With the Chinese Lunar New Year just around the corner, here are some tips to help you maintain your health and watch your waistline, while still being able to enjoy the festive treats in moderation.
Avoid visiting on an empty stomach
Before leaving your house for visits, have a filling breakfast (oatmeal, eggs, or beans, etc. are good options) to prevent yourself from scarfing down the goodies later due to hunger.
Eat until you feel 80 percent full
There can be a 20 minutes delay from when our gut is filled, to it sending a signal to our brain telling us to stop eating. This process may vary for everyone, but generally speaking, we are conditioned by social norms and cultural expectations to eat a certain amount at a certain time, than actually paying attention to what our body is telling us. To avoid overeating, you can practice eating until you feel 80 percent full.
Choose foods high in fibre
Food with higher fibre content such as fresh or dried fruits, wholegrain noodles, and vegetables can keep us fuller for a longer time. Prioritise and fill up your plate with higher fibre options before heaping on the fat and carb-dense foods can help us to avoid overeating and bloating.
Drink water instead of liquid calories
Choose water instead of flavoured drinks as much as you can. Drinking 330ml of water fills you up as much as a 330ml can of soft drink – minus the calories. Alternatively, you can also go for unsugared teas or zero-calorie drinks.
Ensure that you stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Your body may confuse thirst for hunger and reach out for that snack or extra-large portions of food when all you need is a glass of water.
Eat slowly & focus on socialising
Focus on quality over quantity, and enjoy the shared moment spent with your loved ones instead of wolfing down the food. Eating slowly also allows your body time to register that you have had enough so you don’t overeat.
Follow safe distancing guidelines
Last but not least, wear a face mask when travelling to protect you and your loved ones, and be sure to adhere to safe distancing guidelines as you participate in the festive celebrations. More details here.