Healthy Italian Food Hacks
Italian food isn’t the enemy. In fact, it’s completely possible to track your macros and still have that Lady and the Tramp spaghetti slurping moment without derailing your progress. Adee and Dani are expanding on our tips for ordering at an Italian restaurant and taking us along for a first-hand look at how they track while dining Italian.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match.
If you really look at the menu of an Italian restaurant, it’s not all pizza and pasta. There are certain dishes that call for grilled proteins and veggies. Be specific and ask for exactly what you want. Try ordering the grilled protein from one dish and the veggies from another. If the protein option is matched on the menu with a sauce, just ask for it on the side.
The pizza debate.
If you’re really wanting pizza, try choosing an Italian restaurant that serves wood-fired pizza. Generally, it has fewer carbs and less cheesy toppings. If you can’t guarantee yourself a wood-fired pizza, order one that’s topped with mozzarella. Mozzarella is lower in fat and higher in protein than other cheeses like cheddar.
Start off with a salad.
Ordering a salad is the perfect way to eat high volume, either as an appetizer before your meal, so you don’t overeat on the main dish, or as the meal itself. If you’re trying to watch your fat content, ask for the dressing on the side. This gives you the option to control how much you’re putting on, and some tracking is always better than no tracking.
One of Adee’s favorite hacks includes dipping her fork in the dressing before picking up a bite to ensure she gets dressing in each bite without going overboard. Dani suggests using straight balsamic vinegar, or just squeezing fresh lemon juice as the dressing.
The Lady and the Tramp moment you’ve been waiting for.
There are a bunch of options for how to top off your pasta dish. To keep your fat content low, shy away from cream sauces and alfredo and opt for a marinara sauce. Don’t be afraid to call ahead and ask about added sugar and olive oil in the marinara sauce. This could mean hidden fats and carbs that you wouldn’t have accounted for in tracking otherwise.
If you want to bring these hacks with you to the restaurant, download our guide to tracking at an Italian restaurant, or if you want your own nutrition coach to guide you through these events then join WAG!
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Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!