Healthy food choices: at Wagamama

 HELPING YOU MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES

Everyone should be able to be sociable and enjoy different cuisines every night, whether you are cooking at home or going out for something special. No matter what your goal is, you can go out with friends and family to well-known restaurants and enjoy the occasion without worrying about blowing your diet. It’s just knowing what to have.

Yes, it’s fine to go out to these restaurants for a treat meal and eat whatever you want. If you’ve put in the effort for the rest of the week, you deserve this moment of indulgence whilst still keeping on track towards your goal in general.

SOMETIMES YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO OUT AND HAVE A TREAT

But sometimes you don’t have to go out and have a treat; and sometimes you may have more than one social occasion in the diary that week where you’ll have the entire menu at your disposal but with the want to stay on track with your diet.

There is always confusion at restaurants where you think you may be ordering the ‘healthy’ option; but without knowing it you may be ordering something that’s ‘confit’…a.k.a. submerged in its own rendered fat. It may taste great, but it may not be too great for your hard earned physique and diet.

This series will give you the best options to order at various well-known restaurants to keep you on track with your diet so you never have to worry about what the best choice is for health and fitness.

HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES AT WAGAMAMA

Wagamama is a British-headquartered restaurant chain, serving pan-Asian food in the style of a modern Japanese ramen bar. It has a huge menu of delicious choices, but here are the top dishes for health and to support a calorie controlled weight loss diet.

 

STARTERS, SIDES AND EXTRAS:

Edamame Beans / Wok-fried Greens / Raw Salad / Miso Soup

Tip: Everything else is battered or with quick release carbohydrates. Even the Raw Salad is slightly off from what the title suggests at 140 calories but with 13g of fat coming from the dressing (asking for no dressing would be the best option). All of these are quite salty; British-Asian food from restaurants and takeaways can often be salty with soy sauce used extensively. Note that salt isn’t bad for weight maintenance, but excessive amounts are not good for arteries and heart health and, when consumed with water and carbohydrates, can lead to bloating.

 

MAINS:

Tip: Straight away, rule out all options in the Curry and Donburi sections. These dishes are 800 calories plus with many being over 1000 calories per serving.

OMAKASE

Grilled tuna – The best in the Omakase section is the seared tuna steak on a bed of quinoa, kale, red peppers, red onion and edamame beans, served with a miso cucumber and sesame seed salad at 600 calories per serving. High in protein, healthy fats and low in sugary carbohydrates.

RAMEN

Chicken Ramen – One of the best sections on the menu. Chilli chicken, chilli beef, pork and Wagamama ramens all come second to the classic Chicken Ramen: noodles in a chicken soup topped with grilled chicken breast and seasonal greens, garnished with menma and spring onions. With 500 calories to a dish, and swimming in broth to make you feel full, it is 100-500 calories fewer than the other options in this section.

TEPPANYAKI

Yaki Soba – Not the best section with only one option that is under 600 calories. But Yaki Soba with soba noodles with chicken, prawn, egg, peppers, beansprouts, white and spring onions, garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger and sesame seeds is your best bet. With its relatively high amount of quick release carbohydrates (although low in sugar), it would be viewed as a no-go if it wasn’t packed with quite a lot of fat to blunt the insulin response and potential for immediate fat storage. However, with the inclusion of 28g of fat you see the calories rise to 600, which aren’t the best composed 600 calories at that. Still the best option in the section, but not the best on the menu.

SALADS

Sirloin and Shitake Salad – A great option. 35 day aged sirloin steak with grilled shitake mushrooms, carrots, mangetout, red onions, baby plum tomatoes and mixed leaves in a pea and herb dressing with a granish of red amaranth. 380 calories, low in sugar, low in saturated fats and high in protein.

 

THE IMPOSTERS: Chilli Chicken or Chilli Tofu Salad – calories aren’t just calories. The consumption of them is very important. With these two dishes, their 500+ calories provide high sugars and fats through cooking fats/butters and a sweet chilli sauce in what is meant to look like a healthy option on paper. Enjoy the fact that you now know you can wave a salad goodbye for once and say hello to a Ramen or Omakase.

 

DESSERTS:

A restautant where there is a ‘not-so-bad’ dessert!

Black rice – a shot of black rice pudding topped with coconut cream and a sprig of mint. It is a small portion, but at 68 calories it is has only a small impact on your waist line. Although half its carbohydrate content is sugar, this only amounts to 4g – equivalent to half a tub of Total 0% Greek Yoghurt, for those who want a well-known comparison. This may be the pudding to keep the ‘oh-why-are-you-so-healthy-please-have-a-dessert’ crew at bay.


Chris James MA O.A. Dip

Founder

Fitness Body Pro and London Life Balance

 

Chris James
Top Local Trainer Author
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