​Remain focused

In your weight management efforts to achieve/maintain a healthier body mass index (BMI), you may think that indulging in food and drinks during the Christmas and New Year season may not seem like such a big deal as they only come once a year. However, you should still practise the principles of healthier eating to reduce the risk of unwanted weight gain. Listed below are some tips to help you stay in shape during this festive season.

Healthier eating at parties and buffets

Fill up beforehand

Avoid going to a party on an empty stomach. Before leaving the house, eat a high-fibre snack such as a fruit or a few pieces of wheat crackers to help curb your appetite, and prevent over-eating.

Eat slowly​

The brain takes about 20 minutes to register fullness. Therefore, enjoy your meals by savouring the flavour of each bite.

Remember your 2 + 2

Most fruit and vegetables are naturally low in fat and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Start your meals with a generous helping of fresh salad dressed with lemon juice and a little drizzle of olive oil instead of creamy dressings. Opt for fresh fruit for dessert.

Go easy on fat

Over consumption of fat may lead to weight gain. Limit your consumption of cream based food (e.g. cream based pasta), food with cheese as part of the main ingredients (e.g. cheese macaroni), deep fried food (e.g. breaded food and fritters) as well as poultry skin and visible fat on meat.

Portion Control

Focus on the quality and not the quantity of food. Hence, you need not deprive yourself of your favourite food. Eat small amounts of it and avoid going for seconds. If you think this is not an option, go easy on your desserts or other mains. You can also try using smaller serving dishes to eat so the food looks abundant on your plate.

Limit your alcohol and sweetened beverage intake

Many people do not realise that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or sweetened beverages may lead to weight gain. Therefore you may want to limit your intake of such beverages. Here are some tips to help you do that.

  • Request for plain water, sparkling mineral water, unsweetened ice tea or sugar-free soft drinks.
  • For house parties, you can chose to bring along reduced sugar/sugar-free beverages and share it among your friends.
  • Offer to be the designated driver so you will be obliged to limit/avoid alcoholic beverages for the safety of others.
  • Give a firm reason for avoiding alcohol (e.g. early morning appointment).
  • Drink slowly. Make a glass of wine last longer to avoid refills.