Doctors and diet experts swear by these tips to avoid Christmas weight gain, Lifestyle News

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Turkey, minced pies, Christmas puddings – the list goes on. The season of merriment and festive indulging is ‘nigh, but it doesn’t give you a free pass to eat everything at the buffet spread.

We asked doctors and health experts what they do to avoid eating too much at year-end parties.

TIP #1: HAVE HIGH-FIBRE FOODS FIRST

“I avoid overeating by filling up on high-fibre foods before anything else. This usually means fruits or salads with very little dressing.”

– Dr Tey Beng Hea, senior consultant endocrinologist, Jurong Health 

TIP #2: MAINTAIN REGULAR BALANCED MEALS

“I make it a point to have regular balanced meals, so I don’t end up overeating at parties. It’s easy to eat a lot when you’re happy.”

– Dr Peter Chen, director, Crawfurd Medical 

TIP #3: DON’T MINGLE NEAR FOOD

“If I am at a stand-up event, I try not to stand near any tables of food or snacks to prevent absent-minded eating. Uncontrolled grazing can amount to a significant increase in calories.”

– Dr Naras Lapsys, nutrition and longevity specialist, The Wellness Clinic

TIP #4: STICK TO THE HEALTHY FOODS AT BUFFET (OR EXERCISE AFTER!)

“At a buffet, I usually stick to salads as well as baked and steamed dishes. If I’ve over-indulged, I make sure I work out for an extra 30 minutes the next day and watch my diet the following week.”

– Dr Tong Khim Leng, chief and senior consultant cardiologist, Changi General Hospital

TIP #5: EAT ONLY WHAT YOU LIKE

“At Christmas, I eat only the foods I like and really want to eat – and not just because something’s been placed in front of me.”

– Dr Gwee Kok Ann, medical director and consultant gastroenterologist (Gleneagles Hospital), Stomach Liver and Bowel Clinic 

#TIP #6: DON’T EAT TOO MANY FESTIVE TREATS

“I try not to exacerbate my already frazzled nerves by limiting my intake of festive treats. Too many goodies throw my blood sugar level off-balance, causing me to feel lethargic and irritable.”

– Dr Julinda Lee, gynaecologist and obstetrician, Age Management & Wellness Medical Centre by Dr Julinda Lee 

TIP #7: HAVE SMALL PORTIONS

“I let myself indulge in Christmas treats like pudding and cake, but I go easy on the portions. Healthy serving sizes would be a matchbox-sized portion of fruit cake, half a mini mince pie or three cookies.”

– Sarah Sinaram, head of nutrition and dietetic services, Mount Alvernia Hospital

TIP #8: TAKE TINY HELPINGS OF DESSERTS

“Christmas dessert displays are super tempting. I always survey the spread before deciding what to eat. Grouped together, they look amazing but when I scrutinise each one, I’d notice if they’re too dry or have too much cream on them, and then I’d think to myself: ‘Nah’. I only go for sweets that look good and make sure I take tiny helpings.”

– Jaclyn Reutens, clinical and sports dietitian, Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants 

TIP #9: HYDRATE WITH THIS JUICE BLEND RECIPE

“I make a juice blend of fresh celery, beets, cucumbers and green apples, and drink it twice a day to hydrate my body and replenish the antioxidants.”

– Dr Vanessa Phua, registered laser physician, Asia Health Partners 

TIP #10: GO RAW AFTER

“I go raw after all the indulgence, loading up on fresh salads of lettuce, celery, green apples, walnuts and red grapes. Instead of mayonnaise, I dress mine with cold-pressed olive oil and fresh lemon juice.”

– Susie Rucker, nutritional therapist, Rucker Nutrition

This article was first published in Shape

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