Tips to Making Healthy Decisions When Dining Out!


Let’s face it, dining out is a big part of life.  The good news is, you don’t have to put your nutrition on hold when you go to a restaurant.  It doesn’t have to be difficult to eat what you like and maintain, or even continue to lose weight. Here are some tips we give to our clients at Live in Fitness Boot Camp. Try to keep these in mind when dining out;

  • Don’t skip meals earlier in the day to “save up” for the evening.  It’s way too easy to overeat when you’re hungry.
  • Look for key words on the menu:  “roasted”, “grilled”, “poached”, “steamed”.  These terms usually mean they were prepared without extra fat or a large amount of calories.  It is still always helpful to ask your server exactly how the food is prepared.  Don’t be afraid to make substitutions.
  • On that same note, stay away from items that are “fried”, “smothered”, “sautéed”, “covered”, etc.  Obviously, these are less healthy items that can easily have twice the calories of the steamed versions.
  • Enjoy the dining experience.  Take your time, eat slowly, and enjoy the social side of eating.  It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that you’re full.  We consume a lot less calories when we eat slower.  It is also easier on the digestive system.
  • Remember to choose a blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats at each meal.  One large bowl of pasta with cream sauce is not the best way to go.  Add chicken and veggies, switch to a red sauce, scale back the amount of pasta and you’ve got a great meal.
  • Ask for dressings and sauces to be put on the side.  That way, you can decide how much to use.  Remember, a little goes a long way!
  • Take home at least half of your meal.  Most restaurant portions are enough for 3 meals so there’s no need to clean that plate!  It is even advised that you get the takeout box when the food arrives and put half of your meal in right away. Portion control is the single most important thing to practice in a restaurant.  It will save you more calories than you know.
  • Let’s say you dine out about once a week. Allow yourself one “exciting item” whether it be a glass of wine, soda, or small piece of cake.  Remembering moderation is always key to avoid overindulgence later.

On average, Americans eat over 200 meals away from home each year.  Remember these tips when dining out.  By making small changes over time, you can enjoy restaurant food without sacrificing good nutrition.

Karen Sherwood, NC, HHP

LIFE nutritionist





After years of working at our Fat Camp, it’s hard to say we haven’t heard it all. Pizza is very important to most people, rightfully so. It’s a delicious sinful little treat that we need to have. This is one of the many scenario’s that happens often too many times… It’s Friday afternoon, you are leaving your office after a long hard week, and you are looking forward to a much needed break. As you begin your drive home, you are thinking about being home, relaxing, and maybe even rewarding yourself for all of the hard work you have done. Maybe it even occurs to you that you are feeling as if you have earned it. Surely everyone deserves a reward every now and then you think. As this thought crosses your mind, you pass by a Pizza Hut, that seems to be calling your name. With your eyes fixated on the big red and white sign, you car appears to be steering itself into the driveway. Before you realize it, you have devoured several slices of the delicious deep-dish pizza, and as a feeling of guilt washes over you, it occurs to you that this does not feel like a reward.  That is what a lot of pizza lovers struggle with, this is why we are here to help.


As with most rewards, the tendency to go overboard with pizza, or any food for that matter is ever present. While we have all used food either consciously, or unconsciously as a reward at some point, we have all probably also abused it as well. As you can see from the example given above, without a conscious awareness of what we are doing, this tendency becomes magnified. Much of the reason for this is due to the fact that when we are not aware of what we are doing, we are at a loss to change it. As you can see from above, the reality of our actions does not occur to us until after we have already done them. Clearly, at that point it is much to late. It is usually then that we feel overwhelmed with guilt. The difference between using something, food or anything else as a reward, and abusing it, is being consciously aware of what we are doing. With this awareness, we are armed with the power of choice about what we do. This of course, enables us to evaluate our decisions, negotiate for what we want, and leave the situation feeling satisfied. This sense of choice applies to everything we do, and in the area of weight loss, becomes invaluable.


Applying a sense of choice to foods, we are able to evaluate every decision we make, weighing the impact of what we want to eat, against where we want to be. If we want to eat a hot fudge sundae, yet we want to fit into that pairs of pants currently collecting dust in our closet, we are going to have to make some serious choices. The reason this choice becomes so important is that without evaluating it clearly, one of two things will inevitably happen: we will either avoid the sundae, telling ourself we can never have it, feel deprived, and end up overdoing it later, or we will avoid thinking anything, and just have it anyway, without thinking about it, and end up overdoing it, and feeling guilty. Avoiding both of these negative situations then becomes dependent on our ability to think clearly through the decision making process. Obviously, we can neither avoid the sundae totally, or have all of it right now, as neither one of these choices satisfies both of our wants, ands goals. So, we are going to have to be able to negotiate with ourselves for both these wants and goals, and look for a third option.


When it comes to pizza, third options come in many slices, pardon the pun. We can either have less of the dangerous deep-dish version, reducing the total caloric impact of it, or we can come up with a healthier version. That is just what California Fresh and Fit has done. Offering tasty, yet surprisingly healthy versions of the foods we love is what this company specializes in. Imagine pizza that is fresh!

Life in Fitness!


weight loss

We are in the middle of winter and you might be wondering when you should start shedding that holiday weight. Conventional wisdom would say that the best time to lose weight is in the summer. The warm air and sunshine just make it easier to get up and go! Plus, wintertime tends to encourage people to overeat and sit around. However, there are many reasons why you should conquer old man winter with exercise and a healthy diet. Here are some of the reasons winter time should be weight loss time:

Prepare for Summer

In summer, the heat is on and most activities tend to reveal more skin. You’ve heard of the coveted beach body but what a lot of people don’t realize is that the glamorous summer body is forged in the dead of winter. By the time summer rolls around, it’s already time for the big reveal and too late to start shedding pounds before bikini season. It’s better to work on your figure behind the curtain of a winter coat so that you’re ready for the summer show time.

Fight Seasonal Weight Gain

Winter is the time of the year people tend to gain the most weight. It’s harder to get out from under the blankets and step into the cold. It’s easier to escape the gray weather by eating snacks and watching movies by the fire. Plus, the parade of fine and fatty foods brought on by the winter holidays makes it hard to resist putting on a few pounds.

However, those are the exact reasons you should set winter weight loss goals. If your goal is to lose weight in the winter, it can help you also avoid seasonal weight gain.

Improve Your Mood

Winter has been known to leave some people feeling under the weather, literally. The shorter days, colder air and cloudy afternoons can have a negative effect on your mood. Some even experience what’s called, seasonal affective disorder which is theoretically caused by a number of potential factors like less serotonin-producing sunlight or hormonal shifts.

However, getting in a little workout time every day and eating healthy food can go a long way in improving your mood.

Cold Can Help the Cause

Here’s an example of how weight loss efforts don’t just help avoid the negative effects of winter; instead, winter actually helps you. Studies show that being mildly cold can increase the rate of energy burn. If it’s a little chilly outside, a run might be more effective than if the weather is temperate.

Some scientists even suggest that shivering for 15 minutes can actually mimic an hour workout in terms of irisin production. Irisin is a hormone that causes white, energy-storing fat to turn into brown, energy-burning fat.

You’re not Alone

Because of New Year’s resolutions, people are hitting the gym in droves. If you are looking for a workout buddy to help keep you accountable, there is a good chance that someone is starting to set the same goals as you.

Live in Fitness – Lose Weight This Winter


Why Eating Makes Us Feel Good! - Fitness Retreat Advice

Live In Fitness

Fitness Retreat – Advice

Why Eating Makes Us Feel Good

If you’re coming off the holiday season with a few extra pounds you’re not alone. People gain an average of two pounds a year, especially over the holidays. But why? Why does it feel so good to stuff ourselves like a holiday turkey with our friends and family?

It’s Natural

The human body is designed and adapted to survive, and eating enough food is a big part of survival. In the wild, food might be scarce and large meals might be few and far between. When you feel inclined to gorge yourself on salty, sugary, and fatty foods, that’s your body telling you to get as much as you can in case you don’t get a chance to eat again for a while.

Because, in the animal kingdom and throughout human history, we’ve had to work hard to find, grow, hunt, and prepare meals, our brains reward us for finding food that’s rich in nutrients and calories. It takes energy to find food, so when we’re foraging in the dining room and come across a sweet potato pie, our brains say, “go for it.” In the modern United States, most of us have access to all of the calories we need and more. It takes conscience effort to suppress the urge to get as much as we can whenever we can.

Food Boosts Our Mood

In the same way, chemicals in the brain make us crave calorie-rich foods. Certain foods are made out of compounds that literally make us happy. Our mood is balanced in the brain through neurotransmitters and there are two types: excitatory and inhibitory. Excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate us and make us feel amped up while inhibitory neurotransmitters make us feel calm and relaxed. A balance between the two is what contributes to the best moods.

These chemicals are created with the help of compounds found in food. However, some foods are better than others at doing this job and there are some healthy foods that are excellent for promoting mood-boosting chemical creations, like spinach.

Comfort Foods

Some foods have an effect that is more related to our minds than our bodies. Comfort food is a familiar term to most and is often associated with things like pancakes, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes.

However, comfort food can be different for each person. This is the term used to describe food that you might have a psychological relationship with. For instance, if you remember happy times in your childhood when your dad would take you out for ice cream, when you’re feeling down you might go to ice cream for comfort. If your best memories are from family picnics with grilled cheese sandwiches, you might go to grilled cheese when you’re not feeling good.

Fight Food Feelings at a Weight Loss Retreat

So, if craving food is both psychological and chemical, how can you fight the urge to overeat or eat unhealthy foods? There are several methods to approach weight loss and healthy eating but everyone’s different. Our weight loss retreat, Live in Fitness, can help educate you and jumpstart your journey to a healthy weight and lifestyle. At Live in Fitness, we take your age, fitness levels, and personal goals into account to create a personalized weight loss program.

Live in Fitness!

making sense of weight loss

Live In Fitness – Techniques Of Losing Weight


At out weight loss camp, Live in Fitness, we’ve noticed how hard it is for everyone to get a grasp on the sometimes intensive techniques of losing weight. Especially after trying so many things at home and not having it work out. You’ve been counting calories, exercising diligently, drinking more water, and learning about the “right” foods to eat. You even went to the health food store. As you have thoroughly raided your cupboards of any evil temptations, and thrown away all of the unfinished ice cream containers in your freezer, you stop to wonder: is this really going to work? Pondering that question the absurdity of the attempt to lose weight hits you. Here we are in a society somehow maliciously determined to make ourselves suffer. We create the richest chocolate shakes, the juiciest burgers, the cheesiest pizzas, and the biggest servings of everything. Heck we are the master of the supersize. And then, we create these movie stars, celebrities and public figures that make even Barbie’s unrealistic measurements seem too big. She would have been a 34, 24, 38.

What are we supposed to do? There is even a new diagnostic category in the DSM-IV manual for binge eating. These people have become so addicted to the food they have lost control. If being super-thin is considered “good”, then why do we have all this good stuff? It seems absurd to you as you reach for your last half eaten container of ice cream and toss it on top on the “People” magazine cover with the picture of Angelina Jolie.

It seems fitting that both of those things should go in the trash. After all, you just read an article on the National Institute of Health website that reported that the average mood of people when watching a sitcom was mild depression. Perhaps reading People magazine has the same affect. After all, all those actresses and models look the same. In fact, they kind of look about as plastic as the ice cream that is melting onto Angelina face. If the website also said that eating “fake” foods like every diet food these days, is bad for you, then, it occurred to you that possibly the same bad affect the doctors are warning you about might happen if you are exposed to those “fake” people. And what isn’t fake these days? More than 65% of the U.S. population is currently trying to lose weight, according to the website. When you went to the grocery store, it certainly wasn’t hard to find what you wanted in a diet version. As you piled the low sugar jam on top of the low sugar, low carb bread, you felt as though you had discovered some hidden treasure. Everything came in a diet version. You could even get Ben and Jerry’s chocolate explosion ice cream in low sugar. It even felt like an explosion in your gut as you got so excited and downed the whole thing, only to read the label and discover that the “fake” sugar, aspartame can have laxative effects. That’s when the People magazine came in handy as you were stuck in the bathroom for the rest of the night to predicament you were in. What is going on here, you wondered? No wonder that website also said that we are the most depressed nation on the planet.

Techniques Of Losing Weight

As you take a look at your zippy new Nike running shoes staring across the room at you, you think to yourself, no wonder we are all gaining weight, nobody feels like exercising when they are depressed. Or, wait, are we so depressed because we have gained weight? This is all getting so confusing. Good thing that website included a mental health section, thinking about all this weight loss stuff is enough to make anybody crazy. Hey wait a minute, they did say sunlight was good for ADD kids. As you look back at your Nikes, they do seem to be pointing toward the door. Maybe if sunlight helps those ADD kids, it will help make sense out of this mess.

You lace your shoes and step outside, thinking maybe, just maybe you’ll find some answers. You start down your block, and head to the nearest park, if sunshine is good, grass, and trees might be better still. The more nature, the better right?

Then it hits you: the website said sunshine is good for the mental health of ADD kids, yet all those weight loss products never mention anything about health. In fact, neither do the celebrities. And they sure as heck don’t all look so healthy. If Brittany Spears, Mel Gibson, Pamela Anderson, and Michael Jackson are any example of health, we all better pick up our needles and start aiming for the nearest vein. Wait a minute, you stop dead in your tracks. Didn’t that weight loss product Metabolife get implicated in several deaths? Whoever thought getting thin could kill you? The doctor told you to lose weight or else you could die early, but he didn’t say losing weight could kill you. He must have meant that you should lose weight to get healthy, but he sure probably didn’t mean you should lose your health to lose weight. Or your mind for that matter.

You shake your head, losing weight shouldn’t come with a warning label. Neither should the people we look to as healthy. As you approach the park, you think to yourself, since when did the focus on health get lost with all the weight we are supposed to lose? Something moving quickly to your left catches you eye. As you turn your head, you see your neighbor’s daughter racing across the grass with the reckless abandon only a six year old could know. Now that looks healthy. You think back to when you felt that energetic. It must have been 10 years since you bothered to break into a trot. And that was only to snatch the last chocolate chip cookie from your husband’s hand. What the heck, you decide to give it a try. You gingerly take a few steps. Hey this doesn’t feel so bad, you think, impressed with the little bit of spring in your step. Maybe you haven’t lost it after all these years. This actually doesn’t feel too bad, and you stretch your stride out a little, then a little more, and before you know it, you’ve crossed the grass. A little sign posted on the fence catches your attention. It’s a brochure for a 10K race in your neighborhood. Something tells you to take a look. 10K seems far, actually 10 of anything athletic seems daunting. But wait, it supports leukemia. That seems noble. Those poor kids with leukemia go through a lot more than running a 10 K you think. And there’s a walking division. Now either the sun has really gotten to you, or you are actually considering doing this. Well it doesn’t come with a warning label you laugh to yourself.

And it does seem to make more sense than spending endless hours comparing low carb, low sugar, high protein, zero calorie, and “lite” versions of everything food item known to man. Or was that chemical item known to man?  Your head spins with the thought.

At least this $25 entry fee supports a charity. That a heck of a lot more than any of those diet products can say. And you never know, this running stuff just might catch on, you think to yourself as you take down the number and head off across the grass again. Compared to the weight loss efforts you’ve been trying, maybe this health stuff isn’t so bad. And that website was right, the sunshine did help your temporary case of ADD.

Live in Fitness!