Gloucester man shares his lunch box secrets: over a kilo of food – but only 218 calories!


Pack Your Lunch Day: March 10, 2015

Gloucester man shares his lunch box secrets: over a kilo of food – but only 218 calories!

You may wonder why we need a day to celebrate the humble lunch box when for many of us it’s just another chore: over 60% of Brits prefer to buy lunch out rather than pack our own.

Sandwiches are the most popular choice at lunchtime and Subway and Tesco are two of the biggest sellers. But buying lunch isn’t always good for your waistline: a simple lunchtime sandwich or salad can contain more calories than a Big Mac:

• Tesco West Country Cheddar & Pickle Sandwich: 572 cals
• Pret Chef’s Italian Chicken Salad with Dressing: 617 kcals
• McDonald’s Big Mac: 508 cals

One Gloucestershire man has perfected the art of creating a super healthy, nutrient rich packed lunch, which needs it’s own super sized box – but contains fewer than 300 calories.

Steve Marshall (64) is a retired musician from Longhope. In 2013, Steve’s weight had ballooned to 23 stone – almost double his wedding weight.

Today, he has lost 10 stone – 40% of his body weight – and turned lunchtime eating totally on its head.

Steve set about reinventing his lunch box, moving away from the energy dense foods he once loved – and totally avoiding shop-bought salads and sandwiches.

Steve said: “All the diets I had tried before told me to eat less food and serve smaller portions, which was torture! For me, my goal was to present myself with a decent sized plate of food, because that way I wouldn’t feel like I was eating less.”

“My lunch box has become a bit of a talking point because people can’t believe how much I pack in – and how few calories it contains. But when they have a closer look they realise that I am using large amounts of fruit and veg – as many as 14-15 different types throughout the day.”

Steve Marshall’s lunch box

• 1,200g of food (over 2lbs)
• 14 portions of fruit and veg
• 4g of fat
• only 218 calories
• takes 30 mins to eat!

“I’ve eaten a lunchtime salad most days for the last two years, and there is no end to the different ingredients that I can combine to keep lunchtimes interesting and healthy.

“I never get bored because with a bit of thought – and a lot of chopping – you can create marvellous meals and totally change the way you approach fruit and veg. It has become a bit of a challenge for me, thinking up new ways to combine them.

“I can honestly say that I am never hungry and if I find myself desperate for a snack, I always have a pot of tasty chopped veg or fruit to dip into. This approach allows me to exploit the positive things about food and not focus on the negatives. I don’t miss out on eating anything so managing my weight is no longer an issue.”

Nutracheck nutritionist, Emma Brown, said: “Steve has transformed the way he eats without going hungry or having to accept small portion sizes which simply would not have worked for him. Instead, he has invested time to understand more about nutrition, which means he can make informed, sensible food decisions that suit him.

“If you want to take charge of your diet, start by making your own lunch. It’s absolutely possible to eat the same amount of food we’re used to, whilst still having fewer calories –so fill up on high fibre, low energy density foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrain rice and wholemeal pasta.” tracks 180,000 food products.
– ends -


• Nutracheck is a calorie counter and food diary available via an App and website
• Super-fast and easy to use, the barcode-scanning App lets you add food to your diary in just 2 clicks
• Nutracheck’s unique search shows photos of food to make it easy to spot what you ate from over 180,000 products in the UK food database
• Top rated diet website on

For more info, or to find out more about Steve, please call Karen Veness on 07968 049528