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Tips For Going To An Italian Restaurant On A Diet

Tips For Going To An Italian Restaurant On A Diet

Going out to an Italian restaurant is a popular dining experience, but without proper navigation, bread baskets, pasta dishes, and heavy sauces can easily make calories add up. With that said, just because you’re on a diet or want to lose weight doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t go out to some of your favourite ristorantes for a night out or a special celebration. To help you navigate your next Italian restaurant outing, we compiled a short list of tips to keep in mind next time you’re there, so you can stay on track with your diet and weight loss goal, while still enjoying life!  

Tips for Smart Dining at an Italian Restaurant: 

  • Avoid The Bread Basket: 

    It’s easy to indulge in a basket full of bread when you’re hungry, so kindly ask your server not to bring one or limit yourself to 1 Starch serving, which is 1 small whole-wheat dinner roll. Keep in mind that if you want pasta as your main, you should probably opt-out of the bread, as it will help you limit your starch intake for this one meal of the day. 
  • Watch The Fats:

    Be cautious of unrestrained use of items like olive oil and cheese, which are high in fat. Instead, opt for freshly ground pepper, oregano, and/or crushed red pepper flakes to add flavour to your meal.
  • Decode The Appetizer Options: 

    Antipasto options typically include cured meats, olives, and cheese, which can all be high in sodium and fat. Choose healthier appetizers such as non-cream-based soups, vinaigrette-dressed salads, bruschetta, or mussels prepared in a tomato-based broth.
  • Go Whole Grain:

    Substitute starches (such as pasta, pizza, or rice) with whole grain, whole wheat, spelt, or brown rice alternatives for added fibre. Of note, if you’re following a Herbal Magic Weight Loss Program, ½ cup of whole-wheat spaghetti equals 1 Starch.
  • Build Your Own Pizza: 

    Custom-made pizzas can be a great way to include more vegetables in your meal. Ask for a thin crust and explore a variety of different toppings like zucchini and red pepper. Cheeseless pizzas are also great options if you want to really restrain yourself!
  • Mind The Sauces: 

    Tomato-based sauces are much healthier than cream-based ones as they are lower in calories and fat. You can also ask your server to bring your sauce on the side so you can control the amount added. Again, if you’re following a Herbal Magic Weight Loss Program, ½ cup of pasta sauce equals 1 Free Exchange.
  • Get It Grilled, If Possible: 

    Proteins and many vegetables can be grilled instead of fried. Rather than chicken or veal parmesan, try grilled chicken or fish with a side of grilled vegetables.
  • Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: 

    If you’re craving something sweet, enjoy Italian ices, biscotti, or fruit with an espresso or cappuccino made with skim milk. This way you can still participate in after-dinner snacking and celebrations, without consuming unwanted calories from other heavier desserts. 

For some at-home Italian restaurant yumminess, try a few of these Herbal Magic-approved Italian meals that will roll off your tongue and have you exclaiming “Delicioso”: 

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