Dining Out at Italian Restaurants on a Diet

People Eating at Italian Restaurant

When you first begin a diet, eating at home is a must. In the beginning stages of any diet, choosing fresh, whole foods and learning to control portion sizes is best done at home. Eventually, you will want to join friends for a night out or just escape your own cooking. Learning how to make good choices while dining out is important.

Good Food Choices at an Italian Eatery

If you skip the breadbasket and the carb-heavy, creamed pasta dishes, eating out at an Italian restaurant can be done easily. Italian cuisine is rich in fresh vegetables and can blend seamlessly into your diet plan. Some good choices on an Italian menu include

  • Grilled fish or chicken and vegetables
  • Broth-based soups such as minestrone, Italian wedding, escarole or cioppino
  • Vegetable ratatouille or veggie pizza (less cheese, please)
  • Pasta with a marinara or clam sauce, just keep an eye on portion size and ask if a whole grain option is available
  • Grilled appetizers rather than fried such as grilled octopus rather than deep-fried calamari
  • Lightly dressed salads

Whenever you order from the menu, talk to your server about how the food is prepared. Do not be afraid to let them know if you need a dish prepared in a particular way such as with less cheese or oil. If you think the serving size may be too much for one healthy meal, ask for a to-go container when you order. As soon as your meal arrives, put half of it in the carryout container for tomorrow's lunch or dinner. Controlling portion size, even with healthy menu choices, is key to enjoying a restaurant meal without sacrificing your weight loss goals.


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