TIPS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET DURING FESTIVE (CNY)
“Oh no! Look at the scale! My weight just increased!”
“My God! I just put on weight again in just a few days’ time!’
We often heard these especially during or right after festive seasons. Chinese New Year is around the corner, and this is the time where family and friends gather to enjoy all the lovely company, including indulging in good foods! It is not surprising that most people gain weight during this festive season.
However, does that mean this is a normal phenomenon and we should just normalize it? We should actually prevent this from happening.
Here are 9 tips for you to prevent weight gain during the festive season!
Modify your recipes
While preparing foods (eg: reunion dinner 团圆饭), do modify the recipes by reducing the usage of oil and sugar. Use more natural ingredients instead of processed one.
Monitor your weight once a week
This provides you the awareness to watch your weight. No weighing scales? No problem. Using your non- stretchable trousers for monitoring is another easily accessible way!
Avoid highly processed foods
These foods are often packed with excess fat and sugar which contribute to unintended weight gain. Go for natural foods and minimize intake of processed foods.
Stay away from the sight of snacks to avoid boredom eating. Be mindful of snacking unhealthy snacks which can be grab easily everywhere whenever visiting family and friends.
Be active with friends and family
It is common to have sedentary activities like watching TV with family and friends. Try to include some physical activities with them (promote motivation by having fun together while controlling weight at the same time). You can set a goal of 10,000 steps daily too!
Use smaller plates
Use smaller plates to reduce the tendency of overeating by reducing the overall portion served.
While it is interesting to taste all of the food or snacks served during an ‘open house’, keep in mind that do not taste in large quantities.
Watch out on liquid calorie
Alcohol and sweetened beverages are served everywhere during Chinese New Year. Gentle reminder to not overindulge with liquid calories as it will not provide you feeling full but the empty calories!
Watch out the portions
Do not eat more than your usual portion intake especially when you are visiting a lot of ‘open house’!
You can still indulge all your favourite foods, however consume mindfully and do not forget to get active!
Article written by:
Registered Member of Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA)
Harvard Health Publishing (Harvard Medical School). (2019). Yes, You Can Avoid Weight Gain Over the Holidays! Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/yes-you-can-avoid-weight-gain-over-the-holidays-2019112518309
Healthline (2019). 20 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tips-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gain#TOC_TITLE_HDR_16