Eating out 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.
Pret a Manger is a popular coffee and sandwich chain that offers dine-in or take-away options for a quick meal whilst out and about. With so many options on the menu, it can be tricky to know what to choose, especially if you’re trying to stick to your healthy lifestyle.
Eating out is often a much anticipated treat, especially after a year in lockdown, so it’s perfectly ok to choose a more indulgent option if you want to. 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.
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 peppers), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.
To save you time and stress, the registered nutritionists here at Second Nature have gone through the menu and nutritional information of this popular chain and picked out some options that generally fit the bill of lower-carb balanced meals. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).
Order without adjustments
These options can be ordered as-is and enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.
- Ham and spinach omelette
- Mushroom, cheddar, and tomato omelette (v)
- Miso soup
- Pea and mint soup (v)
- Pret’s Chicken Katsu soup
- Souper Tomato (v)
- Red Thai vegetable soup (v)
Salads and Protein Pots
- Italian chicken salad
- Smoked salmon protein box
- Tuna nicoise salad
- Egg and spinach protein pot
- Chicken, pesto, mozzarella salad
- Crayfish and avocado salad
- Vegan Italian salad bowl (v)
- Roast beets, squash, and feta veggie box (v)
- Mexican inspired salad bowl (v)
These are more indulgent options that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, just less often:
- All sandwiches (including toasted), baguettes, and wraps
- Hot pastries
- All hot brioche and rolls
- Vegan plain or chocolate croissant
Note: Porridge is a healthy, filling breakfast option but is typically high in carbohydrates so may not be suitable for everyone, especially if you’re following a lower-carb diet.
It’s perfectly ok to indulge and enjoy pastries, cakes, and cookies every now and again. If you do choose to indulge, enjoy mindfully! Try to pair these options with something high in protein (e.g. an omelette) to help you stay fuller for longer.
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Take home message
- There’s so many options to choose from when eating at Pret a Manger, some more healthy than others
- Lower carb diets have been shown to be the most effective for weight loss
- If you want to indulge, enjoy your meal out without guilt and aim to eat healthy meals the next day
- If you’re looking for a healthy meal, there are a number of healthy, lower-carb options you can choose from