Eating healthy at an Italian Restaurant

We went with my family to Lamberti’s, a local Italian restaurant, this weekend. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently in a biggest loser competition at work and am trying to lose weight / make healthier decisions while I’m out.  I would love it if every restaurant offered nutrition information however it seems only big chain restaurants actually offer that information.

I did however do a little research about Italian restaurants and healthier choices prior to going to dinner.  Here are some of the items to avoid along with some items to look for if you are looking to make healthier decisions.

Avoid Any Meal with the following:
Alfredo (as in fettucine)

Anything Stuffed with Cheese (bummer for me since i love cheese)

Healthier Selections:
Marinara Sauce
Neopolitan Sauce
Minestrone Soup
Marinated Vegetable Antipasto
Piccata (lemon-based sauce for either chicken or veal dishes)
Plain Pasta
White Wine Sauces

img_7420I decided to go with the Cappellini Primavera which had the following description:
Seasonal vegetables and tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and light garlic marinara

I’ve been counting calories for a few weeks now and have become much more aware of serving sizes.  When I got my dinner delivered I was somewhat disturbed by the massive amount of cappellini they gave me.  Don’t get me wrong, the food was delicious and I enjoyed eating dinner however what disturbed me was that I used to eat almost the entire meal and now I realize how many serving sizes I used to eat.

After eating approx 1 serving which is a little over 1 cup of cooked pasta (8oz), I had the rest put in a to go box.  When I got home I decided to weigh the remaining amount on my food scale. As you can see my leftovers weighed in at 1lb 10 oz which is a little over 3 servings of food.  I am basing the serving size on the cappellini (1 serving = 1 Cup or 8 oz).

Here’s the scary part.  Lamberti’s does not have the calories mentioned on their site however here is my best estimate at how many calories are in this entire meal:

Estimated Calories in Cappellini Primavera from Lamberti’s
800 Calories for the Cappellini (4 Servings x 200 calories)
476 Calories for the Olive Oil (4 Tablespoons x 119 Calories)
160 Calories for the Lt Garlic Marinara (2 Servings x 80 Calories)
1,436 Calories