If you are following a low-carb diet, finding foods that suit your lifestyle can be even more challenging. Low-carb dieting consists of eating less than 60 grams of carbohydrates per day. For the best chances of success, some experts believe you must eat less than 40 grams per day. Avoiding all sugar, bread, and pasta is imperative if you want to stick with your diet, which can seem impossible when dining out at Italian restaurants. Thankfully, this guide will help you reach your weight loss goals by eating Italian in a low-carb manner.
Meat Dishes with Italian Flavors
When you first sit down and look at the menu, your eyes and your cravings will focus on the different pasta dishes. Fettuccini Alfredo, spaghetti, lasagna, stuffed shells, and garlic bread will most likely be what you are drawn to. Unfortunately, these foods contain excessive amounts of carbohydrates that will bring your weight loss to a quick and dramatic halt.
Avoid these dishes at all costs and browse the menu until you are able to find simple meat dishes that are seasoned with Italian herbs.
For example, most Italian restaurants have steak dishes that include a vegetable on the side. If you are not a fan of steak, opt for a simple chicken breast with Italian seasoning and side salad.
Although they may not be prominent on the menu, simple meat dishes are available at most Italian places.
Side Dishes as Your Main Dish
You may be surprised by the different sides you can order as your actual main dish. You just need to get a little creative and think outside the normal realm of entrees.
Spaghetti and meatballs go hand in hand, but you can skip the pasta and order just the meatballs. It is important to note that many chefs use flour or breadcrumbs in their meatballs, which are both off-limits on a low-carb diet. Ask the waiter to clarify how the meatballs are made before ordering.
Steamed mussels, clams, and shrimp may be considered appetizers and side dishes, but they can become your main entrée. Pair these delicious treats with grilled or roasted vegetables or a side salad.
Pizza, Pizza, but Just the Top
When all else fails, order a pizza. Of course, your low-carb diet prohibits the actual crust and a good portion of the pizza sauce. However, you can enjoy all the toppings.
Consider pulling off the toppings and placing them on the side in addition to an antipasto salad. These salads feature traditional salad vegetables, cheese, and various Italian meats.
Ask the restaurant if they have pizza in a bowl dish, which is basically just a bowl of pizza toppings. With more and more people choosing to follow low-carb lifestyles, many Italian and pizza restaurants are offering this take on the classic pizza pie.