Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's not as healthy as you think

It's almost swimsuit season - you are trying to get that last 10lbs off - but you are stuck.

Ask yourself this question - how many times a week do I eat out?  This can greatly affect your health and fitness goals if your answer is more than once a week.

Why?  Restaurants are in the business of making things taste good - at least what the majority of Americans believe tastes good - which includes over salting, over fattening and over seasoning foods in general.  What this adds up to is a whole lot of excess calories and dreaded fat stores along your waistline.

Think you are ordering healthy by order chicken fajitas with no tortillas and no cheese?  Think again - most restaurants soak chicken breasts in butter, hydrogenated oils and other saturated fats to add moisture and 'flavor'.  Chicken tastes pretty darn good without all those additives!  Simply grilling it can add moisture and flavor that is delicious!

Many of my clients tell me they order their food 'dry' with no added butters or oils.  Many restaurants like Outback Steakhouse have menus and nutritional information proving they do not add butters and oils to their foods and that you can indeed order dry or steamed.  But most do not.  You may order ;dry' but if your chicken breast is sitting in the kitchen in a vat of butter - grilling it dry makes zero difference.

Consider Chili's Grilled Chicken fajitas with a whopping 880 calories, 40g of fat and 2,440mg of sodium (thats more sodium than you should be consuming in an entire DAY).  Take away the tortillas and condiments and you have 360 calories and 10g of fat but an incomplete meal - no carbohydrates (our bodies energy source that is low in fat and high in fiber), no healthy fats (that you need to rid your body of excess fat stores and help keep you full among other things) - all you are getting is protein and a heck of a lot of sodium (1300mg).

Applebees Grilled Fiesta Lime Chicken - sounds healthy right? 1210 calories, 67g of fat and 3,200mg of sodium!  YIKES!  Unless you want to be carrying around a sodium baby and overload your body with saturated fat, I wouldn't be ordering the Fiesta Lime Chicken.

So what can you do?  Go out to dinner once a week for a 'treat meal' - make it something to look forward to - order what you want but be an informed consumer.  One meal can negate a LOT of work you put in at the gym if you go overboard.  When you consume excess calories, fat, carbohydrates and sodium, your body cannot process it all at once - thus your body will store it as FAT stores.

Plan, Prepare and Pack all your meals for your week - control the amount of sodium, fat and calories you eat daily and don't let restaurants rule your waistline.  Try not to eat out for lunches, breakfast and other meals (ever seen the nutritional information on breakfast foods at restaurants?  YIKES!) and enjoy one treat meal on the weekends!  Your body, your energy level and your health will thank you for it!

In Health,