It’s only January and already, you’re being tested. Pineapple tarts, bak kwa, love letters, mini dried shrimp rolls...these can only mean one thing - Chinese New Year is coming.
Here at Waistlab, we believe in going all out when it comes to celebrating festivities. Yes, this includes food.
Just because you’re taking care of your body doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself! Instead, we strongly encourage our WOWs to make smarter, healthier food choices; this means eating Chinese New Year goodies that are lower in calories or adopting certain strategies to stop yourself from overeating.
Let’s look at some of these strategies that can help prevent you from overeating and binging on those Chinese New Year goodies:
1) Ask for drinks without sugar
You’ll definitely need a drink to quench your thirst -- just don’t do it with a soft drink!
According to dietitian Ms Claudia Correia, soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain more than 5 teaspoons of sugar. That’s over 25g of sugar you’re consuming!
You can easily avoid this by drinking drinks without sugar like Coke Zero, Diet Coke or Pepsi Light.
If those aren’t available, then try to only choose drinks labelled with Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Symbol. This indicates that the drink contains at least 25 percent less sugar than their regular sugared counterparts.
If those still aren’t available, then choose good ol’ iced plain water that quenches your thirst at zero calories. Pop in a slice of lemon or lime for that zesty kick.
2) Eat fruits before anything else
Eat fruits. Eat your meal. Eat fruits again. And then maybe a snack. All in that order.
Why is it recommended to eat fruits before a meal? Bezalel Adainoo from Stay Well Now explains that the fruit’s fibre helps to satisfy your hunger, at least partially. This increased satiety then helps to reduce the quantity of food that you’d normally eat later on.
This is also the exact reason why you should eat fruits again after you’re done with your meal. By further making you fuller, this discourages you from consuming additional calories from the snacks and goodies.
Don’t save those mandarin oranges for last - remember to eat them first!
3) Take your time to chew your food
Yes! As strange as that sounds, the time you take chewing food does have a link to weight loss.
Health expert Luke Coutinho explains that taking time to chew your food means that you’re likely to take a longer time to finish your meal. As such, people who eat slowly also tend to eat less.
This is because it takes time for your brain to receive the signal from your stomach indicating that you’re full. Thus, if you chew too fast and finish your food quickly, your brain might think you’re still hungry because it’s yet to receive the signal from your stomach.
4) Choose your favourite snacks
“What? You’re telling me to watch what I eat, but I should also eat my favourite snacks?”
Yes! It’s simply unrealistic NOT to consume any Chinese new year goodies. It might even come across as rude and disrespectful to your host.
Instead of gobbling down all the snacks laid out on the table, choose two to three of your favourite goodies and snack on them.
Interestingly, one reason why you might be snacking a lot is because your body is actually signalling to you that it’s thirsty. To counter this, remember to keep yourself well hydrated!
5) Wear a waist trainer
Wearing a waist trainer is the easiest way to cut your calories this Chinese New Year.
It wraps around your midsection tightly to prevent you from overeating. At the same time, it’s comfortable enough for you to still enjoy a few snacks here and there.
With a waist trainer, you’ll never have to worry about being bloated again either! Who says you can’t have that hourglass figure look even after all the delicious meals for this festive season?