This article was contributed by Ms Mah Wai Yee, Principal Dietitian of Farrer Park Hospital. For more information about Farrer Park Hospital and their services, please head over to their website here.
The holidays are the best part of the year. However, between the celebrations, feasting and sidelined exercise routines, it’s also a time when people tend to gain weight. Fret not as we share three simple ways to avoid gaining weight. Set realistic goals and learn three easy tips on how “more” is best!
1. More Fibre
Load up on the intake of fibre-rich foods. High-fibre foods aids in combating overeating by helping you feel more satisfied in the bulk of the food. Fibre takes a longer time to digest, keeping you feeling full for a longer period of time and prevents snacking between meals. It also slows down the speed of consumption, giving your brain time to register the feeling of fullness so that you are less likely to overeat.
Foods with good sources of fibre include whole grains such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread and more are not only rich in fibre but can also help control blood sugar and lower your cholesterol. Other food groups include beans, lentils, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and more.
So go for more brown rice and wholemeal pasta and eat your fruits and vegetables during the festive feast! If you have to snack, go for nuts and seeds to increase your fibre intake.
2. More Water
Drinking water helps people feel full, thus consume fewer calories as well as keeps you hydrated and your body and digestion functioning at its best. Before you start a meal, try sipping before you sit down to eat and continue drinking as you eat to avoid overeating.
It is also easy to confuse thirst and hunger which may result in snacking or filling the plates for a second serving when what the body needs is a glass of water. Before grabbing something to eat the next time you feel peckish, reach for water first.
Alternatives to water include iced- tea with no added sugar, diet drinks and fruit-infused water.
3. More Physical Activity
Skipping your regular exercise routine or sedentary activities, such as sitting down to watch movies or television programmes and chit-chatting with family and friends, are common during the festive meal.
Inactivity may contribute to weight gain, especially when lounging around is accompanied by eating excessive amounts of food. Doing some type of physical activity may prove to be beneficial for weight control.
Make a conscious decision to get more steps into the day by taking the stairs when possible or parking the car far away to walk to your destination, playing light physical games with family and friends like charades or gift relay or an activity as simple as a walk after dinner can increase your daily physical activity level.
Remember it is not able depriving yourself and over-restricting your intake. Practice moderation and avoid overindulgence and you can still enjoy your Christmas feasting while preventing weight gain!