How to Eat Healthy at European Restaurants

Accordion-Fanned Ratatouille

When you first begin your new weight loss program, you’ll probably want to eat most of your meals at home. This way you have control over what you’re eating and you won’t be as tempted to indulge or go back to bad eating habits. However, you can't avoid eating out from time to time, especially if you have a hectic schedule or need to travel. But, this means you need to learn how to make healthy choices, even when you’re eating out.

As you think about healthy dining out choices, European food may not be the first option that comes to your mind. However, when you choose the right options and avoid fatty methods of preparation and creamy sauces, it’s possible to enjoy eating out without sabotaging your weight loss program. Keep these four tips in mind to ensure you're making healthy choices when you dine out at European restaurants:

  1. Watch Portion Sizes - Many restaurants, including European ones, serve huge portions that are significantly larger than what you should eat. Try sharing a meal or taking home the leftovers.
  2. Lower the Fat Content - Steer clear of dishes in fatty sauces. Have any dressings on the side. Go with foods that are broiled, steamed, or grilled instead of fried. Skip creamy sauces and gravies.
  3. Eat Plenty of Vegetables - Half of your pate should be packed with veggies. They’ll fill you up and you’ll still be able to enjoy dining out.
  4. Look for Diet-Friendly Options - Many restaurants highlight the lighter fares on their menus. 

Here’s a look at some great dishes you may want to choose from when you visit your favorite European restaurants: 

  • Broiled, Steamed, or Poached Entrees
  • Broth-Based Soups (avoid creamy soups)
  • Poached Pears (or fresh fruit dishes)
  • Chicken Stewed in Wine Sauce (or tomatoes)
  • Herb-Marinated Mushrooms
  • Steamed Lobster or Shrimp Stew
  • Lentil Soup or Vegan Goulash
  • Shrimp or Vegetable Ratatouille
  • Filet of Sole (grilled, baked or poached)

Just because you choose a more expensive European restaurant, doesn’t mean all of the food served will be weight-loss friendly. By being aware of this fact, you can focus on healthy entrees, soups and salads; and share your dessert. Also, pass on the bread and butter served beforehand and go easy on the alcohol. 


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