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Generally, weight regain is more likely if there is rapid weight loss compared to slow and steady weight loss.

Limiting high-calorie foods, choosing lower-calorie alternatives, and cutting down on your food portion sizes are some ways to lose weight.

Reduce fat

Cutting down on fat intake is an effective way to reduce energy intake and lose weight, as fats are a concentrated source of calories.

  • If you cook at home, remove visible fats from food before cooking.
  • Choose low-fat cooking methods (e.g. steaming, grilling, baking, roasting, boiling or pan- frying with lesser oil) to keep your dishes lower in fat and energy.
  • Avoid oily and deep-fried foods and dishes cooked with coconut milk. Always skim off any visible oil in your soups and dishes with gravy before eating.

Reduce sugar

Sugar gives energy but has little valuable nutrients. To lose weight, limit candies, desserts, cakes, kuehs and sweet pastries as they contain a lot of added sugars. You should also watch your beverages – choose plain water over sweetened drinks and juices. Drinking too many sweetened drinks and juices will put you at risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Food itemEnergy (kcal)Fat (g)
Coffee (mocha ice-blended) with full cream3418
Bubble tea with milk23115
Coffee with condensed milk1135
Honeydew juice (fresh)1052
Watermelon juice (fresh)950
3-in-1 cereal893
Coffee with sugar662

Eat a little lesser and avoiding emotional eating

Even healthy foods eaten in abundance can load up the calories and cause weight gain. So, it is important to eat all foods in moderation. We also need to change the way we view food and how we eat in terms of monitoring portions. Incorporating new skills like how to avoid emotional eating and figuring out how many calories we need daily are also part of this lifestyle change.

Learning to cope with stress and emotional eating is important as these coping skills will carry you through the stressors of different life stages e.g. marriage, family and relationship issues, work and caregiving for family members.

Guard against festive feasting

Many festive treats are packed with sugar and fat. Some of these snacks can even contain as many calories as a small meal! Limit the quantity of festive treats while catching up with friends and relatives. Some tips:

  • Limit the amount of goodies you buy, as you will be tempted to finish up the leftovers after the festive season.
  • When visiting, limit your intake by portioning out the festive treats onto a small plate rather than onto a large plate.
  • Choose fresh fruit, such as mandarin oranges, over festive tidbits.
  • Choose low-calorie drinks (e.g. diet soft drinks, water, unsweetened green tea/ fruit tea) instead of sweetened drinks.

The table below shows the calories of some New Year goodies as well as the equivalent amount of physical activity needed to burn off the calories (based on a 60-kg man):

Food​Energy (kcal)*Brisk Walking (5.5km/hr)*Jogging
​Bak Kua (Chicken), 1 slice (45g)17533 mins24 mins
Bak Kua (Pork), 1 slice (94g)3701 hr 10 mins51 mins
Kuih Bangkit, 4 pieces9217 mins13 mins
Kuih Bolu, 3 pieces10219 mins14 mins
Kuih Lapis (Baked), 1 piece (31g)14728 mins20 mins
Loveletter (Rolled), 3 pieces16832 mins23 mins
Pineapple Tart (Open-faced), 2 pieces16431 mins22 mins
Peanut Puff (Kok Chai), 4 pieces15629 mins21 mins

References: Health Promotion, Singapore (; Barbara Ainsworth, Compendium of Physical Activity

Discover more sensible ways to lose weight safely and effectively in the next page.

Ref. R14