The celebrations of Chinese New Year normally last for a period of 15 days. It is inevitable that we might eat a little more than we expected in the first few days of CNY celebrations. Feasting is an integral part of the CNY festival, but for the sake of our health, we should try not to overindulge. So how do we keep our festive spirit high yet maintain our health condition?
1. Eat before visiting
Try not to go visiting with an empty stomach because we tend to overeat on empty stomach. It is recommended to fill ourselves up on healthier and high-fibre snacks like wholegrains, fruits or salads before we head out.
2. Opt for fresh and whole food over processed food
Always add fibre-rich foods such as wholegrains, fruits and vegetables to your diet. Choose fresh ingredients (e.g., fresh vegetables, lean meat and skinless poultry) over processed food (e.g., fish balls and canned foods) in food preparation.
3. Control portion size
To avoid overeating, ration your favorite foods by taking small bites. Use smaller plate to help you eat less. We usually unconsciously nibbling and sipping thus increasing our calorie intake. Therefore, eat only when we are hungry and not just because the food is nearby. Chewing and eating your food slowly not only allow us to enjoy food, but also gives your stomach enough time to signal the brain for satiety.
4. Choose healthier snacks and beverages
Traditional CNY treats from savory bak kwa to buttery pineapple tarts contain more calories than you think. Avoid eating traditional CNY snacks with soft drinks, sweet beverages or alcohol. Those snacks taste best with water, hot green tea or low sugar beverages. A handful of nuts like pistachios, walnuts and almonds which are high in fibre, protein and healthy fats make for a nutritious snack, while their fibre content helps you to feel full for longer. Choose nuts that are roasted, baked or raw over those that are fried or coated in sugar, honey or salt.
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This article is written by Ms Tan Yi Li (Nutritionist) for Green Image Organic Enterprise Sdn. Bhd.