I have had this gift card to Olive Garden since August and decided my husband and I would go out for dinner last night. I knew it would present challenges to me in my weight loss plans.
When the waiter came, I asked for the Nutritional Guide. It came and I proceeded to examine the menu very closely. Oh dear, this is not the place to come to reduce calories OR fat grams.
But I kind of knew that before I came. I was just hoping to enjoy a meal by making good choices.
It was really difficult to find any entree under 48 grams of fat, beside Spaghetti with meat sauce. I decided I would order a Penne Pasta with white sauce and shrimp, and eat less than half of the serving. I ate one bread stick, and had soup instead of the salad. We did not have wine, I had a herbal tea. My meal came with a dessert and I opted for the Italian (decaf)Coffee (a Latte) and only drank half of it or less, it was really yummy.
I had two tiny bites of my husband's dessert, and that was nice so I didn't feel deprived, just to have a taste.
We took our time and enjoyed the ambiance and the service as well as the food. We got ready to leave and even though our waiter boxed up my remaining dinner and the other bread sticks, I walked out of there without remembering my take home goodies. After the initial shock that I just left half of my dinner back on the table.... we had already drove 20 minutes toward home, I realized that it was the best thing... I didn't need those calories or temptation.
Will I return to Olive Garden? Probably not.... all those high calorie and high fat items make it difficult to feel okay about it. They did have some lighter fare items that were in the 15 grams of fat range, and a Venetian Apricot chicken for 7 grams... to be fair...
Today, the day after, I have cut back on my intake here at home ... and hope to get a good work out tomorrow and be back on track.
I will have to better plan and prepare before I go out to eat in the future. Hidden calories and the accumulation of the whole meal can really set you back from the goal of better health.