Do some basic research before going to the restaurant. Spanish cuisine consists of thousands of recipes and dishes. Some foods, however, are considered traditional and staples, such as paella, a saffron rice dish often made with shellfish; gazpacho, a chilled tomato soup; and various types of shellfish and other seafood. Familiarizing yourself with the ingredients and relative healthiness of various dishes in advance will make selecting a healthy dish at the restaurant much easier.2
Stick with dishes that are made primarily with vegetables and seafood, rather than the various cheeses, sausages and other calorie-dense foods that go into many Spanish dishes. For example, suquet is a traditional type of Spanish fish stew made with mussels, fish and other seafood. Another popular Spanish dish is hake fillets in a green salsa. Vegetable options include vegetarian paella and grilled vegetables.3
Ask your server If you are unsure about what ingredients are in a particular dish. You can even mention that you are interested in ordering something light and ask for a recommendation.4
Restrict your meal to your main dish. Don't overindulge in tempting appetizers or deserts, which are often loaded with fat, sugar and calories. Additionally, avoid eating too much of the fillers that often accompany a main dish. Rice and breads are common sides in Spanish cuisine, and they may be made with large amounts of butter or other fatty ingredients to add flavor. Stay away from these and you will avoid a lot of calories while still being able to enjoy your main course.