In February 2013′s e-Newsletter, we talked about how consuming too much Chinese New Year goodies can increase the risk of heart disease. Here, we would like to go a step further and offer you some invaluable practical tips to help you control your appetite this festive season.
1) Avoid an empty stomach when going for house visits
When we are hungry, we tend to eat more. Fill up your stomachs with healthy fibre-rich food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich low-fat milk before each house visit. By doing so, we are not only eating healthily. We help ourselves contain any urges to pick up excess goodies.
2) Know your trigger foods, eat lesser of them, or even avoid them altogether
The reason why we crave for foods that are high in fat and calories is because they release chemicals named Opioids. Opioids bind to receptors in our brain to produce feelings of pleasure and even mild euphoria. This may explain why we can’t stop eating once we begin. If you find any goodies too hard to resist, it would be best to totally avoid them rather than risk potentially overeating.
3) Practise eating and drinking consciously, slowly and wisely
In a study conducted by Kathleen Melanson, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, 30 women were given a large plate of pasta on two separate visits. When they were told to eat quickly, they consumed 646 calories in nine minutes. However, when they were encouraged to pause between bites and chew each mouthful 15 to 20 times, they consumed only 579 calories in 29 minutes.
Chewing our food and eating slowly not only allows us to savour them but offers our stomachs the time it needs to digest and feel full, which in turn prevents overeating.