A low calorie roast dinner that still tastes delicious is totally possible – and here’s how!

When we think of winter weekends and long lazy Sundays, we can’t help but think of a roast dinner! One of the best bits of the UK’s long cold winter months, there’s nothing better than sitting down with friends and family to enjoy a classic British dish.

But how many calories are you consuming when you tuck in to your favourite roast dinner? Here we look at how you can cut the calories in your roast, but without sacrificing the flavor. So you can still enjoy a delicious roast dinner – guilt free!


Choose your meat mindfully

The key component to any roast dinner is, of course, the meat. This part of your meal isn’t actually that bad for you if you choose carefully. Lamb or duck, for example, are the fattiest types of meat you could choose. If you pick a roast chicken or turkey though, this lean type of white meat is actually a fantastic source of protein (which is important in any diet) and can come to as little as 142 calories per portion.

Cook it carefully

Once you’ve picked your meat, make sure to roast it on rack inside a roasting tin. This will keep the meat out of the fat that runs off as it cooks. Placing half a lemon inside meat like a roast chicken, or using a self-basting tin, will ensure your meat is still moist as well as cutting the calories in the final product!

Really good roasties

The thought of crispy roast potatoes makes our mouths waters, but peeled spuds cooked in a tray of goose fat (as is often tradition) isn’t the best for anyone watching their weight, or trying to stick to a diet. Try popping your potatoes in a tray of (unflavoured) coconut oil twhen roasting – and don’t peel them first either! The coconut oil will deliver the same great tasting crispy roast potatoes that you’re used to (but better for you!) and leaving the skins on will mean they absorb less fat and keep all their nutrients – win win!


Be good with the gravy

A roast wouldn’t be complete without drizzling some delicious gravy over the top. However, pre-made gravy sauces or mixes can be full of salt – and even sugar – which will increase the calories in your meal. Try and make your own gravy at home where possible, as this will be a much healthier alternative.

Keep it colourful

For the ultimate low calorie roast dinner, make sure there is plenty of veg on your plate – and keep an eye on portion size! A colourful plate of carrots, potatoes and green veg is ideal. The vegetables should take up roughly one third of your plate at least. A general rule for portion size can be found here.

Watch the added extras

The main parts of your roast aren’t actually that bad for you – the meat is a great source of protein, the veg (especially if steamed or cooked lightly) are a fantastic part of your five a day. It’s the added extras such as bread sauce, cauliflower cheese and stuffing that will up the calorie count and make you pile on the pounds! Try sticking just one ‘added extra’ such as a Yorkshire pudding on your plate – at just 36 calories per pudding, we think you’re allowed one!


Take a look at some of our fantastic roast recipes…