At WW we’re all about freedom and flexibility - which means you can lose weight while eating the foods you love.
Right now, we’re on a mission to prove that WW Freestyle™ is our most liveable programme yet by creating a series of articles dedicated to eating out and staying on track.
First, we gave you a SmartPoints®-friendly Nando’s menu and showed you how to enjoy a three course meal at the legendary home of Peri-Peri chicken for just 9 SmartPoints.
Next up is none other than Wagamama!
You may be surprised to hear that Wagamama burst onto the UK food scene over two decades ago, opening its first doors in London’s Bloomsbury in 1992. There are now over 130 Wagamama restaurants across the country and 60 more internationally, from Norway to New Zealand.
From nourishing noodles to revitalising ramen and bold, beautiful flavours (think ginger, chillies and miso), Wagamama serves budget-friendly Asian food inspired by the flavours of Japan.
WW x Wagamama
Wagamama pride themselves on following the philosophy of kaizen, which means good change. We’re advocates for good change here at WW - after all, we’re committed to helping people build healthy habits for real life.
It's easier than you might think to put healthy habits and good change into practice at Wagamama. But how?
The great news is that there are plenty of SmartPoint-friendly options. Plus, it’s easy to make healthy food swaps - for example, you can change the type of noodles in your dish, order brown rice instead of white and even substitute the type of protein in your meal. Anything is possible!
At first glance, the menu looks pretty extensive. But don’t worry - we’re here to help you navigate straight to the dishes that won’t bust your SmartPoints Budget.
With our expert recommendations and just a little bit of advance planning, you can max the flexibility of your Budget.
In fact, you can enjoy a full three course meal and easily stay on track. We say Waga, you say Mama - let’s get this show on the road!
Why not kick off your meal with Wagamama’s amazing selection of sides? Edamame pods with chilli garlic salt are packed with plant-based protein - nearly a whopping 22g per serving!
In Japan, these nutritionally nourishing pods are considered a delicacy, and at 0 SmartPoints, you can’t go wrong with them. Plus, they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to function optimally and are known to help increase feelings of satiety due to their high protein content, meaning they can help prevent overeating as you move onto mains and dessert1.
They’re also gluten-free and vegan friendly - bonus!
Another top choice for starters are the lollipop prawn kushiyaki, which are essentially little skewers of grilled king prawns that have been marinated in lemongrass, lime and chilli. As well as being an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, they are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals like B12 and iron2.
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However, despite king prawns being ridiculously low in calories, this side dish has been prepared using some oil, which brings it up to 5 SmartPoints per serving. Still, if you’re in the mood for some seafood, this might be right up your aisle.
Craving something warming and comforting? Try a little pot of miso soup served with Japanese-style pickles for just 2 SmartPoints.
Or, if you’re willing to spend 6 SmartPoints, chicken steamed gyoza might be your thing. You get a generous serving of 5 dumplings accompanied by a flavourful dipping sauce - yum!
Ramen is a flavoursome noodle soup that was originally imported from China to Japan. Despite not being considered traditionally Japanese, it’s become a very popular dish in both Japan and the UK.
Ramen generally consists of two key components: noodles and a rich broth. Other common ingredients include sliced meat like chicken, duck or beef, and ZeroPoint™ foods like shiitake mushrooms, boiled eggs, prawns, onions and beansprouts.
There’s an endless array of choices when it comes to ramen at Wagamama, but our favourite (and the lowest in SmartPoints values) has to be the chicken ramen for 9 SmartPoints.
Not keen on a ‘brothy’ main? Not to worry - last year Wagamama brought out a pad Thai salad, a colourful dish packed with goodness and perfect for warmer days.
It contains chicken and prawns, which are both good sources of high-quality protein, and comes with heaps of veggies like mangetout, baby plum tomatoes, shredded pickled beetroot and carrot - all rich in vitamins A, C and K.
To give this lovely salad some extra zing and a bit of crunch, it’s served with a little pot of peanuts and a nuoc cham ginger miso dressing. Delicious - and all for only 9 SmartPoints! Sirloin and shiitake salad is another good shout for 8 SmartPoints.
If salads aren’t really your thing, one of the omakase dishes like the seared nuoc cham tuna for 10 SmartPoints might tickle your fancy.
Omakase is a Japanese phrase meaning ‘dishes chosen by the chef’ which is enough to intrigue us! Seared nuoc cham tuna is a seared tuna steak served on a bed of sweet potato, kale, edamame beans and quinoa - super healthy and nutritious.
Like many other dishes on the menu, it’s a protein-rich dish (containing nearly 40g of protein per serving) that will leave you feeling content and fuller for longer, compared to dishes high in carbohydrates or fat2.
Time for tea
Fancy a cuppa? Green tea, which is known to be high in antioxidants, is one of the most consumed beverages in Japan. It’s often served alongside meals for free and you can generally have as many refills as you like3.
At Wagamama it’s no different: green tea is completely free of charge! Best of all, it tastes great with any meal and is 0 SmartPoints.
We get it: there are some days that just don’t feel complete without dessert.
There are lots of lovely dessert options at Wagamama, but they’ll set you back a good number of SmartPoints.
If you’re short on SmartPoints and don’t fancy tapping into your Weeklies, why not end your meal with a fresh fruit and berry ice pop for just 1 SmartPoint?
Packed with antioxidants and popping with pretty colours, they’re the perfect way to round off a big meal. Sold yet? I know we are!