So you promised yourself that this is the year you’ll lose weight. No more eating out for you, right?
No, says Franco Pisani, owner of Paravicini’s Italian Bistro and Sopra in Colorado Springs. You can make healthy food choices when eating out.
“You don’t have to break up with me if you’ve made some New Year resolutions about losing a few pounds,” he said. “You can still eat at my restaurants. Just ask to make a few changes. For instance, you could order the chicken Parmesan and ask for the chicken grilled instead of breaded and fried, and served over veggies instead of pasta. We are happy to make those changes.”
Though Pisani says he doesn’t “claim to be a nutritionist in any form,” he knows a thing or two about watching what you eat. Over the past six months, he has lost 35 pounds.
“I did it by cutting out sugar, starches and carbohydrates,” he said.
I have some suggestions too. I’m a big fan of Weight Watchers and have been a Lifetime Member since 2000, which means I reached my goal weight and have maintained it since. I weigh in at the weekly meetings, and if I exceed my goal weight, I have to pay again until I get the pounds off.
Needless to say, since I eat out a lot, I’ve learned some go-to tricks for keeping my free status.
Here are a few tips for eating out with no guilt:
• Eat half of what you order. Ask the waitress to bring a to-go box as soon as your meal is served. Box up half to take home and enjoy the other half at the eatery.
• Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Opt for the vinegar and oil. Add only a few teaspoons to the salad and mix, mix, mix. You’ll be amazed at how far those few dribbles will go to dress the greens nicely. Or dip your fork into the dressing, instead of pouring it on, and you’ll consume far less without noticing much of a difference in flavor. This trick is especially handy for rich cream dressings.
• Skip the butter offered with the bread basket and go with olive oil.
• Order seafood steamed, broiled or grilled. Old-school shrimp cocktail is a winning appetizer for calorie counters. Seafood is your friend when watching calories.
• Don’t skip dessert. Ask for fresh fruit or sorbet for a satisfying finish to your meal.
For more eating-out tips, visit tinyurl.com/yyqvrg3p.