healthy_eatingA burger might seem harmless enough.
A piece of meat, on a bun, some salad, a slice of cheese, maybe a little sauce or mayo on top. It’s not that bad right?
Nearly all of the major fast food chains have a burger option on the menu.
And why wouldn’t they, when burgers are so popular with adults and kids alike.
When you are trying to lose weight, it’s not just the calories in the fast food burgers that are an issue (though they are immense).
It’s also the fat, sugar, salt and additives that go along with it that make these burgers a ‘sometimes food’ and not a regular item on your healthy eating plan.
Oporto and Nando’s top the list on the calorie stakes with an Oporto’s Medium Bondi Burger coming in at 671 calories; and a Nando’s Chicken Burger Supreme with 687 calories.

Compare that to most of the healthy meal ideas on our site that are around 300 calories for a complete meal.
It’s easy to see how these burgers pack a big calorie punch (especially when you add on a medium Oporto chips at 490 calories or Nando’s medium chips at a whopping 655 calories each).
So what are we to do when the urge for a burger strikes? Make your own of course!
Today we want to give you the tools for building your own better burgers at home.
Once you find your perfect burger recipe, you could make it as a special treat for the whole family instead of a take away.

The Bun

Have you ever noticed how the buns at most of the fast food chains are super soft and a little bit sweet? That’s no accident.
By making the buns this way, they can be consumed faster which means you have eaten all of it before your brain has had a chance to register whether or not it is still hungry.
When making your own healthy burgers, treat yourself to a really good quality bun such as a sour dough or a wholemeal grainy roll. These tend to be a bit chewier and crispy on top.
It’s great if you can avoid the traditional white roll and go for something wholemeal or wholegrain.
Another idea is to go topless! By making your burger with just half a roll you are cutting down on half of the normal amount of bread.
Here is a recipe for a Topless Chicken Burger which has a delicious Parmesan and yoghurt sauce.
Feeling even more adventurous? Why not go totally bunless! Pop everything into a lettuce cup and enjoy, or pile everything onto a plate and tuck in.

The Meat

The fat content is vast in many of the fast food burgers – you can say hello to 35g of fat in a Hungry Jacks Bacon Deluxe.
The quality of the meat plays a big part here. If you can afford it, it’s great to use lean cuts of meat such as chicken breast; or a lean beef mince is great too.
Cheaper mince tends to have a much higher fat content, so best to steer clear if you can.
If you are making a traditional burger and using mince, you will then need to add some herbs, spices, veggies, egg and something to bind it with.
Why not try our:

Another great idea is to go for a vegetarian option.
You could try our:

The Salad

Salad is a great way to add crunch and texture to your burger. Try different styles for cutting up the salad. For instance you could use grated carrot, sliced strips of cucumber, diced tomato and fresh baby spinach leaves.

The Cheese

Ever noticed how the cheese on a McDonald’s burger is vivid yellow? That’s not natural. Choose a tasty, low fat cheese such as cheddar, Edam or Jarlsberg and enjoy the real taste of cheese.

The Sauce

Sauce can be a major culprit in the unhealthy side of fast food. Something as simple as a dollop of BBQ sauce actually contains 45% sugar.
We would recommend making your own healthy sauces for your burgers, as they are a great way to inject loads of flavour.
Salsa is a great one as it is loaded with fresh tomato and herbs. You could try our Steak Burger with Green Salsa.
Another idea is to use something that is already saucy as the filling for your burger. For instance you could make our Lamb and Fetta Meatballs and then use them as the burger and sauce all in one!

The Sides

Can’t have a burger without chips? That’s OK – you don’t have to miss out. Try making your own healthy Sweet Potato Chips.
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine and you can get a 10% discount by using code LOYALTY at the checkout
PLUS our BEST SELLING 28 Day Diet & Exercise Plan has now launched as an 84pg Printed Book and you can get your copy here 
Click HERE to see our shop