Your diet has a huge impact on your weight loss results. There’s no way around it!

And if you’re eating many of your meals out at restaurants, or ordering takeout, then you’re going to want to keep reading because the average restaurant meal contains more than 1,200 calories.

The truth is that most people have no idea just how many calories are in restaurant entrées, and this contributes to frustrating weight gain. In fact, the following information may shock you.

Here are 5 fattening restaurant dishes to watch out for, along with tips to make lighter, healthier versions of these dishes at home.

Don’t Order This #1: Cobb Salad

Cobb salads are loaded with cheese, bacon, egg, and topped with a creamy dressing. Sure, you’re eating a salad, but that salad is likely to contain more calories than a burger.

At-Home Version: Making a lighter Cobb Salad at home is easy and quick. Start with a dark lettuce, like spinach or arugula, to get the most nutritional value. Top it with hard-boiled egg whites, baked turkey bacon, light cheese, avocado and drizzle lemon juice and vinegar for dressing. This at-home version has dramatically lower calories while still providing you with a satisfying, tasty dish.

Don’t Order This #2: Spinach Artichoke Dip

When it comes to appetizers, spinach dip is filled with veggies so its calorie content is often underestimated. Don’t be fooled: just half a cup of this creamy dip will set you back about 350 calories. And if you finish the bowl yourself then you’ve just taken in 1,000 calories in dip alone, not to mention the chips or pita bread you scooped it with.

At-Home Version: That delicious creamy spinach flavor can be recreated at home by using low-fat milk, spinach, some olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. A quick Google search for ‘light creamed spinach recipe’ will give you plenty of recipe options that are much lower in fat and calories than the restaurant version.

Don’t Order This #3: Chicken Tenders

Fried chicken of any kind from a restaurant is going to be loaded with more fat and calories than you’d believe. Even a serving on the kid’s menu will tip the scales at over 800 calories.

At-Home Version: Making faux fried chicken at home is easy and surprisingly delicious. Whip up a few eggs with some Dijon mustard, garlic powder and onion powder. Dip your skinless, boneless chicken tenders in the mixture and then coat with almond flour, thyme, paprika and salt. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until no longer pink, flipping once halfway through. Turn on the broiler for the last couple of minutes to make it nice and crispy.

This at-home version will save you hundreds of calories that would have ended up around your waist.

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Meal prep is a fantastic way to keep on track with healthy eating in order to lose fat faster.

Can you imagine opening your fridge to find a full week of healthy, delicious food prepped and ready to be eaten? That sure would make sticking with your diet and achieving fat loss a whole lot easier, wouldn’t it?

The idea is to plan out all of your meals on the weekend, most often on Sunday, then do the shopping and the prep at one time for the entire week. This day is labor intensive, but then your food is ready-to-eat for the next 6 full days.

Here’s my 5 Step Meal Prep Guide to make your next food prep week really simple:

Step One: Planning

Get out your notebook and pen or pull up a blank note page on your iPad, it’s time to start planning for the week. Here are the questions that you’ll need to answer:

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There used to be a time when very few adults included strength training in their fitness routine. It was thought of as extreme, unnecessary and even dangerous.

Strength training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. It can be performed with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight.

Times have certainly changed as a multitude of strength training benefits were proven by experts, including:

  • Strength and muscle tone
  • Cardiovascular capacity
  • Speed, Agility and Flexibility
  • Resistance to injury and disease

If that’s not enough to convince you to include regular strength training in your fitness routine, then read on for 9 Benefits of Strength Training…

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