However noble your intentions, sometimes a grab-and-go feast just makes more sense than meal prep. You’re busy, after all. But ease needn’t be at odds with nutrition. Men’s Health crunched the numbers on the high street’s best boxed, bagged and grease paper-wrapped eats for short orders that satisfy healthy appetites.
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Pure Avocado And Tomato Omelette Roll
Catching the early train? There are better options out there than porridge pots. When it comes to selecting a satiating breakfast that you can hoover up before your first meeting, Pure’s egg roll has it wrapped up. It subs in a protein and healthy fat-rich omelette for your usual flour tortilla, reducing the carb count to fewer than 7g, while turmeric, paprika and sun-dried tomatoes add spice and sweetness. It’ll do double duty on the hunger front, too: a study in the journal Nutrients suggests avocado increases post-meal satisfaction, while men who choose eggs for breakfast tend to eat less throughout the day.
Cals 347 / Protein 13.4g / Fibre 1.4g
Itsu Spicy Tuna Dragon Rolls With Edamame
Whether you’re a multiple-mini-meals guy or planning a bigger splurge once the working day’s done, sometimes you want a midday meal that won’t leave you in an afternoon carb coma. Light yet high in hunger-curbing fibre, a dragon roll is a smart choice (with extra wasabi, if you’re happy breathing fire…) Line-caught yellowfin tuna is a good source of omega-3, while pickled ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and supports gut health. A side of edamame beans lifts the protein count and provides the full spectrum of amino acids.
Cals 408 / Protein 17.8g / Fibre 19.8g
McDonald’s Chicken Selects
That old myth about the body not absorbing more than 30g of protein at a time? Not true. Which is a very good thing, given Maccy D’s best offers up 42g of the good stuff – almost as much as you’d score from a box of 20 McNuggets, with considerably fewer fats and carbs, too. Admittedly, you might associate the Golden Arches more closely with drunken train station binges than gym fuel. But hey – your muscles won’t know where you bought them. We’ll take ours with smoky barbecue dip.
Cals 599 / Protein 42g / Fibre 0.3g
Pret Sticky Mushroom Salad Bowl
If you want to make a strong start to your week – or counterbalance an indulgent weekend – this vegetable-stuffed salad bowl from Pret is your ally, providing micronutrients aplenty along with more than a quarter of your RDA of appetite-balancing fibre. Hoisin-glazed chestnut mushrooms are the star vehicle, a regular intake of which has been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. That’s accompanied by diced mango, avocado, pickled carrot and edamame, plus fluffy quinoa and red rice for slow-burning carbs. Top with your choice of protein or add a Pret egg pot for an extra 11.4g.
Cals 376 / Protein 9.5g / Fibre 8.3g
Leon Moroccan Me*tballs
Vegan lunch options can sometimes feel feeble. (Hummus sandwich, anyone?) Not so with this takeaway box, which packs an impressive 25g of protein, the same amount you’d find in an average whey shake. The meatless balls are made primarily from pea, which is easily digested and, when paired with rice, serves up all nine of the amino acids you need for muscle growth and recovery. The me*tballs are simmered in a moreish Moroccan-style tomato sauce, which will top you up on vitamin C as a side benefit.
Cals 756 / Protein 25g / Fibre 7g
Joe & The Juice Blue Magic
If you’re craving something sweet to counteract your afternoon productivity slump, swerve the vending machine in favour of a cup of Joe. Fibre-rich dates add natural sweetness, while healthy fats from the avocado and cashew plus protein from the hemp seeds and pea powder will balance out any blood sugar spikes. Its not-so-secret ingredient? Spirulina, a type of algae, which is rich in antioxidants and has been linked to robust heart health and reduced blood pressure. Helpful if you’re a long way off inbox zero…
Cals 397 / Protein 23g / Fibre 15g
Greggs Mexican Chicken Chipotle Wrap
There’s no need to overcomplicate your post-exercise feed. But if you’re a man who likes a formula to follow, most experts agree that a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is optimal to restock your glycogen levels and kick-start the recovery process. This chicken wrap – from the UK’s favourite fast-food chain – hits the mark, with 60g of the former and 20g of the latter. Red peppers add helpful vitamins; chipotle-chilli mayonnaise helps it go down easier than any shake. Order to your desk if today was legs day.
Cals 469 / Protein 21g / Fibre 3.2g
You’ve just missed the train home after a few after-work cold ones, and the next departure isn’t for 18 minutes. Your options for a quick, IPA-absorbing meal with at least some nutritional merit might seem thin on the ground. But BK’s Whopper is a surprising winner. Its patties are made from 100% British and Irish beef, which is a good source of selenium and zinc, with each weighing in at about 30g of protein – that’s more than a Big Mac. Plus, you’ll be subbing out the usual cheese and mayo for generous helpings of tomato, lettuce, onion and gherkins, ensuring you soak up a few micronutrients, too.
Cals 634 / Protein 31g / Fibre 3g
It’s probably not news to you that takeaway pizza has been elevated above the meat feasts and triple cheeses of your university days. Franco Manca has spent a lot of time finessing the finer details of its recipes – and it shows. The pizza bases are made with 24-hour proved sourdough, resulting in a crisp, chewy texture with a slight lactic tang, while also being gentler on your digestive system. Buttery British mozzarella adds protein, while organic tomato will top you up on immunity-maintaining lycopene. Plus, the whole pie hits less than a third of your calorie RDA.
Cals 784 / Protein 33.4g / Fibre 3.9g
Tortilla Barbacoa Burrito
In a fairer world, this category wouldn’t merit a mention. But if you have to pull a late one, you might as well make sure you’ve something good to eat. Our pick: the beef barbacoa burrito from Tortilla, which has multiple branches open until 9pm. Not only is the meat good quality – grass-fed, British beef – but the coriander rice and black beans will ensure a steady release of energy so you’re at less risk of zoning out mid-spreadsheet. Go heavy on the grilled veg, salsa, pickled onions and jalapeños, while holding the cheese, cream and guac, and it comes in at a light 600 cals. Or go all-in. You’ve earned it, after all.
Cals 600 / Protein 34g / Fibre 11g
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