Melissa Pfeister, a member of our ETNT Medical Review board and the founder of the health and wellness brand Stripped with Melissa, knows what it takes to get people to lose weight and keep it off. She has a proven track record of helping clients lose 30 pounds or more with simple diet tweaks and holds a certificate of certificate in Nutrition Science from the Stanford School of Medicine.. Turns out, when dining out at a restaurant, it’s those small, little tweaks to your order that can add up to big health benefits.
“It’s all about the choices you make,” says Melissa. “For instance, my first thought [of a healthy option] would be a sushi restaurant with lots of edamame and lots of fresh fish and seafood, but then again, you can order fried rock shrimp tempura in a creamy aioli sauce there, too. You just have to look a little harder and be a little more creative, but healthy options are always, always there.”
Read on for Melissa’s tips on popular dishes to avoid, healthy dressings and sauces to choose, and more on how to eat healthy when dining out. (Don’t feel like going out? That’s fine. You can try one of these 45+ Best Healthy Copycat Restaurant Recipes.)
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The menu is your first clue as to what ingredients are most utilized in the kitchen. “Be sure to avoid anything with the terms buttered, fried, glazed, aioli, or creamy,” advises Melissa. Sauces and dressings usually contain the highest amount of fat and hidden sugar. Anything with the word “creamy “or “aioli” tends to have a base of mayo, butter, or cream.
“A dish could be amazing and healthy, and then it’s covered in a buttery cream sauce and all signs of health go out the window,” warns Melissa. Check out the menu online before you go so that you’re not blindsided by the tastiest-sounding options. And when in doubt, order any sauce on the side.
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