look around you’ll find that it takes quite a lot of failure to make a really successful person. For instance, many of the world’s most successful business people fail at school and even go bankrupt before they get to the top. Many Hollywood actors and directors achieve nothing for years before they finally get the recognition they deserved.
Well, dieting is no different: we need several attempts before we succeed. For example, one of my slimmers just lost her 100th pound. She used to be 20 stone, now she’s 12 stone 12 pounds. But it took her five attempts before she finally did it right. And she’s not the only one. All my best slimmers failed several times before they succeeded. If you worry too much about failing and looking silly, you’ll end up doing nothing. So get out there, have a go and who cares if you fall flat on your face? Better to fall flat on your face once in a while, than sit on your butt and do nothing.





Choose, low-fat cereals (not frosted), toast, fruit juice and fresh fruit.
Avoid all fat-bombs like Danish, doughnuts, sausages, bacon, fried eggs etc.
If ordering eggs, have them poached or boiled.

Choose: Asparagus, Fruit cocktail, Melon, Melon & ham, Mussels, Oysters, Smoked salmon, Sardines, Prawn cocktail, Soup (not creamed), Salads (without dips), Seafood platter, plain Tuna.

Avoid anything fried, deep-fried, or drenched in oil, butter or cheese, or served with creamy dips.
Yes, I know it’s a drag, but you can’t eat this rubbish without blowing up like a fat-balloon.

Fat examples

BBQ ribs (3oz has 30g fat); Fried chicken wings (12g fat per wing); Paté (1oz has 10-20g fat); Pepperoni (1oz has 11g); Salami (1oz has 10g); Tortilla chips (1oz has 8g fat); Mayo 1tsp has 11g; fat; Medium olive has 4g fat; Fried chicken nugget + tsp dressing has 12g fat; Fried onion rings (1has 3g fat); Fried spring roll (1has 8g fat);

Choose any vegetable soup, beef/chicken consommé, soups with pasta/noodles.
Avoid all cream based or fatty meat soups.
If eating bread rolls, avoid adding butter!

Meat – Poultry – Seafood
Avoid dishes with butter, sautéed, fried, deep-fried, pan-fried, crispy, sizzling, creamed, cream sauce, au fromage, béarnaise, Hollandaise. Remember: a creamy or cheesy sauce can turn a perfect dish into a disaster, so either avoid sauces altogether (best) or ask for them on the side (next best). Yes, it’s a pain in the butt, but why eat fat when you know you’re going to end up wearing it?

  • Broiled, baked, poached dishes are best.

  • Best choice is any seafood that is grilled, steamed, poached.

  • Or, choose any plain steak or any plain chicken, turkey or pork dish.

  • Avoid large or ‘king-size’ helpings; ask for 4oz or 6oz.

Sauces & add-ons
Choose soy sauce, lemon juice, wine-flavoured vinegar, chilli sauce, chilli or any tomato sauce.
Avoid butter, mayo, tartar sauce, dill sauce.
Tomato-based sauce is much less fatty than cream or cheese sauce.
Most cream based sauces have 9-13g fat per 2 tablespoons.

Salads and Salad Bar

  • Choose green salad, or plain vegetable salad (without olives, nuts, avocado, mayo or cream).

  • Sensible dressings include: oil-free dressing, any very low-calorie dressing, any low-calorie vinaigrette, any low-fat yogurt dressing, cocktail sauce or chilli dip.

  • Avoid all salads with meat, eggs, cheese or mayo. Stick to plain salads, containing vegetables only.

Vegetables & side-dishes
Choose vegetables, potatoes, rice, noodles prepared without butter, cream, cheese, sour cream, oil, or any dressing except low-fat. OK, it may be inconvenient, but why stay fat?

  • Ask for a plain baked potato with chilli sauce instead of chips.

  • Choose soy sauce, lemon juice, flavored vinegar, tomato or hot spicy sauces.

  • Avoid fried rice – choose boiled.

  • Avoid vegetables topped with butter, cheese, sour cream or dressing.

Choose fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt or frozen yogurt, low-fat ice-cream, sorbets or any low-fat option.
Don’t even look at the fancy desserts, unless you want a double-chin and a pair of fat thighs.


Best startersVegetable antipasto, minestrone soup, any green salad, any fruit starter, any vegetable salad (without dressing). Bread rolls with a very thin covering of low-fat spread.
Best main course
Pasta with meatless tomato-based sauces like Neopolitana, Marinara or Pomodoro. Pasta with vegetables or beans. Veal or beef, grilled/cooked in lemon. Baked/grilled chicken. Meatballs in tomato sauce. Pasta & beans.
Best desserts
Fruit salad, ice-cream, sorbet.
Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion, unless stated)
Garlic bread (slice = 200); Sausage (1oz = 90); Salami dishes (1oz = 100); Lasagna (10oz = 625); Macaroni & Cheese (1cup = 315); Noodles & Cream Sauce (9oz = 1000); Pasta & Butter Sauce (10oz = 600); Pasta with Anchovies (9oz = 705); Pasta with Cream Sauce (9oz = 900); Ravioli with Cream Sauce (10oz = 1100); Ravioli with tomato meat sauce (10oz = 740); Pesto Sauce (1tbsp = 155). Chocolate mousse (350-500); Cheesecake (300-500); Tiramisu (300-500).


Best starters
Large salad (see above).
Best pizza toppings
Peppers, mushrooms, chilli, sweetcorn, capers, tomato, onion, lean ham, pineapple.
Pizzas to avoid (approx. calories per medium pizza)
Pizzas with meat or cheese (e.g.) pepperoni/salami (900);4-Meat Pizza (1000); 4-Cheese Pizza (1000).


Best starters
Any vegetable soup (Gaspacho/ black bean soup), any green salad or vegetable salad (+ 1 tbsp low-fat dressing/ vinaigrette).
Best main courses
Plain non-fried burritos/ tacos/ enchiladas with vegetables, seafood or chicken fillings. Grilled chicken fajitas, or any lean meat broiled or sautéed without fat.
Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion)
Avoid tortilla chips (1oz =140), nachos (1oz =150), cheese nachos (1oz + dip =310), fried chicken wings.
Fried dishes like chimichangas (e.g. beef chimichanga = 660, chicken chimichanga = 605). Fajitas (e.g. beef fajita with guacamole = 620 ). Tostadas (e.g. beef cheese & avocado tostada = 1000). Also, as usual, avoid the fatty sauces like dressing, cheese, sour cream and guacamole sauce.


Best starters
Hot and sour wonton soup, chicken & sweetcorn soup, steamed dumplings.
Best main courses

Stir-fried or steamed dishes with vegetables: e.g. vegetable chop suey or chow mein, beef in oyster sauce, chicken/pork with vegetables. Shrimp/chicken Szechuan dishes, shrimp/chicken chow mein.
Any steamed or grilled fish. Eat plenty of plain boiled rice.
TIP! Always use chopsticks – they help to slow down your rate of eating!
Best desserts

Lychees. Fruit salad.

Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion)

Any starter described as ‘crispy’, ‘battered’, ‘sizzling’ or ‘deep-fried’: Large Spring roll (420); 1 Shrimp cracker (15); Spare ribs (140 per rib); Deep-fried Prawns (365); Crispy Duck (750).
Main courses
All duck dishes, beef and pork, any dish described as ‘crispy’, ‘battered’, ‘sizzling’ or ‘deep-fried’. Sweet & Sour Pork (850); chicken & cashew nuts, any sizzling dish (650); Fried rice (550 per portion). Avoid fried rice, fried noodles. If extra hungry, fill up with extra boiled rice.

Fritters (100 -150)


Best starters
Any clear soup, hot and sour soup with prawns (Tom Yam Gung), any Thai salad with low-fat dressing (e.g. lemon or lime juice dressings). Beware all dressings or sauces made from coconut milk, peanuts or cream.
Best main courses

Main dishes – choose stir-fried, steamed, broiled or boiled. Go for prawns, vegetable, chicken, beef and pork. Steamed fish or fish in lemon sauce. Pork with bamboo shoots, pork with ginger. Choose plain or fragrant boiled rice.
Best desserts
Stick to plain fruit, or plain ice-cream.
Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion)
Avoid starters like Thai rolls (1 small roll =100), chicken wings (1=160), and anything in peanut sauces (satay) (400-500). Main courses: avoid things made with coconut milk or peanuts. Avoid all fat-fried dishes, fried rice (550) & coconut rice (600). Warning! Some steamed Thai dishes are also deep-fried, so check before you order! Most Thai desserts are too risky. Even their fruit dishes are very syrupy.


Best avoided altogether.
Best main courses
Any plain Tandoori or Tikka dish; Lamb Roghan Josh; Vegetable curry. Plain boiled or basmati rice.
Best desserts

Stick to plain ice-cream.

Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion)
Onion Bhaji (190 each); Meat samosa (320); Vegetable samosa (260); Poppadoms (40 each); Poppadoms with Mango chutney/lime pickle (80 each).
Main courses

Chicken Korma (850); Beef Madras (755); Lamb Biryani (850); Lamb Bhuna (680); Pork Vindaloo (600); Chicken Dhansak (720); Chicken curry (700); Nan Bread (300); Pilau rice (400).
Indian ice-cream (Kulfi) (300-500).


Best starters
Any salad (without dressing); Soup; Melon; Seafood platter.
Best main courses

Any plain steak; any plain fish; any plain pork/ chicken dish.
Best extras

Boiled potatoes; any vegetable/salad (without butter/mayonnaise/dressing etc.).
Best desserts

Lemon meringue; Baked Alaska; fresh fruit salad; low-fat ice-cream; sorbet.

Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion)
Spare ribs (560); deep-fried mushrooms (350-400); prawn cocktail (350); Pate & toast (400).
Main course
Scampi (500); Onion rings (250-300); Chips (300-350); 3 roast potatoes (240).
Cheesecake (300-350); Profiteroles (350-400); Apple crumble & custard (350); Candy Fudge cake (400); Apple pie & custard (420); Mud pie (570).

General advice: avoid this food altogether. Most of it is soaked in fat.

Best (i.e. least worst) meal
Plain burger; Breast of chicken; Fish cake; Any fish (but remove batter!)
Best Chips
Small portion of thickly cut, traditional style chips.
Best side dish
Mushy peas.

Dishes to avoid (approx. calories per portion)
Sausage in batter (400); Small cod in batter (250); Large cod in batter (400); ¼-pounder burger (400-550); ¼-pounder with cheese (500-550); ½-pounder (810); Chicken Nuggets (400); Fillet of Fish 330; Onion rings (250-300). Regular fries (260); Large fries (400-500).
Apple pie (300); Large non-diet soft drink (200); Regular shake (300); Large shake (500).

Most canteens now offer a selection of less-fattening foods, but as usual you must choose carefully. For example, avoid butter and all fried food – you’ll only end up wearing it.

Avoid all fried breakfasts.
Choose cereal or muesli (ideally with low-fat milk); bowl of fruit salad; low-fat yogurt and fruit; beans on toast; scrambled/poached/boiled eggs with bread.
Avoid sausage rolls, bacon rolls, pastries, crisps, chocolate etc.
Choose toast or any bread/rolls with low-fat spread & jam; any sandwich, but ask for low-fat spread and no mayonnaise; bananas; low-fat yogurts; any fruit.
Avoid pies, pastries, quiches; cream/cheese sauces; fried or battered food; chips.
Choose any soup with roll & low-fat spread; main dishes with tomato-based sauces (best is chicken or pork); grilled/poached fish; lots of boiled or baked potatoes; any salad with a dash of dressing; any bread with low-fat spread. Best desserts: low-fat yogurts, or fruit.


Choose foods marked ‘low-fat’ or ‘reduced calorie’. If there’s a label, read it!

Always choose low-fat options.

Best bread: Wholemeal or granary bread/rolls; ‘door-step’ thick white bread.
: Ideally, say: ‘no butter or mayo, thanks!’ Or ask for low-fat spread.
: Lean turkey, chicken, ham; tuna/salmon without mayo; any salad except coleslaw.
: Soup is great. So is fruit & low-fat yogurt; but avoid crisps, peanuts and biscuits etc.
: Any bottled water; skimmed milk; fruit juice.

Mary is 38, with four children and has dieted on and off for about ten years. However, instead of getting slimmer, she has grown from just under 12 stone to a whopping 14 stone! Why? Because each time she starts a new diet, it only lasts 3 weeks. Then she has a crisis and gives up. Result? She is getting fatter and fatter.
Anyway, in January 1999, Mary begins dieting as usual and for three weeks everything is fine. She follows her diet, eats lots of good food and loses half a stone. Then, in early February, she has a crisis! It happens when she’s out shopping. She passes the cake counter in the supermarket and suddenly all she wants in the whole world is a chocolate éclair. She tries to dismiss the thought but it’s no use. She has to have a cake, there and then. So she does. She sits down in a nearby café and eats three chocolate éclairs one after the other. Of course, when she realises what she’s done she is full of remorse. ‘I’m a failure!’ she wails. ‘I’m never going to lose weight.’ And all the way home she worries about what she’s done. She can’t leave it alone. She is so depressed. So that evening, she goes to the cupboard, pulls out a packet of biscuits and eats the lot! Five minutes later, she feels sick. So now, she’s depressed and sick. That night she lies awake in bed, full of guilt. Once again, she has ruined her diet. Once again, she has failed. Once again she is going to give up. But the more she thinks about it, the more she realises that giving up is not the answer. After all, she’s spent the last 10 years giving up diets and look at her! She is fatter than ever.
So the following morning, Mary does something extraordinary. Instead of giving up her diet and feeling bad about it, she gives herself a good talking-to. Never mind the éclairs and the biscuits, she tells herself. I’m going to start again. I’m going to go back on my diet and carry on as though nothing has happened. So she does.
Result? This little decision transforms Mary’s life. It doesn’t turn her into a perfect dieter. Far from it! In fact, over the Spring and Summer she has several more crises. But now she knows what to do. Whenever she has a crisis, she simply waits until it passes and then goes back on her diet. Today, a year later, Mary is almost exactly 10 stone.
So girls, the message is simple. A crisis is not terminal! A crisis is not the end! So if you have a bad day and eat 27 packets of chocolate chip cookies, don’t panic! It’s just a minor hiccup. Just wait until it passes and then go back on your diet. Don’t forget, Mary used to think that every crisis was terminal. She used to think that once she went off her diet, it was pointless going back. So every time she had a binge she gave up. That’s why she spent 10 years putting on weight. Don’t make the same mistake! Instead, be smart! So you have a bad day. So what? Just pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back on track. Keep doing this, and within six months you’ll have the most gorgeous figure you could ever want.