Ok so let me be real honest here- we don’t eat Italian a lot. Somewhere along the way, I just lost a big taste for pasta. BUT when I do want it, I want the creamiest, fattiest pasta the menu offers. Sometimes I will splurge and get it and box half for later or beg Jess to share, but other times I try to contain myself. Either way it goes, Italian is always a bit of a treat for us so I am not going to bs y’all with how to keep it under 400 cals at an Italian restaurant because it is nearly impossible.
So here are my tips:
? If you are a drinker, don’t be afraid to get some wine! I find that a dry red wine will actually make me slow down on my eating because it is so satisfying and savory.
? The bread. If you can avoid it, you are the real MVP. My goal is one piece, suuuuper slow. I tear it up into small pieces just like I do Mexican chips lol! And I don’t dip in the oil unless I really think it’s worth it. Y”all, that oil easily adds you another 100 calories in no time.
? For dinner, sometimes I will do an entree with no appetizers or sometimes I will do an appetizer and then a salad, it depends what sticks out to me most.
? Speaking of salads, if the salad usually comes tossed (I’m specifically thinking of Olive Garden here) ask for the dressing on the side so you can control the amount. I always dip my dressings. Even if the salad is a vinaigrette made with heart healthy olive oil, olive oil still has 120 cals per tablespoon!!! You can save SO MANY calories by dipping that dressing.
? If you can say no to pasta, opt for a chicken or fish dish. Not fried or breaded. Avoid the oil and cream based sauces- tomato based is best.
? Split the dessert. I cannot say no to Amerigo’s tiramisu but y’all I am usually STUFFED by the time it gets to the table. Take a few bites and be done.
? PAY ATTENTION to the menu when you are deciding. Look for cheese, creamy, layers of pasta, butter, fried, breaded, smothered, alfredo… and be cautious of these. Go for the items described with tomato sauce, wine sauce, any and all veggies, and grilled meats. If in doubt, ask for toppings/sauce to be done lightly or completely on the side so that you have the control.
Ps: I DO NOT consider pizza the same as Italian. I have a separate post coming for that!