By D’land Diva
Oh, if only we could eat whatever we want when we want and not have it negatively affect us. If only Disney had that magic, where we could walk though the gates and eat until our hearts content. Yes, many of us are on vacation and decide to ignore our diets! There is nothing wrong with that! But what if you CAN’T ignore your diet? What if it is medically necessary for you to follow a low-fat diet (I personally have severe pain if I don’t) or what if you just joined a weight loss program and you are PAYING to watch your fat intake?
Have no fear! You can still enjoy the food at Disney!
Here are some helpful tips for keeping that low-fat diet under control at Disney.
1) Check out the menus before hand. My favorite spot is AllEars. Their Walt Disney World Menu Landing is here. Their Disneyland Menu Landing is here. I have found them to be pretty up to date on their menus and pretty specific as well. They are very helpful when meal planning and when seeing where you might want to make Advanced Dining Reservations.
2) Make Advanced Dining Reservations and talk to the chef. When making reservations, mention to the Disney Cast Member that you have special dietary needs. They can help you out with the meals, make special arrangements if necessary and can even put you in touch with the chef if needed.
3) Exchange food items when necessary. Many plates come with an option of fruit or fries. Get the fruit. If the meal is large enough without the side, give the side to someone else in your party (my kids like to split my chips with meals). You will also be surprised to learn that Disney is usually very accommodating about allowing you to exchange or get an extra serving of a healthier menu option on your plate. For example, at some restaurants, I have ordered an extra helping of vegetables or salad. This might involve an extra cost, depending on what the food is.
4) Don’t shy away from buffets. Yes, it is easy to be quite glutinous at buffets. But, they also offer a HUGE selection of menu items, which makes it easier for YOU to find low-fat options. I have two big tricks for buffet dining low-fat style. First, I know that the people I will be eating with will go back several times to the buffet. To keep myself from feeling deprived, I put small servings on my plate and go back to the buffet several times myself! I usually start with salad and fruit. Then I go back and get a small serving of protein and starch. I try to stick to a small dessert, one without heavy cream, for my last serving. My second trick is to skip the multiple plates and fill my plate with salad and top it with 3 oz of protein.
5) Ask for sauces on the side. I cannot emphasize this one enough- you will save A LOT of fat in any meal by being cautious with the dressings, cheese, sour cream and other tasty but high in fat sauces. In this way, you can control your fat intake.
6) Condiments can be your friend. Add flavor to dishes with mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce. Leave off the honey mustard, mayo and cheese sauce.
7) Most dining locations have chicken or salad. Just watch out for the extra fat content in the breading on the chicken and the extras on the sides. Many times, the salads are pre-made. Simply take the extras off yourself.
8) Order the breaded chicken…and remove the breading. I know. I know. That is the best part. The Plaza Inn at Disneyland has an AWESOME fried chicken. There are two pieces of chicken on the plate and keep it low fat by removing MOST of the fried part.
9) Split a meal! At some restaurants, the servings are large enough that you can split a meal with someone else in your party. If you are worried about having enough food, order a side salad. You will save lots of money this way as well!
10) Choose your snacks wisely. Yes, there are many fruit and vegetable snack options at carts throughout Disney nowadays. But, when someone in your party is eating a churro…? Get yourself a pretzel. They are quite tasty and very cute- shaped like a Mickey head! If your group is stopping for ice cream, order the fruit bar! Cotton candy is another good low-fat option for snack. Finally, in the candy shops, look for hard sugar candies and gummies for a sweet low-fat treat.
I hope that this article has helped you out and maybe convinced you that eating low-fat at Disney doesn’t have to be a big deal or mean that you will be totally depriving yourself. Have fun on your trip!