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Giada's Healthy Eating Out Tips

Too many restaurant meals can lead to too many pounds. Here are some clever away-from-home eating tips to keep you looking and feeling your best.


I love eating in restaurants and trying new dishes. They can be such a source of inspiration in your cooking. But eating out all the time, such as when I am on the road, for example, or filming a show, can be a minefield. You’re not in control of portion sizes or exact ingredients.
Here are a few tips I use to make sure I don’t overindulge in restaurants, which can throw me off balance and affect how I feel:
1. Small is beautiful. At dinner, I order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and a main course; entrées tend to be just too big in restaurants. I go for a vegetarian salad or soup and then something with protein.
2. Divide and conquer. If I don’t like the options under the appetizers, I order a main course but ask the server to bring only half of the portion to the table and to pack up the other half in a container to take home.
3. Best dressed. I find salads are sometimes overdressed in restaurants, so I always ask for dressing on the side. In fact, I often ask to have olive oil and lemon wedges instead of dressing so I can dress the salad to my liking—and eliminate any extraneous ingredients.
4. The sky’s the limit. I always try to eat before getting on a plane. Foods served on board tend to have a lot of fat and sodium in them to make them taste better because your taste buds get dulled at high altitude. At the very least, most airports have a Starbucks these days where I can get oatmeal cooked with hot water that I can then doctor with an olive oil packet from my purse and a pinch of salt. That, plus the almonds I always carry with me, can keep me going on a flight until I land.

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