​Lose weight the healthy way

Weight management is not rocket science. All you have to do is eat less and exercise more. Everyone knows that! Yet, every time you step on the weighing machine, do the scales keep creeping up? You are not alone! At least one in three Singaporean adults is either overweight or obese. Balancing the demands of working life—eating out and working late—​makes weight management difficult.  
Being overweight or obese is more than just a cosmetic problem. It increases your risk for developing chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, gout and even some types of cancers. So it pays to keep your weight within the normal range for your height and gender.
Before you start manipulating your weight, check out your weight status first using our BMI calculator. Take action if your BMI is 23 kg/m² or higher!

7 snazzy tips to eat lite & right

a. Eat regular meals
Well-spaced main meals will energise you through the working day and prevent hunger pangs. Avoid skipping or delaying meals. Long durations without food will make you very hungry. Once you experience hunger pangs, you will not have the will to make healthier food choices and you may even tend to eat more than you otherwise would.

b. Limit snacks
Snacking on deep fried, oily or sweet food contributes extra calories to your diet. Some snack because they are bored or stressed. So, if you find yourself indulging in mindless eating, try to figure out why you are indulging in the extras. Keep away from the temptation to snack by keeping your desk free from easy bites. If you truly suffer from sudden hunger pangs, select lower calorie options like fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and wholemeal bread, as they are more filling and nutrient-dense.

c. Reduce fat
Fat is a concentrated source of energy. Cutting back on fat is an effective way of reducing energy intake. Excess energy intake can lead to weight gain and obesity. If you do cook at home, make every effort to select lower-fat food choices and cook with less oil. Coconut milk and coconut shreds are also concentrated sources of fat and energy. Steam, grill, bake, roast, boil or pan-fry with less oil to keep your dishes lower in fat and energy.

When you eat out, do a visual check and pick items that do not look greasy. Try to avoid high-calorie foods such as oily and deep-fried food, dishes cooked with coconut milk and gravies that have oil floating on the surface. If you buy packaged food, compare the nutrition information panels of similar food to select the lower-fat choice. If you are pressed for time, pick items with the Healthier Choice Symbol as they tend to be lower in fat as well.

d. Reduce added sugars
Sugar contributes energy but few other valuable nutrients to your diet. Limit candies, desserts, cakes, kuehs and sweet pastries that contain a lot of added sugars. If you cannot resist the temptation to indulge, eat a small portion occasionally.

e. Fill up on fibre
Fibre in food cannot be digested. It naturally absorbs water and swells in your stomach making you feel full faster. So make your lower-energy diet rich in fibre by including a variety of plant-based food such as wholegrains (e.g. brown rice and wholemeal bread), vegetables, fruit, beans and lentils.

f. Eat a little less
Even healthy food choices eaten in abundance can load up the calories and cause weight gain. To effectively cut back on energy intake, cut back on the regular amount you eat at each meal and snack. When you open a package of food, share it with your friends and family. If you have ordered a large portion at a restaurant, ask for the extras to be packed to go. When you are at a fast-food restaurant, do not be tempted to upsize your portion.

g. Watch your beverages
The best drink to stay well-hydrated is plain water. People often forget or are unaware that sweetened drinks, alcohol and even juices can contribute a lot of calories to the diet.

Keep the weight off

Weight loss takes time. Make small changes to your diet that you can maintain. Couple your dietary efforts with regular exercise to drop the pounds a little faster. Weigh yourself regularly to keep track of your weight loss. Aim for no more than ½ to 1 kg a week. Once you have achieved your healthy weight goal, continue to eat right and exercise to keep it off.

So Remember...

  • To lose weight slowly but surely, eat a lower energy, well-balanced diet as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise.
  • Eat regular meals to prevent overeating. If you really must snack, then choose healthier options such as a fruit or low-fat yoghurt.
  • ​Whether you eat at home, at restaurants or hawker stalls, consume less fat, less added sugar, limit alcohol and cut back on the regular portion you eat to reduce the energy content of your diet. Include wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils as part of a well-balanced lower energy diet to help you feel full.