Eating out at restaurants is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants always means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.
Grill’d Healthy Burgers is one of Australia’s favourite burger chains, specialising in burgers that are healthier than the standard takeaway option. Whilst some of their options are higher in carbohydrates, there are some healthier, lower-carb alternatives when you find yourself eating there.
Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss. Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or capsicum), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.
It’s also completely ok to enjoy a higher carbohydrate option when you really want one. The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards.
To save you time and stress, our Accredited Dietitians have gone through the Grill’d menu and nutritional information and picked out some healthier options. Not all the options are strictly low-carb, but provide the best-balanced meals on offer. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).
If weight loss is your goal, these options will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan:
1. Any Grill’d burger on a ‘Low Carb SuperBun’, including:
- Beef options: Simply Grill’d, Nourish & Flourish, Chilli Addict
- Chicken options: Zen Hen, Hot Bird
- Lamb options: Baa Baa Burger, Mary’s Kebab
- Wagyu: Sir Truffle
- Plant-based: Field Day (v), Mite-y Mushroom (v), Beyond Chipotle (v)
2. All Grill’d burgers without a bun, excluding the Garden Goodness veggie pattie:
3. Any Grill’d burger on a ‘Low Carb SuperBun’, including:
- Bun: choose ‘Low Carb SuperBun’ or no bun
- Protein: beef, wagyu, lamb, chicken breast, or Beyond Pattie (v)
- Filling: add plenty of salad vegetables
- Sauces: preferably avoid high sugar sauces such as tomato relish and sweet chilli sauce, and choose a lower-sugar sauce such as mayonnaise
4. Chicken caesar salad without croutons
These options are all balanced meals, but are slightly higher in carbohydrate content:
1. Garden Goodness with no bun (v)
2. Beyond plant-based burger range:
- Simply Grill’d (v)
- Garden Goodness – ‘Low Carb SuperBun’ or no bun (v)
- Garden Goodness vegan – ‘Low Carb SuperBun’ or no bun (v)
3. Superpower salad
4. Chicken caesar salad without croutons
Enjoy less frequently
1. Any burger on a traditional bun or panini
2. Chickpea & sweet potato salad
3. Sides, including potato, sweet potato or zucchini chips (v)
It’s important to bear in mind, many drinks contain hidden sugars that can dramatically increase the carb content of your meal. The drinks on offer at Grill’d include soft drinks and juices, which are high in added or naturally occurring sugars. To keep your meal lower in carbohydrates, we recommend opting for water.
However, if you’d like to enjoy a sweetened drink, it’s okay to do so on occasion. We’ve pulled out some lower sugar options that Grill’d offer. These include;
1. Schweppes mineral water orange & mango: this drink does contain some added sugar, but is a lower sugar alternative to other soft drinks.
2. Remedy kombucha: this drink contains sweeteners rather than sugar. Whilst sweeteners won’t increase your blood sugar levels, we recommend limiting your intake as they can increase cravings for other sweet foods/drinks.
Second Nature recipe swaps
Another great alternative to takeaways is cooking your own Second Nature ‘fakeaway’ at home! The great thing about a fakeaway is the recipe can be adapted to improve its nutritional content, and we know exactly what goes into the meal! There’s a number of recipes on our app that could make a delicious Grill’d fakeaway, including:
- Cheeseburger stuffed peppers
- Curried chickpea burgers
- Tofu steak burger
- Chicken and kale caesar salad
When eating out, it’s important to be mindful of your portion size and check in with your hunger cues. Restaurant portions are often much larger than we would eat at home so don’t feel pressured to eat everything. You can always take leftovers home in a doggy bag for lunch or dinner the following day.
Take home message
- Enjoy a traditional or panini burger, or side of chips when you really want them, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
- Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
- If you don’t want to indulge, there are a number of healthier, lower-carb options you can order.
- Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.