Chili’s: Soup and Salad Keep You On Track Weight Loss!


Maybe you never frequent fast food but you eat at restaurants routinely.  Restaurants can be tricky because most of the main course contain 1000+ calories at one setting with 60-80 grams of carbs.  This is a recipe for disaster if your trying to lose weight.  Today we’re going to take a look at Chili’s.

First, stay away from the appetizers altogether or share them with a friend as a main course.  One of the lowest calorie choices is the Triple Dipper Boneless Buffalo Wings at 620 calories and 28 grams of carbs.  Sharing them with a friend will lower the calorie count to 310 calories.  All other appetizers fall in the 800-1000 calorie range which pushes you over your calorie and carb range.

Another option at Chili’s is the soup.  The Chicken Enchilada Bowl comes in at 400 calories and 26 grams of carbs.  You can lower the serving size to a cup and reduce the calories to 200 and the carbs to 13 grams.  In fact, you can almost go with any of the Chili or Soups if you stick to the cup as a serving versus the bowl.  Don’t even bother looking at the sandwiches.  They pack a whopping 1100-1500 calories and an absurd 109-140 grams of carbs, I think I gained weight just typing this.

A misconception at many restaurants is salads are a better choice, however at Chili’s you would be wrong.  Most of the specialty salads contain as many at 660 calories and 60 grams of carbs with the Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad weighing in at 1030 calories and 59 grams of carbs.  The House Salad is an option at 150 calories and 18 grams of carbs without dressing.

The Lighter Choice menu provides some options as well.  The Grilled Chicken Salad has 430 calories and 22 grams or carbs. The Lighter Choice 6 oz Classic Sirloin only has 250 calories and only 12 grams of carbs.  However just because it says lighter doesn’t mean it will help you lose weight.  The Margarita Grilled Chicken with sides has 650 calories and an unreal 72 grams of carbs.  Get rid of the sides and the chicken alone is 210 calories with only 10 grams of carbs.

The Southwest Menu is loaded with calories and carbs.  Ranging from 550-1740 calories and 50-120 grams of carbs. Your only option is having the chicken fajita without the tortillas which contains 390 calories and 24 grams of carbs.

The secret to eating out and losing weight is making good choices by keeping the calorie count below 450 and the carbs below 30 grams.  Do this and you can be successful even when you’re eating out.

Helping You Make Good Choices,

Kelly: Stop Making Excuses and Just Do It!

Are people out there who will drag themselves out of bed at 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym and workout?  When I opened boot camp that was a question I had.  After two months the answer was YES!  The largest class of the day most days is the 5:30 class.  These people are some of the most disciplined people I know.  One of these folks is a fabulous lady named Kelly.  The first year I was open I could count on Kelly’s truck being in the parking lot waiting on my sleepy butt to open the door every morning.   As a result Kelly looks incredible and is super fit.  I asked Kelly if she would share her fitness story.

So Kelly how long have you been working out?

I’ve been working out for about 2 years.

What influenced your decision to start strength training and continue to be consistent?

I started gaining weight and running alone wasn’t helping.  I started going to boot camp and really enjoyed the people I met there.

What do you do to stay active?

I pretty much do boot camp.  However, I like running with my dogs when it’s nice outside.  We do long runs together.

What are some of the barriers you’ve encountered to staying active?

I don’t really don’t have any barriers because ultimately they are just excuses.  I don’t make excuses.  I recently switched jobs and I now miss boot camp on days I work 12 hour shifts.  However, on my days off I make up for it by doing multiple boot camp classes and running with my dogs.

How would you classify your eating habits?

My eating habits are good.

Tell us about your diet/eating strategy?

We my husband George and myself no longer eat fast food and very little bread.

Do you have a favorite go to meal?

I’ll try anything healthy.  I love cooking new things that benefit our health.  I really don’t have a favorite food or go to food.

Do you have advice for someone contemplating starting a fitness and weight loss journey or advice for someone struggling with motivation?

If you’re thinking about doing it, JUST DO IT!  Never quit and always remember why you started.  I’ve found it’s not that difficult to find someone to workout with, and working out with others helps with motivation.  Remember YOU ARE STRONG and capable of getting stronger every day.

I want to thank Kelly for sharing her story with us.  The things I take away from Kelly are three points.  Number one, discipline is the key to success and meeting goals.  Number two, there’s no such thing as a barrier only excuses.  Eliminate the excuses and you will reach your goals every time.  Number three, JUST DO IT!  Take action every day and work your plan.  If you don’t have a plan and goals, right now is the time to sit down and develop both.  Build your plan today and begin taking action!

Inspiring Others to Take The Challenge,

BBQ for Weight Loss?


I was asked to check out two local BBQ restaurants and provide you with some better choices when eating there.  Smoking Buns and Whole Hog are both favorite restaurants of mine.  However, local restaurants provide a problem due to there being no nutrition guides for individual menu items.  So I’m going to provide you the best choice using my modified Whole 30 guidelines to eating.

The Whole 30 much like the paleo link I asked you to read this week is a food process that focuses on providing nutrient dense food and restricting foods that can have a negative impact on health.  I would encourage anyone wanting to improve their health through diet to read “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.  This program is very restrictive but very effective for individuals with autoimmune diseases.  I have modified some of the rules to make it less restrictive because I know many of you will read the first paragraph or two and say forget this.

So what are Jeff’s modified Whole 30 rules.

  1. Strive to eat food with lots of nutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants)
  2. Eat plenty of protein:  Meat, fish, and eggs.
  3.  Eat lots of vegetables.
  4.  Eat whole fruit.
  5. Eat oils like olive oil and coconut oil.
  6. Avoid grains. bread, pasta and rice.
  7. Avoid processed foods and sugar.
  8. Avoid alcohol.

So when it comes to BBQ the first thing you must do is ditch the sandwich.  Have the pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, pork loin or chicken with slaw by itself.  Be conservative with the sauce because it’s generally loaded with sugar. The loaded baked potato with pork, chicken or beef are great choices.  However, stay away from the baked beans and potato salad because they are loaded with sugar.  The garden salad is another great choice.

I love catfish as much as the next guy, but if you’re trying to lose weight you must say no.  The breading is nothing but refined carbs that send blood sugar through the roof and as a result insulin levels will spike and shut down fat loss.  The lower you can maintain insulin levels the more body fat you will lose.

From a protein stand point BBQ restaurants are great, but from a vegetable stand point they are much like all other restaurants and really limit your ability to eat nutrient dense foods that contribute to weight loss.  The more vegetables you eat the more weight you will drop.  Increasing vitamins and minerals while lowering insulin levels is the key to losing weight short term, long term and over the long haul.

Helping You Make Great Choices,

Sheryl: The Key to Exercise Consistency is Make it Enjoyable, Convenient, & Something that Shows Visible Results!

Most people don’t think about it, but if you don’t do something to improve your strength on a daily basis you slowly lose that strength.  Day by day you slowly get weaker and weaker not even noticing the effect until your asked to do something that requires strength and boom, you figure out how weak you’ve become.  Today I want to introduce you to a wonderful lady named Sheryl.  Sheryl works in the medical field and see’s first hand every day the effects on people when they lose strength and their ability to take care of themselves.

So Sheryl, how long have you been exercising consistently?

Almost a year, I began in October last year.

What influenced your decision to get dedicated and be consistently active?

I have known for some time that I needed to be doing something for myself but fitting it into my schedule was a challenge.  One day my son said “mom, I bet you can’t do a cartwheel….” I thought nothing of it since I used to be able to do those no problem!  It was a wake-up call for me that my arms gave out and I fell.  I was shocked at how weak I had become without realizing it.  I decided then that if I wanted to grow older in the best way possible that I had to take better care of myself and that included becoming physically stronger.

What all do you do to stay active?  

I have always been a fairly active person and am up for almost anything when time permits but on a consistent basis I have to say yard work ( we have a lot of that ), and walking.  I also try to always take the stairs and get up from the desk at work and move around as much as possible.

What are some of your biggest barriers to staying active and how do you overcome those barriers?

Time and energy! There are always commitments whether work or family related that have to be balanced.  Another is energy; at the end of a long day it is so tempting to go home and take care of the dinner, family etc. and then just sit down.  I have just tried to think of working out as an extension of the workday that I must take care of and with that mindset I have been able to stay on track.

Since becoming consistent with your exercise, what’s the biggest difference you see in yourself physically and mentally?

Physically I’m so much stronger. When I began I clearly remember how difficult it was. I have progressed throughout the year and little by little I have become stronger and have much more stamina.  Mentally I feel as though I’m doing something good for myself that just makes sense.  I work in the medical field and I see the impact that diet and exercise play in the quality of your life as you age.  I don’t want to be 20 or 30 years down the road and say I wish I had taken better care of myself.

How would you classify your current eating habits?

My eating habits are fairly good with a little bad mixed in with it.  I’ll just say there is room for improvement……

Do you have a specific diet/eating strategy that you follow?  

I really just try to make healthier choices on a more routine basis.  If I think “diet” I automatically feel that I’m depriving myself and want to eat more.  I just think of choosing more wisely and that works best for me.  I’m the same with working out, when doing sets I always count backwards because in some silly way that seems to put me closer to that goal of finishing.

Do you have a favorite go to healthy meal or food?

I’m really trying to be conscious of getting enough protein these days so I try to add that to whatever I may be eating.  Favorites would include salads and any kind of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Do you have advice for someone contemplating starting a fitness/weight loss journey or advice for someone struggling to stay motivated?

I hate giving advice, but I will say this.  The key to staying consistent comes down to three things.  1.  Make it enjoyable.  2.  Make it convenient to your schedule.  3.  Do something that will show you results from all your hard work. I want to thank boot camp and all its members for helping me improve my strength and my health.

I want to personally thank Sheryl for sharing her fitness story with us today.  It’s been a pleasure getting to know her and watching her improve her strength every day.  If you see that yourself or someone you love has lost strength and can’t do some of the things they use to do, introduce them to strength training and how fun and easy it can be.  You might even come to boot camp and find a bunch of friendly folks who love to help others achieve their goals.

Inspiring You to Take the Challenge,