Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

10 healthy twists on your favourite meals from The Fitness Chef

by Genevieve Halbert

published on 14 January 2021

Graeme Tomlinson is a mythbuster. He’s got zero time for complicated, pseudo-scientific diets that turn your life upside down and make eating a chore. His first book, the bestselling Eat What You Like & Lose Weight For Life inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to reject fad diets and embrace a scientifically sound method of counting calories, while empowering them to keep eating their favourite foods. The ethos of his latest book The Fitness Chef is that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is only possible if you are eating a satisfying, varied, and exciting diet. A balanced diet, Graeme explains, is not just about calorie intake and nutrition; a balanced diet is also about actually enjoying the food you eat.

From the book

The 100 recipes in The Fitness Chef were voted for by Graeme’s 800k Instagram followers, and are lighter versions of some of the nation’s best loved dishes, from sausage and bacon rolls to Thai red curry. Graeme’s focus is on using the same ingredients and making the same amount of food (generous portions are something he feels strongly about) while still significantly reducing the calories in each dish. Each recipe includes a side-by-side by side calorie comparison of the original “tasty” dish and The Fitness Chef’s “still tasty” twist, so you can see exactly how many calories you are saving. 

To get a sense of what The Fitness Chef is all about, scroll on to check out 10 recipes from inside the book . . . 

The Fitness Chef Hash Browns

Red Pepper Hash Brown Stack with Poached Eggs

Ditch the boring sandwich and whip up a batch of these red pepper hash browns for your next work-from-home lunch. Flavoured with herbs and paprika and topped with two poached eggs, this tasty meal will help you power through the afternoon.  

The Fitness Chef Sausage Roll

Sausage and Bacon Breakfast Roll

Is there a better way to start the day than with a mood-enhancing (and hangover-busting) breakfast roll? The Fitness Chef cuts down the calories here by using reduced fat sausages and bacon medallions, but keeps 100% of the mouth-watering flavour. 

The Fitness Chef Salmon Yaki Soba

Salmon Yaki Soba

With a few minor adjustments, Graeme creates a lower-cal version of the Japanese classic, yaki soba, using salmon fillets, egg noodles, and plenty of fresh, crunchy veg. 

The Fitness Chef Cheeseburger

Cheese-Loaded Burger

“Yes, you can stuff cheese in a burger, load up on toppings, and still lose weight!” writes Graeme. With a few clever swaps, he shows you how to create a fully-loaded burger that will satisfy your fast food cravings.

The Fitness Chef Vanilla Carrot Cupcakes

Vanilla Cream Carrot Cakes

When the sugar cravings kick in, don’t deprive yourself! Instead, whip up a batch of these vanilla cream cupcakes – they’re made with slightly less butter and sugar in them than traditional cupcakes, but they’re still sweet, fluffy, and perfect with a hot cup of tea.

The Fitness Chef Mac and Cheese

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Sometimes mac ‘n’ cheese will do. This lighter version of this American comfort food classic is just as gooey and cheesy as the original, but Graeme adjusts the ingredients slightly to save a massive 400 calories.

The Fitness Chef Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

This much-loved sandwich usually packs a calorific punch. This lighter version, made with cheese, pastrami, sauerkraut, and Russain dressing, delivers all the same tasty flavours with 238 fewer calories. It’s another great work-from-home lunch or afternoon snack. 

The Fitness Chef Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

To re-create this popular tapas dish, Graeme roasts the potatoes instead of deep-frying them to give them a truly moreish crispiness with significantly fewer calories. These are delicious as a side dish or as part of a tapas-style sharing feast.

The Fitness Chef Prawn Curry

Massaman Prawn Curry 

This creamy, fragrant curry is just the thing for a chilly midweek evening. It’s quick, easy, highly nutritious, and with Graeme’s careful adjustments it will help keep your calorie count down too. 

Want the full recipe? Click here.

The Fitness Chef Tiramisu


Tiramisu might be one of the most indulgent desserts you can eat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a lighter version that’s just as satisfying. This ingenious recipe will help you save a massive 485 calories. 

From the book


You might also like

View all


Recipes to help you cut down on ultra-processed food

Delicious dinners, lunches and snack ideas from our dedicated unprocessed food cookbooks.


Mary’s Foolproof Dinners: 5 things we can reveal so far

Here’s everything you need to know about Mary Berry’s 2024 cookbook, including the release date, TV series, and some of the recipes inside.

Recipe Collections

10 clever one-pot meals for one

Discover 10 simple, creative one-pot recipes for single-portion meals, including hearty dinners, salads, dessert and more.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week