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Top tips to take the guilt out of eating out

Family Features | 5/6/2013, 5:53 p.m. | Updated on 5/6/2013, 5:53 p.m.
Guilt-free Pizza Getty Images

Family Features

Counting calories and carefully choosing every meal doesn’t have to mean you also punish your taste buds – whether dining out or on the go.

“When it comes to your diet, the best approach is often a balanced one. Practicing portion control, making smart choices and checking out caloric and nutritional information are all key ‘ingredients’ to long term diet success,” said Lyssie Lakatos, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and one half of the Nutrition Twins.

Here are some more helpful tips so you can eat smarter and put your guilt aside:

Know that it is okay to indulge a little.

A diet with no room for small treats or portions of your favorite foods is incredibly difficult to maintain in the long term. Go ahead and order your favorite appetizer or a decadent dessert, but limit yourself to a tasting of just a few small bites. Ask your server to box up the rest or share the remainder with your dining companions.

Choose restaurants that publish nutritional information.

Some dishes can be deceiving, so knowing up front how many calories an entrée contains will help you make better choices. Some eateries offer specialty items that are low in calories but big on taste. “Today you can find great food options like the new Sbarro Skinny Slice that will satisfy your cravings without expanding your waistline,” added Tammy Lakatos, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and the other half of the Nutrition Twins. With only 270 calories per slice, this better-for-you pizza is topped with roasted red and green bell peppers, portobello mushrooms and sweet, caramelized onions with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheeses.

“What I like is that it’s perfectly portioned and topped with better-for-you ingredients so that you can get your pizza fix without feeling the guilt.”

When you’re craving a restaurant favorite but want to stay in, try an at-home recipe.

Here is the at-home recipe for a satisfying skinny pizza that can be ready in about 30 minutes.

To skip the work and find a Sbarro eatery near you, visit http://www.sbarro.com.

Sbarro Skinny Slice Pizza at Home

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 package prepared pizza dough or crust

1/2 jar tomato pizza sauce (approximately 10-12 ounces)

2 1/2 cups fresh portobello mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup roasted green bell peppers (packed in water), drain and julienne

1/4 cup red bell peppers (packed in water), drain and julienne

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano cheese

To caramelize onions, sauté in a pan with olive oil over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly browned. Do not burn.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Roll out pizza dough on a 17-inch round pizza stone.

Spread tomato sauce evenly across the dough. Sprinkle mushroom pieces over the dough, and then evenly spread onions, green and red peppers. Top with cheeses.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and crispy and cheese is melted. Cool for 1 minute. Cut into 8 slices and serve.