Chinese New Year is always a fun-filled time with family, friends and of course foods! Even living in a modern world which all sorts of delicacies are available anywhere and anytime, nobody would want to miss out trying all those cookies, festive dishes and drinks. Amidst the endless gatherings and tempting goodies, it is easy for us to let our guard down and watching the waistline inches piled on. So, to avoid being regretted for uncontrolled appetite during CNY, there are few tips to keep you healthy.
1. Chew slowly & avoid binge eating
Well, those dishes presenting in front of you might look super delicious and you just can’t wait for trying them all. However, eating mindfully and chew the foods slowly are important as well. In fact, eating too fast may leads to indigestion and weight gaining. Yes, you had heard me right! Not just overeating, not chewing your foods properly will make you eat more than you need.
2. Limit to 1 sugary beverage a day
Still remember your childhood days where colourful carbonated drinks are among the must-have-food-list for Chinese New Year? People nowadays might have more health awareness however there are still many traps for sugary beverages! Even claimed with low sugar, you might want to limit these refreshing beverages for safety!
3. Stay hydrated
So, what do you drink other than sugary beverages? The answer falls to the “healthiest” drink on the earth- drinking water. Yup, they may be tasteless but you surely need them to keep you alive! Even when you’re mildly dehydrated, your body can mistake thirst for hunger, enticing you to reach for another pineapple tart. So before you head to any event, make sure to drink a glass of water.
4. Stay active or grab any possible chance to move
You might want to squeeze out some time to burn extra calorie away, such as park your car further away while visiting friends or families, play with the kids during down time, take the older folks out for a stroll in between meals, or offer to take dogs out for a walk. After all, event movement counts!
5. Eat more vegetables & less meat
Festive dishes tend to make up of loads of meats, chickens, fishes and seafood. So if you are preparing home cooked dishes, be a smart cook by including more vegetables inside these dishes. We all know that vegetables are good for you as they contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain a lot of fibre, meaning they keep you fuller for longer.
6. Prepare or choose a healthier reunion dinner
It is the best if you are to decide the menu, but in case your family decides for eat out or food deliveries, then you need to make healthier choices as well. Same old advice, choose more greens for your own sake.
7. Get enough sleep
No matter old good family and friends reunion, mah-jong time or movies watching, you are advised to spare your time properly for quality sleep. Inadequate amount of sleep can lead to bad food choices and cancelled workout plans. And when you’re tired, you would want to eat more but also feel less satisfied after you eat.
8. Keep snacks of out sight
It sounds pretty unfair if you can’t enjoy food when having a happy chit-chat time with friends, and family, however there are still certain period when you need to stay away from them (those snacks of course!). One good example is during your free time. Prevent snacking alone while watching movie is certainly the most important one as you might finish the whole bottle of snacks in few minutes.
With these realistic approaches to the New Year, we hope everyone is having a blasting good (and guilt-free) time soaking up all the goodness – food and family included.
This article is written by Ms Chong Wen Xin (Nutritionist) for Green Image Organic Enterprise Sdn. Bhd.