Skip to main content

Tips on Eating Out

I hope that you had an excellent new year celebration and that you are ready for a great new year. I know that I am!

While I discourage New Year’s Resolutions, I still indirectly get asked for advice on how to make them stick. For example, a person I met said their New Year's resolution was to start eating better at work. She vowed to no longer visiting the doughnut box in the break room or pig out at any of the company birthday parties. Yet she still needed to entertain clients and liked eating out with coworkers every now and again. Did I know what she could do to eat healthy at restaurants?

My advice was to try eating a few walnuts (about 6-8) or a small fistful of almonds (about 12-15) before leaving for the restaurant. The idea is to not arrive in starvation mode. In fact, eating a little healthy fat before a meal will trigger a chain reaction that will slow the rate at which your stomach empties.

The end result is a satiated feeling, but unfortunately it takes the brain up to 30 minutes to register that sensation. That's why I suggest starting with this tiny snack before heading out.

Once there, drink a full glass of water upon arriving. This, and eating the nuts, helps fill you up faster so that you are able to make healthier choices and don't over eat.
Also, instead of bread or fried chips and salsa, ask for some cut up veggies. Veggies are nutrient dense and that means you get more benefit out of the calories you actually do consume.

Speaking of veggies, I'm shocked by the lunchtime misconception that salads are a low fat meal. While they can be, the truth is often quite the contrary. Relying on the kitchen to prepare and dress your salad can result in as many as 500 calories added to your meal. Restaurants are notorious for overuse of dressing. Instead, order oil and vinegar on the side and go a little heavier on the vinegar. I
season my salad with a few squeezes of lemon and pepper.

Finally: desert time. If you must indulge, get in the mind set of sharing! In fact the more people sharing that desert guarantees you will consume fewer calories. However, my favorite way of ending a meal is savoring a fine glass of red wine.
There are numerous studies suggesting the benefits of red wine but remember to limit your wine consumption to no more than 5 ounces (if you are a woman) and 10 ounces (if you are a man). Research suggests that over consumption of alcohol results in a diminishing rate of return on its health benefits.

So, these are my recommendations but they are the recommendations I would suggest regardless of the time of year. Focusing on making better food choices is something that should be made everyday, without a “Resolution.”

As always - Enjoy Your Life,

John Aaron Villarreal

The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.


Popular posts from this blog

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage …

Should You Take Supplements?

Often I am asked about supplements and their role in a healthy diet. My take is that while vitamins and minerals are essential to life, the human body cannot self sustain this requirement. Therefore, it is imperative that we eat a well-rounded, low fat diet in order to obtain an adequate variety and supply.

Unfortunately, Americans have become infatuated with supplementation. Mega-dosing has become a common practice for both athletes trying to improve their performances and the “average Jane or Joe” trying to compensate for inadequate nutrition.

Research indicates supplementation is ineffective in improving athletic performance in a well-nourished adult. That’s to say if you are eating well, taking additional doses of supplements won’t give you an edge.

In fact, excessive amounts of fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) may prove toxic since they are stored in the body and not easily excreted. Even some water soluble supplements such as vitamin B-12 have been shown to cause toxi…

What To Do When You’re Chronically Stressed

Of all the modern-day ailments that seem to affect us, none is more pervasive than stress. Everywhere you turn, there are factors lurking to redirect you from your peaceful pursuit of happiness and lock you in the clutches of “stress.”

What exactly is stress—and what more insidious effects does it cause? The dictionary defines stress as “great pressure or force; strain.” In today’s world, we think of stress as the result of too much pressure laid upon us by life, causing mental worry or anguish. This, in turn, manifests itself in tight neck and shoulders, headaches, nervous stomach, etc. But these physical and mental conditions are really only the beginning.

Studies show that stressful situations can develop into more threatening health conditions. For instance:

A sudden or unexpected stressor can activate your adrenal glands, which sends adrenaline and other hormones into your bloodstream. This brings about an increase in your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood flow to…