Losing weight is about the type of foods and how much you eat. Nutrition experts at the Family Medicine Service, KK Women's and Children's Hospital share tips on how to eat sensibly.
Continued from previous page.
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.
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.
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 item||Energy (kcal)||Fat (g)|
|Coffee (mocha ice-blended) with full cream||341||8|
|Bubble tea with milk||231||15|
|Coffee with condensed milk||113||5|
|Honeydew juice (fresh)||105||2|
|Watermelon juice (fresh)||95||0|
|Coffee with sugar||66||2|
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)||175||33 mins||24 mins|
|Bak Kua (Pork), 1 slice (94g)||370||1 hr 10 mins||51 mins|
|Kuih Bangkit, 4 pieces||92||17 mins||13 mins|
|Kuih Bolu, 3 pieces||102||19 mins||14 mins|
|Kuih Lapis (Baked), 1 piece (31g)||147||28 mins||20 mins|
|Loveletter (Rolled), 3 pieces||168||32 mins||23 mins|
|Pineapple Tart (Open-faced), 2 pieces||164||31 mins||22 mins|
|Peanut Puff (Kok Chai), 4 pieces||156||29 mins||21 mins|
References: Health Promotion, Singapore (www.hpb.gov.sg); Barbara Ainsworth, Compendium of Physical Activity
Discover more sensible ways to lose weight safely and effectively in the next page.