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How many SmartPoints in a chinese takeaway?

Dear god if I had a euro for every time I've been asked this question I could afford lipo, a tummy tuck and a pool boy!

On the right hand side of this blog there is a column with pages listing all the the foods that I love (and you really love too!) SmartPointed... I've also left the original ProPoints lists, as I got so many requests not to delete them, so if you scroll down you'll find them there too... In these ProPoint lists are the values of takeaways... as they were given by Weight Watchers way back when ProPoints where the thing and sugar wasn't factor in the WW plan, but these were guidelines... good old common sense was to be used too!

Here's the bottom line on takeaways in my opinion, YOU are responsible for what you put in your mouth, YOU... and if you want to eat a double portion of chicken curry and claim 'Well her blog says it's 18SP and I'm still up this week so she's wrong not me' or 'my leader says it's 15SP' I'm not going to argue with you.... in fact I'm happy that you talked to you leader about it! But if you want someone to blame, then you're looking for the holy grail of losing weight by not having to work hard for it... good luck with that...

Now, before the SmartPoint police ride into town, I'm not saying you can't have a takeaway... I love a my chinese food... (I love all kinda of food, so that's my problem!)...Sweet chilli chicken is my FAV, and I've learned how to make that now and it's WAY nicer than any takeaway! >>> HERE <<<  and gimme a skewered chicken satay from my local Thai place every night of the week but you see, I'm fat! I have struggle with an eating disorder since my teens and I still  have 5/6 stone to lose  and whilst I can have it if I want, I save takeaways for treats and I have to work out the SP values based on what I see! It's the same in any restaurant... pizza in an Italian restaurant will be different to a Dominos or one you'd make yourself... a portion of battered cod will vary from chip shop to chip shop...

I usually order chicken chow mein and the first night I ordered this when SmartPoints started, I took my chow mein apart, literally... I weighed the chicken and the noodles... I was honest about how many noodles were in there no guessing and I probably did overestimate the amount of sauce but when I order it now, I whip 20SP off my weeklies... I make mayfield curry sauce whilst the delivery is on the way and have some broghies as prawn crackers and I'm happy out! But that's just my local chinese and the skewered satay from one is VASTLY different to another I order from, loads more sauce but smaller skewers and there's 3 in their portion not 2, so again I have to use common sense... they couldn't possibly both be the same SmartPoints...

So here's the low down on takeaways and why there's no definitive list of SmartPoint values for it!

1. Portion size... 

I live in the city and 3 chinese takeaways near my house, all deliver the food in different shaped boxes... there's the foil kind with the paper lid, the plastic 'I'm gonna save this and use it as a lunch box' kind (FYI these never see a sandwich, let alone your desk!) and the paper boxes 'we think we live in New York and are on an episode of Friends' kind... these all vary in size, so saying a chicken curry from all of them would be the same SmartPoints, just doesn't make ME smart to be honest... Not only does each takeaway vary but the box the rice comes in can be slightly larger or smaller that the box the curry comes in (see pic below!)... Most chinese takeaway portions are for two people but you'll only know that if YOU ask them...

2. and Portion size... 

Spring roll on the left - 2SP 
Spring roll on the right - 1SP

Exhibit 'A' your honour.... Here's two spring rolls... I know the SmartPoint values of these because I bought them in a shop with the nutritional values on the pack but HOW the ones in YOUR local chinese are cooked and what they're cooked in, can be different to these which are just baked in the oven... EG: One of my local takeaways sends 2 large veggie spring rolls and another send 3 smaller ones with duck in them... No way they could both be the same SmartPoint value... It's up to me to work out the SmartPoints in them... 

Diggers mini chicken spring roll 15g per roll - 
1 mini roll - 1 SP
2 mini rolls - 3SP
3 mini rolls - 4SP
4 mini rolls - 6SP 

Oriental Kitchen Vegetable Spring Rolls
per 50g roll - 2SP
2 veggie rolls - 4SP

3. How the food is prepared... 

This yummy bag of hot, spicy, flavoured food arrives to your front door, smelling like heaven and you never had to chop an onion... you can dish it out on plates or tuck straight into the cartons and do a DIY service! BUT who cooked it? and how? Did they use rapeseed oil? Olive oil? Did they spray the wok lightly before stir frying your food? What's the batter made from? Is everything deep fried? Is it deep fried in vegetable oil? Are there any additives in it? MSG?  How much sugar is added to your sweet & sour sauce or does it come from somewhere else that the takeaway wouldn't even know the answer to that question? These are all variables as to why each takeaway is different...

When you make a stir fry at home YOU are in control... you can add all the free veggies you like to bulk it up, you can control the amount of sauce you add and you can weigh out your protein... that doesn't happen in a takeaway... they fill up the tub from food that has been prepared and off it scoots to your house as fast as it can. and even faster into our bellies... anyone else just hoover a takeaway?! Just me?! 

I read that Weight Watchers did some research on this exact topic taking 2 different Sweet & Sour chicken dishes from 2 different takeaways... one worked out at 13SP, the other 31SP! Purely because of how it was cooked, the ingredients used and the portion sizes... Once you start making your own chinese and pizzas, nothing from a takeaway tastes as good... it's amazing how your palate changes as you eat more healthily and everything just tastes greasy... I also feel the same way about full fat milk! bleurgh...

So the answer to that age old question... 

How many SmartPoints are in a chinese takeaway?
The only person who knows is you! 

Again, for the record your honour,  I'm not against takeaways, and I'm not picking on chinese food either, no way not me... but YOU have to use your common sense when you order food and if you want the works, order it! Get chopsticks and eat it slowly to enjoy every single mouthful! You are responsible for your weight loss, so if you're like me, pick your fav takeaway... take the time to work out your fav dish and then the next time you order it you can relax knowing that you can have it and enjoy it and know you're staying within your SmartPoints!


  1. Love this common sense and if we are honest we should all be equally honest, it's not a one size fits all thing, so many differences. Thankyou

  2. You are a marvel doll!Honesty is never easy for us☺ ..

  3. Great Article you can keep kidding yourself about take out food but I prefer to cook my own now because the guilt spoils it for me. Love your Blog and thank you for all the updates. Brenda

  4. l have just started SP points abd cannot find points for l piece Cod fried can any one help me Thanking you Virginia Harding


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