Santa Monica Personal Trainer Exposes 5 Secret Restaurant Traps So You Can Avoid Hidden Calories

healthy mealYou’ve been working out and kept up with your diet, so every weekend you decide to treat yourself with a night out to a restaurant. You know that the food you eat is responsible for how much you weigh, which is why you have avoided fast food at all costs. Unfortunately, that night out or two at a restaurant is basically equivalent to visiting a fast food place a few times per week.

Restaurants may seem healthy with their grilled chicken and fancy salads, but in the grand scheme of it all they are using the same tactics fast food restaurants use. They want you to believe the food is healthy by making it look good. The typical meal you receive at a restaurant is well over 1,300 calories.

Below are the top five meals that seem healthy, but are one of the worst dishes you can get at a restaurant. All of these entrees can be made at home in a significantly healthier way.

Unhealthy Dish #1: Pasta

Pasta is one of the most popular dishes people end up getting at a restaurant, but for those looking to lose weight this is a dish that must be avoided. Even home-made pasta is packed with fast absorbing refined carbohydrates, meaning it will be likely to store as fat.

Alternative: At home, you can make a dish that is similar to pasta using spaghetti squash. Bake the squash in the oven until it is tender enough to scoop out with ease. You can then pour a typical pasta sauce, preferably the lowest calorie (there is a surprising range calorie-wise) one you can buy, over it.

Unhealthy Dish #2: Fried Chicken

Anything fried is bad for you and restaurant fried chicken is no exception. There is absolutely no nutritional value in fried chicken, only tons calories that add up with each piece of chicken. If a fried chicken meal for kids contains about eight hundred calories, you don’t even want to imagine the calorie count of an adult meal.

Alternative: The best alternative would be a grilled chicken, but if you really must have that fried flavor then you’ll have to do a bit of preparation. You will need Dijon mustard, whipped eggs, onion powder, and garlic powder. Dunk pieces of raw skinless, white chicken pieces into a bowl with all of those ingredients mixed, then add thyme, salt, and almond flour. Cook it until the chicken is no longer raw and broil it for a final few minutes, then enjoy.

Unhealthy Dish #3: Cobb Salad

It’s a salad so it’s healthy, right? Not at all. This “salad” is packed with calories due to all of the fattening foods it contains such as bacon, eggs, dressings, and cheese.

Alternative: Restaurants use the best tasting, fattiest ingredients possible in order to satisfy the taste of their customers. Unfortunately, low calories are not their upmost concern. At home you can make your own Cobb salad with fat free and unsalted ingredients as well as add anything else you like to it. The home-made version will be much healthier and can end up tasting even better than what you would have had.

Unhealthy Dish #4: Sliders

Sliders are delicious little sandwiches packed with meat and other fatty ingredients. With its delicious mix of flavors, sliders are pretty hard to resist. By imagining the fact each slider contains more calories than a small meal at home, you should be able to pull through and avoid them.

Alternative: The meat, buns, and fillers are what make a slider bad for you at a restaurant. At home, rather than buns filled with carbohydrates, instead cut out the bun completely or use a replacement such as lettuce to wrap the contents in. Replace fatty red meat with chicken or turkey. Add fresh vegetables to it for extra nutrients and filling. These sliders are more than ten times healthier and actually contain nutritional value.

Unhealthy Dish #5: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Often restaurants will provide free chips before meals or server them on their appetizer menu. These chips come with a dip of your choosing; commonly spinach artichoke is the one people want because it tastes good and sounds healthy. Most people don’t realize that just one cup of this dip contains seven hundred calories, which can be more than a meal.

Alternative: The cream is the worst part of the dip, so when making this at home use fat-free milk instead. Freshly bought spinach and artichoke will make this dip much tastier than what they serve at the restaurants.

diet for bikini

Santa Monica Personal Training client Rose knows how to order smart at restaurants.

Any dish at a restaurant or fast-food place can be recreated at home in a much healthier and tastier way. You’ll still have to watch your calories, but you won’t gain as much from your favorite meal if it is homemade with the right ingredients. Think about what you typically order when going out and then try to make them yourself at home.
Eating at home will save you from extra calories, provide nutrition, and keep your wallet full. Most of the time, purchasing your own ingredients costs a lot less than buying a meal from a restaurant. By doing this and exercising, you’ll reach your weight loss goals in no time.  To achieve your goals even faster, it would be a wise idea to meet with a great personal trainer like me. Give me a call today so we can create a workout and nutrition plan that is most effective for your body.

Sugar: Death’s Buddy!

sugar is deathThe answer to this question just might surprise you – On which diet will a person live longer: one comprised of a mixture of sugar and water or one comprised only of water?

Now for the surprising answer: the person consuming only water will live longer.

Now that couldn’t possibly be right, could it? An incident involving five sailors from 1793 offers an interesting perspective.

Marooned on a ship for nine days, these sailors were forced to consume a diet made up of only sugar and water. When they were finally rescued, they showed the symptoms of prolonged starvation. From their physical state it appeared as if that they had been stranded for at least a month, if not longer.

After reading about this story, the French psychologist Francois Magendie decided to conduct his own experiment using dogs as test subjects. These dogs were fed a simple diet comprised entirely of sugar. Can you guess the results of his experiment?

All of Magendie’s dogs died.

Magendie’s experiment illustrated rather clearly, that a diet comprised predominantly of sugar is worse than nothing.

How exactly is consuming sugar worse than consuming nothing? Refined sugar is what those in the health food industry call an anti-nutrient.

Sugar Facts (Bad)

Refined sugar starts its life cycle out as sugarcane. After being extensively refined, all of the vitamins and minerals in taken out. What’s left over, after this harsh process, is empty calories.

Why are empty calories a problem for the human body? In order for your body to function, your body must consume many things in addition to calories. You need vitamins, minerals and enzymes in addition to a large variety of other nutrients in order to function.

These nutrients not only help your body work, but they help your body process your food. Since the refining process removes all of the vital nutrients from the sugar, your body has no choice but to cannibalize them from itself.

So while that bag of gummy bears might taste good, the sugar that you consume is siphoning away important nutrients from your body.

Now if that wasn’t enough, it gets even worse.

Consuming sugar can make you feel hungry, which in turn makes you eat even more. It’s a vicious cycle. Your insulin levels get a large boost, and then plummets. This is why so many people have to struggle so hard to maintain and achieve their ideal weight.

Sugar Makes You Age Faster

Refined sugar can also increase the signs of aging. When your body has been exposed to prolonged high insulin levels, you start to accumulate advanced glycation end products. These AGE’s are one of the main cause of the physical and mental signs of aging. So it’s no wonder natural health experts have dubbed sugar “the anti-fountain of youth”.

Refined sugar is also known to wreak havoc on your bones. Cavities, osteoporosis and other degenerative bone and teeth problems have been linked directly to it. This is because refined sugar actively pulls away calcium from your bones in order to aid in its processing.

When you consume high amounts of sugar, it’s stored within your body as fatty deposits. Your liver can only process so much sugar, so it stores this excess in various parts of your body.

Refined sugar is also known to cause problems with brain function, by impairing your vitamin B production.

If all of this other information hasn’t convinced you so far, maybe this list will convince you:

Sugar Related Ailments

  • chronic constipation
  • varicose veins
  • attention deficit disorder
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • emotional instability
  • decreased immune system response
  • higher rates of cancer and increased incidences of degenerative diseases

Now that you know refined sugar causes so many issues, even in small amounts. It’s time for you to see just how much the average modern person consumes. On average, people consume 46 teaspoons of sugar every day or 175 pounds of refined sugar every year.
sugar effects
Does it come as any surprise that the sugar industry is such a big business? Sugar seems to be finding its way into more and more products everyday.

Look at the ingredients in some of the products you buy every day. You’ll see that refined sugar has been placed in everything from pasta sauce to cornflakes. You will even find it in some supposedly healthy products.

What does this mean for you?

If you want to live a healthy ( i.e. sugar-free) lifestyle, you’re going to have to use your own personal judgment to determine what foods you are going to consume. Most foods have calories in addition to the nutritional content. Sugar is one of the few foods products that doesn’t. While sugar may add a little to the flavor of your food and drinks, it’s still creates a whole host of health problems.

Consuming refined sugar is just not worth it.

Knowledge is power and now, that you know about the real effects of sugar, you have the power.

Plus if you’re ever shipwrecked with a whole “boatload” of sugar, you’ll know not to eat it!

The Various and Diverse Names for Refined Sugar

Since you’re already spending the time to check out your fruits and nutritional labels, I will provide you with a list of some of the most common names for sugar.


*High fructose corn syrup



*Organic sugar




These are the most common names you’re likely to find on your labels, but there are additional names that exist and more are being created every day.

Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

You’ll not only be adding to your health, you’ll be adding your own understanding.

Sign up for Online Personal Training and learn how to eat without refined sugars!


Posted in Nutrition by Jason Kozma | Comments Off on Santa Monica Personal Trainer Exposes 5 Secret Restaurant Traps So You Can Avoid Hidden Calories

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