Italian Restaurant? No Problem…You Got This
- Because of the variety of pasta dishes available, you have lots of reduced-fat and vegetable-rich options.
- Menu items contain lots of grains such as pasta, rice and bread.
- Many soups and pasta dishes contain beans, peas and other legumes, which provide fiber and protein.
- Most dishes have minimal amounts of meat with larger portions of vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini.
- Menus often have a variety of fresh fish entrees.
- Beware of the pasta portion size; it can be enormous! An average pasta serving is 4 cups, which is the equivalent of 8 slices of bread.
- Some meals can be heavy in oil and/or cream. Note that Alfredo and other white sauces generally contain cream, butter and/or cheese.
What to look out for:
- How much extra-virgin olive oil you use: it is only different from regular olive oil in flavor – NOT in the amount of fat and calories.
- Dishes with sausages or excessive amounts of cheese (which make them high fat/high sodium).
Try these tips:
- Stay balanced. Enjoy some protein (such as fish, skinless chicken or lean veal) with a smaller portion of carbohydrate-rich pasta.
- Start off with minestrone or gazpacho, vegetable-rich soups that can help reduce your appetite for relatively few calories.
- Ask for dressing on the side, and enjoy in smaller portions. Briefly dip fork in dressing (allow excess to drip from fork tines), and then gather salad with fork. This helps you enjoy each bite of salad with a hint of dressing.
- Opt for plain Italian or sourdough bread instead of garlic-buttered or cheese-topped breads.
- Choose pasta with chicken or seafood and vegetables, opting for a red (tomato-based) sauce instead of a white one (generally cream and/or butter-based).
- Choose linguini or capellini as your pasta, especially if you choose a white sauce, as these types of pasta do not hold as much sauce as other noodles.
- Eat your mussels. Steamed or in a tomato-based broth, mussels, clams, and other shellfish are a deliciously low-calorie choice.
- Try veal. Veal is leaner and lower in fat than most beef, especially if you choose a cut that is baked rather than fried. Veal cacciatore is a healthy alternative and very nutritious.
- Request reduced-fat mozzarella and ricotta cheese; some restaurants may have it.
- Be liberal with herbs and garlic to provide lots of flavor without added fat or calories.
These tips were taken from my Beachbody site in the section where it has my customized meal planner, which is amazing! There is a ton of weight loss advice! It comes with recipes and a grocery list so I don’t get lost at the store anymore! I hope you found some of these tips useful! Let me know what you think!
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