Italian restaurants are known for serving hearty meals, which can be disastrous for diners who are dieting. However, you don't have to avoid dining at your favorite Italian restaurant to stick to your diet. If you know what to look for, you'll discover that most Italian restaurants, like Borrelli's, have several healthy options. Check out these tips to help you learn how to stick to your diet while eating out:
Skip the Bread
Many Italian restaurants greet their guests with baskets of warm bread to munch on before their meal. Filling up on bread isn't a good idea if you want to stick to your diet. It's best to skip the bread entirely so that you can consume more calories during your main course. However, if you can't resist, only consume one slice of bread and dip it in olive oil instead of slathering it with butter. Make sure to drink a full glass of water while eating your bread, so that you feel full more quickly.
Order an Appetizer
You probably do your best to avoid ordering appetizers while you're dieting, but Italian restaurants often have several healthy appetizer options. Consider starting your meal with a Caesar salad. The anchovies used in the dressing are a good source of omega-3 fats. However, you should ask for the dressing on the side so that you can control the amount you consume. Additionally, Italian soups, such as minestrone or fagioli, that are filled with vegetables or beans make great appetizers.
Choose Your Entree Wisely
Ordering diet-friendly Italian entrees can be tricky if you don't know which meals are the healthiest. You should avoid any meals that include breaded or fried meat. Instead, choose seafood dishes that are made using wine broths or olive oil or entrees that include grilled chicken or fish. When you're ordering a pasta, make sure you choose red sauce instead of white sauces. Also, ask your server to put the grated cheese on the side so that you can avoid any unnecessary calories. A few other things to consider include:
- Ordering a half-sized portion of your meal if possible. Alternatively, you can order a side of pasta with a veggie, chicken, or seafood entree instead of ordering a large pasta dish.
- Asking your server for a to-go box before you begin eating your meal, and putting half of your entree in the box to take home for later so that you aren't consuming a lot of calories in one meal.
- Ordering pizza as an entree with thin crust and a lot of veggies.
You don't have to avoid your favorite Italian restaurant just to stick to your diet. As long as you plan to fill up on healthy foods instead of stuffing yourself with carb-filled pasta dishes with rich, creamy sauce, you can eat healthy at an Italian restaurant.