Stay in Shape This Hari Raya

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This is a challenging period for those on a weight loss diet or healthy eating plan. The temptation of going into ‘festive’ and “self-rewarding” mode, is high. An international study showed that people increase weight by about 0.37 – 1.89 kg during holiday seasons. We likely follow similar trends, especially during the festive season.

To enjoy good times and good food while staying within the calorie budget, here are 5 practical tips to consider.

#1: Go with a calm stomach

Hunger drives over-eating, while satiety helps you stay alert on food selection. Fill up your stomach with healthy, high fibre snacks, and drink more plain water.

#2: Use a small plate, savour small portions

Keep track of the amount of food, especially high calorie food that you have taken. Use smaller plate during meals and take only small portions of each food. This will allow you to savour all the high calorie food you might want to try.

#3: Enjoy the companion, not only the food

Make it meaningful by focusing on the conversation. Eat and chew slowly, while chatting with your family. Stop when you are almost full, and divert your attention to the conversation with your family again.

#4: Keep a distance from the trigger

Learn to control your desire(s) before they control you. If the appearance or smell of food prompts you to eat more, sit further away from the food aisle. If dessert is your “must-have”, make sure you have budgeted for the calories. If you enjoy sipping on high calorie drinks, space it with water or calorie free drinks in between.

#5: Move yourself!

During the festive season, exercise has always been set aside. Exercise can be maintained despite the irregular schedule during this season. Be creative. Sneak in short exercise spurts, like running up and down your staircase at home for 5 minutes, 6 times a day, and playing dancing games indoors are great ideas you can continue to develop.

Preventing weight gain during the festive season is a bit challenging, but not impossible. Planning ahead is the key to success. As the saying goes- ‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail’. While enjoying the festivities, always remember to find ways to preserve your biggest asset: your Health!

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Article Courtesy: Ms A’ishah Zafirah (dietitians.org.my)