What to Eat at Applebee's: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Applebees nutrition facts

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Applebee’s slogan—”Eatin’ good in the neighborhood”—gives you a sense of what to expect from the enormous menu: appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, traditional American fare like burgers and fries, hearty entrées like pork chops and seafood, desserts, and a wide range of alcoholic beverages.

Paying attention to portion size is one of the most frequent challenges when dining out, and Applebee’s is no exception. If you’re counting calories, keep in mind that go-to favorites like soups or salads aren’t necessarily the lowest-calorie choices at Applebee’s—in part due to large portion sizes and high-calorie extras. Because of that, it can be helpful to review the menu online before you go.

What Experts Say

“Applebee’s offers some vegetarian options and a guide to allergens in each dish, but cannot guarantee dishes are allergen-free. While it offers vegetable sides and salads, many of the menu options are lower in fiber and higher in sodium. If eating here regularly, eating veggies and fiber-rich foods in your other meals while opting for lower sodium options can help maintain overall balance.”

Willow Jarosh, MS, RD

Navigating the Menu

You'll find traditional American dishes on the Applebee's menu, including some home-cooking favorites. There are nutritious choices available in every menu category, whether you're craving burgers, steaks, chicken, seafood, salads, pasta, or sandwiches.

What to Order & Avoid at Applebee's
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos (Appetizers) The Classic Combo (Appetizers)
Tomato Basil Soup (Soups) French Onion Soup (Soups)
House Salad (Side Salads) Caesar Salad (Side Salads)
6-oz Top Sirloin (Steaks & Ribs) Double-Glazed Baby Back Ribs (Steaks & Ribs)
Grilled Chicken Breast (Chicken) Chicken Tenders Platter (Chicken)
Classic Broccoli Blackened Shrimp Alfredo (Pasta) Four-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders (Pasta)
Blackened Cajun Salmon (Seafood) Double Crunch Shrimp (Seafood)
Classic Burger (Handcrafted Burgers) Quesadilla Burger (Handcrafted Burgers)
Bacon Cheddar Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Sandwiches & More) Oriental Chicken Salad Wrap (Sandwiches & More)
Blackened Shrimp Caesar Salad (Salads)  Oriental Chicken Salad (Salads)
Tex-Mex Shrimp Bowl (Irresist-a-Bowl) Southwest Chicken Bowl (Irresist-a-Bowl)
Kids Chicken Taco (Kids Menu)  Kids Cheesy Pizza (Kids Menu)
Brownie Bites (Desserts) Blue Ribbon Brownie (Desserts)
Side Steamed Broccoli (Extras) Basket of Fries (Extras)
Brewed Iced Tea (Beverages) Strawberry Frozen Lemonade (Beverages)

Most Nutritious Option

For the most nutritious option at Applebee's, look to the chicken section of the menu and pair the grilled chicken breast with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.


Appetizers, especially when they’re served in large portions, can make it difficult to stick to a single serving. Popular Applebee’s starters like neighborhood nachos, soft pretzel dippers, and mozzarella sticks are higher in calories than some meals on the menu. They’re also high in fat and sodium.

✓ Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos

An order of the grilled chicken wonton tacos includes four mini tacos and provides 590 calories, 27g fat, 6g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 36g protein, and 1,530mg sodium.

For the most nutritious appetizer, ask for a side of steamed broccoli for your starter. Or, if your meal comes with a salad, ask to have it served before your meal instead of with it. If you add dressing, look for a low-fat choice.

To satisfy a craving for crispy fries, crunchy chips, and creamy dip for less fat and calories, munch on a side of celery and ranch from the kid’s menu while you wait for the rest of your meal to arrive.

✗ The Classic Combo

The Classic Combo appetizer dish includes boneless wings, spinach and artichoke dip, a chicken quesadilla, and mozzarella sticks. While it is meant to be shared, in total, it delivers 2,260 calories, 130g fat, 38g saturated fat, 190g carbohydrate, 83g protein, and 6,020mg sodium.

One of the most popular starters at Applebee’s is warm spinach & artichoke dip served with crispy tortilla chips. With healthy ingredients like spinach and artichokes, at first glance, it might seem like a nutritious choice—but with 990 calories and 61 grams of fat, the appetizer has more calories than some entrees. It also contains more than the recommended daily sodium intake—2690 milligrams.


If you're craving a savory dish for lunch, look no further than the soup menu. While this part of the Applebee's menu only has three options, these classics will keep you warm and satisfied.

✓ Tomato Basil Soup

Served with toasted croutons, the tomato basil soup is the most nutritious selection here. One bowl provides 210 calories, 12g fat, 4g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrates, 5g protein, and 1,260mg sodium.

✗ French Onion Soup

One serving of French onion soup provides 360 calories, 22g fat, 12g saturated fat, 26g carbohydrates, 16g protein, and 1,240mg sodium.

The third soup option is the chicken tortilla soup. It has 280 calories, 15g fat, 4g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrates, 12g protein, and 920mg sodium.

Side Salads

Pair your soup or sandwich with a side salad to maximize the nutrition of your meal with some fresh vegetables. While Applebee's has only two side salad options, you'll have a wide array of dressings to choose from.

✓ Side Salad

With romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and croutons, the side salad has only 130 calories, 7g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 6g protein, and 230mg sodium. Order it with the fat-free Italian dressing for an additional 20 calories and 380mg sodium.

✗ Caesar Salad

Your other option here is the Caesar side salad, which has 220 calories, 18g fat, 3g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrates, 4g protein, and 400mg sodium. To keep the calories lower, avoid the blue cheese dressing (200 calories), Caesar dressing (200 calories), or thousand island dressing (230 calories).

Steaks & Ribs

A rack of baby back ribs is a popular choice at Applebee’s. You can order a half or full rack as an entrée. Sirloin steak can be ordered as a meal, a topping for your salad, or in a fajita.

✓ 6-Ounce Top Sirloin

An order of the 6-ounce top sirloin with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli contains 580 calories, 29g fat, 9g saturated fat, 43g carbohydrates, 42g protein, and 1,960mg sodium. The smaller portion size, plus the fiber and vitamins of the veggie sides, makes this the most nutritious pick in this category.

✗ Double-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

The double-glazed baby back ribs, served with a side of fries and topped in sauce, delivers 1,430 calories, 90g fat, 30g saturated fat, 67g carbohydrates, 88g protein, and 1,850mg sodium.

Ribs may not be a high-calorie meal if they’re plain. But smothered in salty sauces and glaze and paired with starchy sides, Applebee’s baby back ribs aren’t among the more nutritious options. 

The glaze or sauce used for ribs add calories and sodium, and can often be a source of hidden sugar. For example, Applebee’s honey BBQ sauce has about 130 calories and 26 grams of sugar per serving.


You’ll find a range of options for fried and grilled chicken at Applebee’s, including crispy tenders, stir-fries, salads, sandwiches, and pasta entrees. The most nutritious choices are those with grilled, rather than battered-and-fried, chicken. Be mindful of side dishes, choosing low-calorie vegetables (such as broccoli) when possible to add vitamins and fiber to your meal. 

✓ Grilled Chicken Breast

An order of the grilled chicken breast comes with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and it delivers 570 calories, 25g fat, 7g saturated fat, 43g carbohydrates, 48g protein, and 1,870mg sodium. While this is still a lot of fat and sodium, the grilled preparation makes this a more nutritious option than the breaded chicken items.

✗ Chicken Tenders Platter

The chicken tenders platter (with coleslaw, fries, and a dipping sauce) has 1,400 calories, 78g fat, 14g saturated fat, 124g carbohydrates, 51g protein, and 3,140mg sodium.

If you’re hankering for crispy chicken tenders, look to the kids’ menu for a smaller portion. While the regular menu chicken tender plate has 1,080 calories and 60g fat, the kid’s menu chicken tenders has just 290 calories and 16 grams of fat. You’ll have your choice of dipping sauce on the side, but keep in mind that these add 100 to 200 calories to your meal and can be high in sodium.

Boneless wings or bone-in wings are another popular order at Applebee’s. Chicken wings aren’t necessarily high in calories if eaten plain, but when fried and served with buffalo sauce and ranch dressing, they become a high-fat, high-calorie dish.


With creamy sauces and large portions, you won’t find a pasta dish for under 1,000 calories on the regular menu at Applebee’s. Dishes like chicken or shrimp Alfredo, three-cheese chicken penne, and mac & cheese with honey pepper chicken tenders are served with a breadstick, adding 25 grams of carbs to already high-carb meals.

✓ Classic Broccoli Blackened Shrimp Alfredo

The classic broccoli blackened shrimp Alfredo pasta dish contains 1,320 calories, 76g fat, 44g saturated fat, 104g carbohydrates, 57g protein, and 2,860mg sodium. So it may be the most nutritious item in this category, but it is still quite high in calories, fat, carbs, and sodium.

✗ Four-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders

The four-cheese mac & cheese with honey pepper chicken tenders comes in at 1,420 calories, 62g fat, 23g saturated fat, 152g carbohydrates, 59g protein, and 3,050mg sodium.

You’ll have to look to the kids menu to find smaller-sized pasta dishes with fewer calories—though the choices aren’t necessarily more nutritious. The menu’s 310-calorie serving of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese may be lower in calories compared to other pasta dishes, but it’s still a high-carb option. Without adding much nutrition, it’s also not one that’s likely to satisfy your hunger.

Similarly, even though the kids’ menu grilled chicken Alfredo is a smaller portion of pasta, with 670 calories it’s one of the higher-calorie options.


The seafood options at Applebee’s can vary by region, but you’ll usually find a few staples like salmon and shrimp. As with chicken dishes, avoid fried preparations in favor of grilled options. These dishes may come with a side of fries, but you can swap in a side of veggies instead to add fiber and save calories, fat, and sodium.

✓ Blackened Cajun Salmon

The blackened cajun salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli has 630 calories, 32g fat, 8g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrate, 44g protein, and 1,840mg sodium.

Grilled salmon pairs well with vegetables, and since it’s a lower-fat option, you have a little room to get creative when ordering a side.

✗ Double Crunch Shrimp

The double crunch shrimp with coleslaw, fries, and cocktail sauce delivers 1,130 calories, 68g fat, 11g saturated fat, 142g carbohydrates, 33g protein, and 3,920mg sodium.

This meal comes in at nearly half of your recommended amount of daily calories (and more than double your recommended sodium intake). One of the chicken dishes, the Bourbon Street chicken and shrimp, may sate your shrimp craving for 300 fewer calories.

Handcrafted Burgers

Applebee’s offers a few options for a traditional burger-and-fries meal, though none of them are low in calories or fat. Extra calories from the sauce and add-ons like bacon, fried eggs, crispy onions, and cheese (plus a side of fries) turn basic hamburgers into high-calorie, sodium-packed meals.

At most restaurants, you can usually find smaller, simpler, burger options on the kids’ menu. At Applebee’s, you can also ask for some lower-calorie substitutions to make a healthier burger from the standard menu.

✓ Classic Burger

The Applebee's classic burger comes with the traditional toppings—lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles—and includes a side of fries. In total, the meal provides 1,120 calories, 66g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g carbohydrates, 43g protein, and 1,870mg sodium.

On any Applebee's burger, you can swap your brioche bun for a lettuce cup and choose steamed broccoli for a side instead of fries. Those two changes alter the nutrition facts dramatically. The meal now provides 520 calories, 39g fat, 18g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrates, 34g protein, and 720mg sodium.

✗ Quesadilla Burger

The quesadilla burger combines the cheesiness of a quesadilla with the heartiness of a burger and has 1,630 calories, 106g fat, 40g saturated fat, 97g carbohydrates, 71g protein, and 3,620mg sodium.

Applebee’s offers the option of swapping another type of patty for beef in any hamburger on its menu. While the usual beef patty has around 410 calories, the chicken breast patty has 190 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 40 grams of protein.

Whichever burger you choose, the easiest way to make it lower in fat and reduce its sodium content is to forgo extras like sauces, bacon, and cheese. Skipping the bacon will save you 100 calories alone. If you also get your burger without cheese, you can save another 150 or so calories and 8 to 14 grams of fat.

Sandwiches & More

Applebee’s sandwich options are limited, though it is possible to make existing menu items a little more nutritious by skipping certain ingredients and sides.

✓ Bacon Cheddar Grilled Chicken Sandwich

The bacon cheddar grilled chicken sandwich includes a side of fries as well as 1,220 calories, 64g fat, 19g saturated fat, 95g carbohydrates, 69g protein, and 3,130mg sodium. So while it is a significant source of protein, it still has a lot of fat and sodium. 

✗ Oriental Chicken Salad Wrap

This highest-calorie sandwich on the menu, the Oriental chicken salad wrap, delivers 1,890 calories, 113g fat, 20g saturated fat, 175g carbohydrates, 43g protein, and 2,900mg sodium.

This sandwich can be customized if you'd like to lower the calories in the order.  It comes with vinaigrette, but skipping that saves 650 calories. You can also replace the chicken tenders with grilled chicken to save another 200 calories.

Remember that the overall nutrition of your meal will depend on what you choose to go with it. A side house salad is 140 calories, while small cup of French onion soup can add 600 calories.


At first glance, many of Applebee’s salads appear to be among the least healthy meals. Keep in mind that the nutrition information displayed includes salad dressing. While many of the salads are made with fried food, cheese, and other high-fat extras, you can use the menu options to create a more nutritious version.

✓ Blackened Shrimp Caesar Salad 

The lowest-calorie salad on the menu, the blackened shrimp Caesar salad has 890 calories, 61g fat, 12g saturated fat, 57g carbohydrates, 34g protein, and 2,280mg sodium. This salad comes with Caesar dressing, croutons, and a breadstick.

✗ Oriental Chicken Salad

The Oriental chicken salad as 1570 calories, 105g fat, 17g saturated fat, 120g carbohydrate, 41g protein, and 1,670mg sodium.

Most of Applebee’s regular menu salads are large enough to easily make more than one meal. If you’re content to pack up half to enjoy later, ordering a full-size salad is one option. You can also order a side salad as your base, and/or skip or reduce the amount and croutons you consume.


As a relatively new addition to the Applebee's menu, the "Irresist-a-Bowls" feature protein and vegetables on top of cilantro rice. With only two options on this part of the menu, choose the protein you prefer best.

✓ Tex-Mex Shrimp Bowl

The Tex-Mex shrimp bowl includes shrimp, greens, rice, pico de gallo, black beans, corn, and guacamole. In total, it provides 710 calories, 28g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 90g carbohydrates, 30g protein, and 2,050mg sodium.

✗ Southwest Chicken Bowl

While a bit higher in calories than the shrimp option the Southwest chicken bowl is not necessarily unhealthy. It provides 820 calories, 30g fat, 6g saturated fat, 89g carbohydrates, 54g protein, and 2,310mg sodium. It has slightly more calories, fat, and sodium than the shrimp bowl, but does deliver more protein.

Kids Menu

The Applebee's kids' menu includes plenty of the restaurant's favorite dishes, all presented in smaller portion sizes.

✓ Kids Chicken Taco

The kids chicken taco dish includes a single taco with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, and has 220 calories, 6g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 20g protein, and 570mg sodium. Pair with applesauce or broccoli and milk for the most nutritious meal.

✗ Kids Cheesy Pizza

The kids cheesy pizza is a small 6-inch cheese pizza and includes 700 calories, 29g fat, 8g saturated fat, 86g carbohydrates, 25g protein, and 1,160mg sodium.

If looking for a cheesy dish, the kids chicken quesadilla may be a more nutritious option with 350 calories, 17g fat, 7g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 15g protein, and 700mg sodium.


Applebee’s menu of savory dishes is expansive, but the dessert offerings are relatively limited. And as you might expect, they’re all high in calories, fat, and sugar. Most are drenched in chocolate or caramel, topped with whipped cream, or served with a scoop of ice cream.

✓ Brownie Bites

The brownie bites dessert is the lowest calorie option on the regular dessert menu. For 330 calories, 15g fat, 8g saturated fat, 46g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 180mg sodium, and 32g sugar, the mini dessert is served with vanilla ice cream and topped with warm, fudgy chocolate syrup.

✗ Blue Ribbon Brownie

The blue ribbon brownie has 1,420 calories, 68g fat, 35g saturated fat, 191g carbohydrates, 19g protein, 770mg sodium, and 131g sugars.

Applebee’s kids' menu also offers a selection of milkshakes. Despite their small size, they are still high in calories. The chocolate shake has 740 calories, and the vanilla shake has 550 calories. The fruit smoothies on the regular menu provide 260 to 280 calories, so they may be a better choice.


Applebee’s offers traditional sides like French fries and onion rings, but you’ll also find a few options you can use to create a more nutritious meal, like steamed veggies.

✓ Steamed Broccoli

A side of the steamed broccoli has 100 calories, 8g fat, 5g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrate, 3g protein, and 240mg sodium.

✗ Basket of Fries

If you opt for a starch, the basket of fries will include 440 calories, 18g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 53g carbohydrates, 6g protein, and 1,000mg sodium.

If you’re looking for a lower-calorie potato choice, garlic mashed potatoes are lower in calories than fries, but the butter makes the dish nearly as high in fat as the fries. A plain baked potato, on the other hand, provides 290 calories and 5g fat.


Water is always the healthiest drink to accompany your meal, but depending on your nutrition goals and taste preferences, you’ll have some other no or low-calorie beverage options at Applebee’s, such as sparkling water, black coffee, diet soda, and unsweetened iced tea.

✓ Brewed Iced Tea

If you want a flavored drink at Applebee's, order the brewed iced tea. It will deliver 0 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbohydrates, 0g protein, and 5mg sodium.

Iced tea, diet soda, and light lemonade may not add many calories or fat to your meal, but they may be made with sugar substitutes or preservatives like aspartame, which some diners prefer to avoid.

✗ Strawberry Lemonade 

The strawberry lemonade has 270 calories, 0g fat, 69g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 75mg sodium, and 66g sugar.

If you want a fountain drink, an easy way to reduce the calories of your choice is to get a kid-sized drink. The typical 20-ounce serving of Sprite has 90 calories, but a kids’ serving only has 60 calories.

Diet-Specific Options

Applebee's offers options for diners following gluten-free, low-carb, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, and vegan diets, but does not have many options for low-FODMAP meals.

If you follow a special diet, you may find going out to eat challenging and have become used to having limited choices at most restaurants. One positive aspect of Applebee’s large menu is that it can accommodate a wide variety of tastes and dietary needs.

As you review the menu, ask your server for nutrition information or a list of ingredients if you don’t find the information you need. PDFs with this information are also available on Applebee’s website. If a particular meal isn’t suitable for your diet, ask if it’s possible to make modifications or swaps.


Applebee’s doesn’t offer specific gluten-free options, but there are items on the menu that don’t contain gluten or wheat.

However, because all the meals are prepared in a shared kitchen space, Applebee's can’t guarantee a meal hasn’t come into contact with gluten or wheat-containing ingredients during the storage, prep, or cooking process.

Items at Applebee’s that may be suitable for a gluten-free diet include:

  • Fries
  • Baked potato
  • Chips and salsa
  • Any sirloin steak, plain riblets, or baby back ribs
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Double crunch bone-in wings
  • Neighborhood Nachos (chicken or beef)
  • Southwest chicken bowl
  • Garlicky green beans
  • Garlic mashed potatoes

For the most nutrition option, order the grilled chicken breast with broccoli and a baked potato.


People who follow a low-carb diet will be able to find many options at Applebee's. Most protein entrées are low-carb, and can be paired with a vegetable side to keep carbs low. For example, order the grilled chicken breast and a side of steamed broccoli.

  • 6-ounce sirloin steak
  • Chicken breast patty
  • Impossible burger patty
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Blackened Cajun salmon
  • Baby back ribs
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Homestyle cheesy broccoli
  • Garlicky Green Beans
  • Caesar Side Salad


People with diets have varying needs, but often are looking for meals that are lower in carbs and sodium and higher in protein. You can make a meal diabetes-friendly at Applebee's by choosing the grilled shrimp option and pairing it with a side house salad.

  • Grilled shrimp
  • Chicken tortilla soup
  • Side house salad (no dressing)
  • Half-rack baby back ribs (no sauce)
  • Grilled chicken Caesar salad


Applebee's offers a selection of low-fat options that you can combine to make a low-fat meal. Stick to healthy proteins and sauce-less meals. One tasty choice is the blackened Cajun salmon dish, with only 32g fat.

  • House salad
  • Tomato basil soup
  • Chicken tortilla soup
  • 6-ounce sirloin steak
  • Blackened Cajun salmon
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Tex-Mex shrimp bowl
  • Chicken breast patty
  • Impossible burger patty
  • Brownie bite


There are not many low-sodium options at Applebee's. You may choose to order the kids' chicken taco for a meal that provides some nutrition (like protein) with less sodium.

  • House salad
  • Kids' chicken taco
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Blackened Cajun salmon
  • Brownie bite
  • Half-rack of ribs with Texas-style BBQ sauce (no side)


Make your own vegetarian meal at Applebee's by replacing any burger patty with a black bean burger patty. You'll want to avoid all soups, as those contain meat-based stock. Additionally, skip the beer cheese dip, white queso, and spinach artichoke dip — all contain animal byproducts. Other vegetarian options include:

  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Oriental salad (without chicken, steak, or shrimp)
  • Black bean burger or vegetarian burger (where available)
  • Kids'/Side mac & cheese or classic broccoli Alfredo (without chicken)
  • All dessert options


Although you won’t find designated vegan options at Applebee’s, you can use items from across the menu to create a meal free of animal products. Just know that since Applebee’s uses these foods in its kitchen, certain options may not work for you. For example, all fried items at Applebee’s are prepared using the same fryer, meaning they may not be acceptable for some plant-based diets.

Applebee's offers Impossible Meats patties, which provide a vegan option on its burger menu. The patty can also be substituted for chicken or beef in any salad, pasta, or bowl. Other vegan options include:

  • Chips and salsa
  • Baked potato (no butter)
  • Steamed vegetables (no butter)
  • House salad (no cheese) with dairy-free dressing (honey French, fat-free Italian, or lemon olive oil vinaigrette)

Food Allergies and Safety

Applebee’s provides an interactive allergen menu identifying common food allergens present on its menu. However, be aware that Applebee’s can’t guarantee a particular item on its menu is completely free from allergens, as cross-contamination is possible. The interactive menu allows you to search for foods with or without:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts

While the chart indicates the presence of these allergens, Applebee’s website also states: “Due to the complexity of our ingredients, other allergenic foods may be present in a menu item, but not declared.”

If you have a food allergy, exercise caution when you’re going out to eat, and always let your server know which ingredients you need to avoid when placing your order.

A Word From Verywell

The large menu at Applebee’s is varied enough that most diners will likely be able to order a meal that works for their specific dietary needs, tastes, and overall health goals. You can create a healthier meal from the menu options by ordering smaller portions, skipping extras, asking for low-carb swaps, and choosing sides that are lower in calories and fat.

If you follow a special diet, you may not find specific meals on Applebee’s menu to suit your needs, but you can likely create a satisfying, tasty meal with the options you have. But do use caution if you have an allergy, because cross-contamination is possible.

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.