Sunday, November 11, 2012

How to eat healthy when eating out at Orlando restaurants

Just about everyone I know is somehow trying to live and eat "healthier." Whether it's to lose a few pounds, fit into a pair of jeans, lower cholesterol, forgo GMOs, eat organic, cut out sugar, or whatever, everyone's on a health kick these days. I'm no exception. I definitely could lose a few pounds and I always feel better when I'm exercising and eating right.

It's hard to always eat healthy when one of your passions is eating out and your other passion is writing a food blog about all the restaurants in Orlando. It's a tough life, I know. But when trying to lose weight, there are too many temptations and too many "must try" items on restaurant menus. But I'm trying. I'm really trying. 

In my effort to eat better when eating out, I recently consulted with person trainer and nutrition expert, Jen Wherrell from My House Fitness in Winter Springs, Florida. She was kind enough to offer these tips and tricks to me and to Eating Orlando readers:

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give someone who eats out a lot, but wants to eat healthy? 

Portions. Restaurants give out way to much food. Remember to ask for a to go box a the start of your meal. Place half of your dinner in the box and eat it the next day.

Is there anything to always avoid when eating out?

Salt. Always ask that they not add salt to any of your food. Sodium causes water retention, which causes you to have the look of being "soft" as opposed to lean. 

How do you choose wisely from the menu when everyone else at your table is indulging?

Dedication. Almost anyone can try to sabotage you. The waiters want you to order a drink "just water?" They are shocked when you say "no bread, thank you." Even close friends can be a little jealous that you are making a change. My advice: look up the restaurant's menu before you go out, research the best meal for you, and make a plan and stick to it. It's not going to be easy, but it's so worth it!

Do you have any favorite restaurants in the Orlando area you’d recommend?

We love Seasons 52. Their menu items include dishes made with lean proteins, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains. They take full advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables grown at local farms. The best part, their portion sizes are small - a key ingredient for weight loss. 

What do you advise for someone with a sweet tooth but still wants to eat out?

Always choose the dessert with fruit or a sorbet. If you are truly wanting to splurge, just make sure you have a plan. Eat a lighter dinner, maybe a large salad with a lean meat. Then desert isn't so devastating nutritionally. Remember you need to consume 3,500 less calories a week just to lose one pound a week. 

Food for thought: the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae from Applebee's has 1,600 calories, 51 grams of fat, 1,020 grams of sodium and 224 carbs. That's more calories than I'm even supposed to eat in one day!

Tell me a little about the nutrition program at My House Fitness?

Our program provides you with a personalized, yet simple approach to weight loss, so you will shed those pounds and achieve a healthier body once and for all. My House Nutrition makes it easy to plan everything you’re going to eat, so you’ll always have delicious food that supports your fitness and your weight loss program. We figure out your personal nutrition requirements and develop a plan that is made just for you. Then you can print out menus and shopping lists and we make sure you have plenty of variety so you’ll never get bored.

Everything is personalized in our first meeting. Your BMI, body fat percentage, weight and measurements are all taken. We talk about your health history and goals. All of this is combined into a plan perfect for you.

Have a favorite meal that meets within your calorie intake for the day? No problem. With My House Nutrition, you can exchange, add or remove meals with the click of your mouse. Easy, simple, effective - that's the promise of My House Nutrition.

Learn more.

If you're looking for a Personal Trainer in the Orlando area, and you think you'd enjoy working out in an upscale, modern, private training studio with some of the friendliest and knowledgeable trainers in the industry, do yourself a favor and check out My House Fitness. 

And if you think you might be interested in owning your own My House Fitness franchise - they've recently started franchising with plans to open locations throughout Florida. For more information, visit

Two Central Florida My House Fitness Locations:

My House Fitness
1295 Tuskawilla Road
Suite 1001
Winter Springs, FL 32708

My House Fitness
1814 Edgewater Drive
Suite B
Orlando, FL 32804

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