You may find yourself putting on extra weight and increasing your waistline during the Chinese New Year season. To prevent this from happening, here are some tips.
1. Do not go visiting on an empty stomach
Before you go out on your Chinese New Year visiting rounds, make sure that you munch on a light, healthy snack first. This should be something containing plenty of fibre and nutrients, such as an apple, a banana or a mandarin. If you eat something like this first, you are less likely to feel hungry and as a result, not so keen on eating the unhealthy tidbits, containing plenty of fats, sugars and salts, that will probably be available during when you go visiting.
2. Stay away from your trigger foods
There are always some foods too, that we will find ourselves wanting another piece of, even though we may no longer be hungry. These are our trigger foods and they will vary from person to person. For some, it may be sweet foods such as pineapple tarts and bak kwa. For others, they may be triggered by savoury items, such as prawn crackers and tapioca chips. But whatever your trigger foods are, it is better not to start eating them, if you know that you won’t be able to stop. Instead, try and choose foods that you still enjoy, but at the same time, you know for sure, that you can stop eating at one or two pieces. In that way, you are more likely to be able to control your appetite – and be less likely to overeat.
3. Eat and drink slowly
Your brain takes about 20 minutes to process that you are full. In that 20 minutes of time, you can actually still eat and drink a lot – and will be completely stuffed to the brim before your brain even realises it. So a trick to avoid overeating, is to eat and drink slowly. If you are taking a piece of bak kwa, for example, do not gulp it all down in ten seconds. Allow yourself to savour the taste and the texture of it, and make sure that you engage in some idle conversation with your relatives and family members or friends in between. This will prevent you from eating too fast. And before you reach across the coffee table or dining room table for that extra piece of pineapple tart, there is one thing you could consider asking yourself. That is, am I still hungry or am I just tempted to eat this because it’s in my line of sight? If you do this, you are less likely to overeat.
4. Sit at the seat farthest away from the food
If you have to reach across the table to get that second piece of pineapple tart or cashew nut cookie, or even ask a friend or relative to pass it to you, then you are less likely to overeat. That’s because you do not want to appear rude or inconvenience other people, when you reach over others or to get them to give you the tidbits. When you are sitting at the seat nearest to the goodies, it is so easy to reach out and grab another piece even though you may no longer be hungry. So to protect your stomach, try and sit as far away as possible, from the delicious festive goodies.