It is hard to eat out when you are on a diet, but it becomes even harder when you go to a restaurant that places their focus on bottomless breadsticks and large pasta bowls and is not Olive Garden Low Carb Options. After all, the motto of the Olive Garden eatery is giving you a classic Italian dining experience in a family style.
What it means is that you will walk into an Olive garden restaurant, and expect to be served with very large servings of pasta dishes as the basis. If you have ever gone to an Italian home or have an Italian background, you know this all too well – just imagine an Italian mother or grandma feeding you an assortment of meatballs and pasta even when you are not hungry.
For many Americans, this is a dream come true because of the satisfaction levels, but it can be a pain if you are on a Low carb diet because of all those carbs.
What are the advantages?
Even though the food portions are generous, the biggest advantage you will get with this restaurant is its sit-down nature. That alone allows you to customize your order according to what you want, instead of the format of a fast food restaurant that gives you very little time – since a server is assigned to your table.
The restaurant is also open between 11 AM and 11 PM, so that means it has lunch and dinner options. You can even check out the offerings they have from their website. This will give you a general idea of how many calories you are taking in, even if it might not help you customize your order.
Tips to eating at Olive Garden Low Carb Options
Make a plan
When eating out, it is very easy to be carried away by the food choices and general ambience of where you are. Prevent this from happening by having a plan before getting there, so that people’s dishes will not distract you. It also helps to have a light snack before you go dining at this establishment to reduce the chances of eating too much.
It is best to stick with salads
Salads are the best option to get you through the day, especially because the pasta and wine choices can be quite overwhelming. Even though the establishment does not offer many salads other than their house salad, it always comes in a big bowl and you can have as much as you want.
If you are on a Keto diet, ensure you inform them it should not have croutons, while the dressing should be vinegar or lemon slices and olive oil. You can then ask for a piece of meat or a side dish, and that completes your meal.
Instead of pasta, ask for double veggies
This is a restaurant whose meals are inspired by Italian cuisine – so you should know that every meal you order will come with a plate of pasta. Even the gluten-free menu they have will contain pasta that is gluten-free. Make sure to ask for double vegetables in place of the pasta in case you happen to follow a Keto diet.
You may want to know that their herb-grilled salmon is the best dish on their menu, and it comes with parmesan garlic broccoli as well as garlic herb butter.
Beware of sauces
If there is one thing Italians love as much as pasta, it has to be creamy sauces – but that is a no-go for low carb and Keto diets. Since the restaurant is a franchise, the ingredients in the sauces will be cheaper than a single shop would – so that includes milk, vegetable oil, sugars, food additives, and so on. Avoid the soups as well, as none of them are low carb-friendly.
Request for grilled meat
Since the kids’ menu has grilled meat, they can serve you as well if you ask for it – otherwise, they will give you fried meat. Avoid ordering meatballs frequently as well, since they are always rolled with breadcrumbs to help them keep their shape.
What you should order
Even though you will still need to customize all these options to fit your requirements, they are still generally friendly so you will not have as much issues with them. We have made a table for you to make it easier to decide:
|Meal option||What to substitute in the meal||What to avoid in the meal|
|Chicken Giardino||Extra vegetables||Pasta|
|Chicken piccata/salmon piccata||Steamed broccoli||Parmesan-crusted zucchini (this is fried and breaded, which you would rather avoid)|
|Chicken margherita||Steamed broccoli||Parmesan-crusted zucchini|
|Stuffed chicken masala||Steamed broccoli||Garlic mashed potatoes and sauce|
|Herb grilled salmon|
|Grilled chicken Parmigiana||Steamed broccoli||Spaghetti and the breadcrumbs on the chicken|
|Five-Italian cheese Fonduta||Grilled meat|
|Chicken scampi||Double vegetables||Pasta and the sauce|
In addition, you can also ask for a salad if none of these choices are appealing, and make sure to ask them to top it up with vinegar and olive oil dressing. You also have the freedom to customize your order using avocado, double meat, olives. Cheese, and an assortment of low-carb vegetables.
General dishes to avoid
There is an assortment of foods you need to avoid here as they will mess up your low carb diet progress, and they will not be tricky to manage even if you were to make adjustments. They include:
|Food to avoid||What it contains (additional information)|
|All the desserts on offer|
|Tour of Italy|
|Eggplant and chicken Parmigiana|
|All the appetizers on offer||Includes loaded pasta chips, lasagna dip, parmesan zucchini bites, and stuffed mushrooms|
|All the soups on menu|
|Seafood and chicken Alfredo|
|All lasagna and ravioli dishes|
|Spaghetti and meat sauce|
|Five cheese Ziti al Fomo|
|Sweetened beverages||Includes sodas, white wine, sweetened tea, fruit smoothies|
What this article goes to show is that ordering from this establishment when you are on a diet is not easy. It can become overwhelming, but the good news is you can still enjoy your meals – as long as you plan in advance. It also allows you to make changes, since you are not under pressure due to its sit-down and friendly nature Olive Garden Low Carb Options.