As we all know, food plays a MAJOR role in your health, fitness and appearance. As most professional personal trainers in Pittsburgh would agree, food is the most important part of a fitness programs.

Poor food choices will always equal poor results, regardless of how great your workout is. Sure, if you’re 20 years old this may not apply but the fitness programs we design at our personal training studio as well as our newsletters are primarily written for busy adults over 40.

The reality is, if you’re a busy adult in your 40s, 50s and 60s you need a more customized workout to ensure you’re not wasting your time, which is exactly the kind of workouts we create at Fuse Fitness Studio.

In addition, you’ll need to change your eating habits for the best results possible.

Below is a simple but highly effective way to eat smart when you go out to one of the local restaurants in Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, etc.

Appetizers: So we all love a good appetizer to share with our friends and family but this is often where things get out of control. If your table does order an unhealthy option have 2-3 bites and call it quits. We understand that the appetizer is one part of the meal that you likely can’t control.

Don’t Order

  • Wings. While delicious, people often over eat these tasty fried wings. If your table orders them have 2-3 wings and pass on the ranch and blue cheese.
  • Nachos. This is another tasty appetizer that hard to resist. So, if your table decides on nachos have 5-6 chips with limited cheese/sauce.
  • Fried options (onion rings, calamari, etc.). Same rules apply here as they did for the wings. Take a few bites and pass on the sauce.

Do Order

  • Antipasto. A plate of thinly sliced meats, olives and cheese will start you off with some protein.
  • Cheese Plate. While potentially a bad call if you tend to over eat cheese, these plates are often the lesser of the two evils.
  • Lettuce wraps and summer rolls. While less popular, these rolls and wraps can make the perfect appetizer since they’re packed with flavors and normally healthier than the other options.
  • Plant based options. Some restaurants will have plant based options (chickpeas, peppers, etc.) as an option so if you see a plant based option go for it! These are often perfectly seasoned and grilled/baked so take advantage of them if possible.

Beverages: Calories in drinks are sneaky because they don’t fill you up. This means that you end up taking in far more calories than you bargained for.

Don’t Order

  • Regular or diet soda. On one hand you’re drinking corn syrup through a straw, on the other you’re drinking chemicals that cause you to crave sweets. It’s a no-win situation.
  • Sweet cocktails. Many restaurants are advertising sweet cocktails –resist the urge. Sugar plus alcohol equals loads of unneeded calories.
  • Sweetened tea. You may feel righteous for ordering iced tea, but if it’s sweetened then you may as well be drinking fully loaded soda.

Do Order

  • Water. Don’t laugh! Water is the best beverage of all.
  • Unsweetened iced tea. Don’t ruin it by adding that packet of sugar. Learn to enjoy the natural sweetness to the tea.
  • Red wine. Yes, we’re tempted not to add since most people over indulge. So, if you decide to have a glass, have 1 small glass and move to water after it’s gone.

Entrees: This is where the real damage is done. When you order something carb-loaded you leave the restaurant feeling heavy and lethargic—you may not even realize this until you start eating better and experience the light, energetic way you’ll feel after eating a healthy meal.

Don’t Order

  • Pasta. I don’t care if it comes with red sauce or white sauce, meat or veggies. If you’re trying to lose weight and maintain a lean body then don’t order a plate of pasta.
  • Pizza. Another dish that has far more carbohydrates than you need. If you’re craving the pizza toppings then simply order those over a salad.
  • Burgers. If you really want a burger then ditch the bun and the fries, and have your patty wrapped in lettuce.
  • Anything fried. Fried foods are a favorite but will do damage that even the most intense workout won’t undo.
  • Creamy dips. These are filled with fat and usually come with something fried to dip in it.
  • Bread. It comes smothered in cheese or seeped in butter, and even when it’s plain it fills you up with more carbohydrates than your body needs.

Do Order

  • Lean meat with vegetables. Fish, steak, chicken, take your pick and pair it with green vegetables.
  • Salad with protein. Ask for very light dressing and make sure you have a nice piece of protein on it.
  • Wraps. Most restaurants have a clean wrap that you can enjoy.
  • Soups. Stick with broth-based soups that contain protein and pass on the breadsticks.
  • Plant based options. You’ll notice some local restaurants are realizing the importance of plant based meals so take advantage of these ultra clean dishes.

For people who are fit year round they learn the simple strategies above to get the best results possible. Sure, the occasional cheat meal is perfectly fine but most of us should greatly limit these meals every week.

For those who are ready to combine both clean eating and professionally designed workouts we would recommend you reserve a studio tour so we can learn more about you.

The fastest way to your end goal is having a local fitness professional walk you through the process to ensure you’re getting the results you deserve.

Please contact the Fuse team at to reserve your tour today!

Fuse Fitness Studio is a privately owned gym in the south hills of Pittsburgh that serves Mt. Lebanon, Upper St Clair, Bethel Park, South Park, Pleasant Hills, Castle Shannon and many others. If you’re looking for a professional personal trainer that will provide you with guaranteed results, look no further.

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