COLUMN- Howard’s Health - ‘My top take-away tips’

John Howard ENGANL00120130210165810
John Howard ENGANL00120130210165810

Award winning local diet coach John Howard understands how hard it is to lose weight – and keep it off. He lost 7 stone in five months – and eight years on has kept his new shape.

Takeaways are easy and taste great but unfortunately we pile on the pounds and end up not feeling - or looking - great.

Here’s some top tips for takeaways that won’t see you becoming unhappy with your weight this year.

Kebab and burgers

Doner kebabs can be high in fat. Why not try a shish kebab, which is a skewer with whole cuts of meat or fish and often grilled.

n Healthier options: Shish kebab with pitta bread and salad, grilled burgers made from lean fish or meat and without cheese or mayonnaise.

n Try to avoid: Large doner kebab with mayonnaise, burgers with cheese and mayonnaise, chips, chicken or fish patties deep fried in batter.


Choose dishes with tomato-based sauces, like madras or tandoori, plain rice or chapatti. Choose vegetables, including lentil (dhal) side dishes.

n Healthier options: Madras or Tandoori with chicken, prawns or vegetables, plain rice and chapatti.

n Try to avoid: Creamy curries like korma, passanda or masala with pilau rice, naan, pakoras, bhajis, and poppadoms.


Crispy or battered means it’s deep fried. Be careful of starters like prawn crackers and spring rolls because these usually are cooked this way.

n Healthier options: Choose chicken chop suey, Szechuan prawns, steamed fish, crab and corn soup, steamed dumplings, steamed vegetables and plain boiled rice.

n Try to avoid: Sweet and sour battered pork balls with special or egg fried rice, prawn toast or spring rolls.


Try to stick to stir-fried dishes or steamed dishes containing chicken, fish or vegetables rather than curries.

Thai curries, such as the popular green and red curries, contain coconut milk, that is high in saturated fat. If you choose a curry, try not to eat all the sauce. Have some steamed rice with your meal rather than egg fried rice.

n Healthier options: Choose clear soups such as tom yum, salads, stir-fried meat, fish or vegetable dishes, steamed seafood dishes, such as fish or mussels.

n Try to avoid: Fried rice, fishcakes, spring rolls, prawn crackers, satay skewers with peanut sauce and sweet and sour dishes.

And above all, choose to be slimmer and look great this year, so you are happy with your food, happy with your health and happy with how you look long term.

n Diet coach John Howard supports dieters on a one to one basis at Eye and from a Stowmarket health centre, to lose about a stone a month and no longer be unhappy with their weight.

He can be contacted on 0787 231 4653, 01379 678416, or by email at For more details: