Are Healthy Takeaway Lunches Really a Good Choice?

It’s lunchtime and you’re at work with a hungry tummy. But, instead of racing out there and getting Maccas, you’re trying to decide between the healthy options of a wrap, sushi, salad or a smoothie… After all, you’ve got goals and you’re GOING to achieve them! Unfortunately, a lot of so called healthy takeaway lunches options are actually full of hidden calories. Although you’re genuinely trying to hit your health and fitness goals, your workday lunches may actually be sabotaging your waistline. We’ve crunched the numbers to show you if how some of the most popular healthy takeaway lunches stack up.


Wraps and Sandwiches

  • Chicken, bacon and avocado sandwich = 850 calories
  • Chicken panini = 800 calories
  • Beef burrito = 770 calories
  • Veggie burger = 700 calories
  • Ham, cheese and tomato sandwich = 600 calories



  • Chicken, lentil and kale salad with dressing = 900 calories
  • Caesar salad = 600 calories
  • Tuna pasta salad = 600 calories


Noodles and Rice

  • Seafood laksa = 830 calories
  • Bento box = 630 calories
  • Small nasi goreng = 600 calories
  • 8 pieces of teriyaki chicken and avocado sushi = 460 calories


Smoothies (regular size)

  • Breakfast smoothie = 620 calories
  • Banana smoothie with protein = 570 calories
  • Green tea, mango and yoghurt smoothie = 480 calories
  • Energy lift smoothie = 420 calories


Creating a Healthier Lunch

Did any of those facts surprise you? The dressings and toppings that are usually added to salads end up blowing the total calories out of proportion. Not to mention how much you can accidentally add to your lunch by having it with a smoothie.

If the so-called healthy takeaway lunches aren’t as good as they’re made out to be, what can you do about it? Stay on track with your health and fitness goals by:

  1. Packing your own lunch – If you think you don’t have time to pack your own lunch, set an hour aside each Sunday night to prep a weeks’ worth of meals. Just grab it from the fridge in the morning and instead of queuing up to buy your lunch, go for a nice walk instead.
  2. Include plenty of veggies – Adding lots of veggies to your wrap, sandwich or salads is a great way to fill you up with nutrient rich, low calorie fuel. It’s also full of fibre for a healthy gut.
  3. Skip the salad dressings – If you need to buy your lunch out, choose a salad that has a good mix of carbs, protein, fats and veggies. Then skip the dressings and limit high-calorie toppings.
  4. Limit liquid calories – Smoothies might seem like a diet-friendly ‘healthy’ takeaway lunch option but they’re often high in sugar and low in protein. You might feel full fast, but the lack of slow-digesting nutrients will leave you hungry again in a few hours.
  5. Be wary of thick breads and large wraps – It’s easy to overdo the calories when your sandwich or wrap is served in super-sized. Choose small sizes and wholegrain varieties, add some protein, a bit of healthy fat and lots of salad.