Swap your Takeaway for a Fakeaway!

Swap your Takeaway for a Fakeaway!

As a nation seven percent of people in the UK eat ‘junk food’ every day. A further four in ten (40%) eat convenience food at least once a week, this is according to a YouGov poll (opens in new tab). Chinese, Indian and pizza are some of the most popular takeaway options in the UK. According to KPMG (opens in new tab), we spend an average of £641 a year on takeaways!

Piggy bank with coins around it

While a takeaway can be a nice treat to welcome in the weekend, the calorie, fat and salt content of popular meals can be very high and push you over the suggested daily maximum intakes. For example, a standard portion of fish and chips contains around 850 calories and 48.3 grams of fat (that’s 9 teaspoons!), while a 12” pizza can contain more than 1,800 calories and 76.6g of fat (a staggering 14 teaspoons!).

Below are some of our top tips for choosing healthier takeaway options. Remember lots of companies now list calorie information on their menus so check them to help you choose healthier options.

Fish and Chips

  • Opt for thicker cut chips rather than French fries as they absorb less fat
  • Share a portion of chips rather than having individual portions
  • If having a side, opt for beans or peas
  • Watch out for processed products like sausages and pies
  • If adding salt to your chips, add it yourself and try to only use a small amount


  • Avoid items on the menu described as ‘crispy’ as this usually means they’ve been deep fried e.g. crispy spring rolls, crispy chilli beef, sweet and sour pork balls
  • Opt for low fat, lean proteins such as fish, seafood and chicken e.g. chicken chop suey
  • Choose boiled rice instead of fried rice


  • Stick to vegetable and tomato based curries such as tandoori, madras and biriyani. Add mint yoghurt to add extra flavour!
  • If opting for side dishes choose those that are low in fat such as plain chapatti and wholemeal roti rather than Keema (lamb mince) naan, onion bhajis and fried samosas


  • Choose thin crust pizza bases instead of deep pan
  • Avoid opting for stuffed crusts and extra cheese
  • Opt for vegetable based pizza toppings such as pepper, onions, sweetcorn, artichoke
  • Choose low fat protein toppings such as chicken, prawns, tuna, rather than processed meat toppings such as pepperoni, sausage and prosciutto
  • Opt for tomato based pasta sauce dishes rather than creamy cheese based ones
  • Try swapping buttery garlic bread with tomato bruschetta


  • Opt for stir fried and steamed meat/ fish dishes over curry
  • Thai curries are usually made with coconut milk which is high in saturated fat. If choosing these, try not to eat all the sauce
  • Limit fried foods such as fried rice, prawn crackers and spring rolls


  • Opt for un-breaded chicken burgers to reduce your fat intake
  • Choose a single burger, rather than ‘doubling up’
  • Add salad vegetables into your burger such as lettuce, cucumber, tomato and avocado
  • Limit the amount of extra fillings you have such as bacon, fried onion and onions rings
  • If adding sauce to your burger use it sparingly


  • Donner kebabs are high in fat. Opt for a shish kebab as the meat is usually grilled
  • Opt for a small kebab with wholemeal pitta rather than a large kebab
  • If adding sauce to your kebab use it sparingly

Introducing the Friday night Fakeaway!

Set yourself a challenge to reduce the amount of takeaways you buy. For example, if you get a takeaway every week, try only buying one every other week. Just because you’ll be buying less takeaways doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the food you love! Try creating a fakeaway! Below are some healthier tried and tested tasty fakeaway recipes:

Team favourite – Chicken Biriyani

Georgia made this tasty BBC Good Food Chicken Biriyani (opens in new tab) recipe with fresh coriander and toasted almonds. She added mint yoghurt for extra flavour!

Early Start Group Wellbeing and Nutrition Swap your Takeaway for a Fakeaway Blog Picture 2

Team Favourite – Homemade burgers with vegetable kebabs and grilled halloumi

Edwina made these delicious homemade burgers (opens in new tab) and added a vegetable skewer with a side of halloumi.

Early Start Group Wellbeing and Nutrition Swap your Takeaway for a Fakeaway blog picture 4

Super simple Pizza by Jamie Oliver

Check out the recipe here! (opens in new tab)

Early Homemade Pizza by Early Start Nutrition

Check out the recipe here! (opens in new tab)

Early Start Group Wellbeing and Nutrition Swap your takeaway for a fakeaway blog picture 5

Fantastic Fish and Chips 

Here are Early Start Nutrition we have put together some fantastic fish recipes which are perfect for the whole family to enjoy!

Early Start Group Wellbeing and Nutrition Swap your takeaway for a fakeaway blog picture 6

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Follow us on Twitter @EarlyStartRNutr (opens in new tab) and Instagram: Earlystartnutrition (opens in new tab)

1 Comment

  1. Staying Healthy in the New Decade on January 1, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    […] as we head into the new decade, why not look at making small changes to what you eat. Swap takeaways for fakeaways you can make at home. This means you can still enjoy your favorite meal, but a healthier version […]

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