How Not to Overeat During the Festive Season

Yet another long-awaited long weekend is here again! Since it's Hari Raya Puasa, many people in Singapore will probably be visiting Muslim relatives and friends to celebrate a month of fasting! As for me, my neighbour has already dropped me and my family an invite, and we've RSVPed of course. I'm excited about seeing their new curtains and threads and catching up with them, but - I'll be honest - what I'm really really looking forward to is the food. My neighbour is an excellent cook and she makes awesome traditional Malay dishes! Just thinking about them makes me salivate! I guess many people are going to do a lot of eating on this festive day too, since festivities often equate to hospitality and lots of food!

Even so, don't forget to exercise prudence with your diet! I'm not going to be a wet blanket and tell you that you should be counting calories at a table laden with delicious Malay delicacies. It's all right to indulge once in awhile, but over-eating is bad for health and the holiday spirit should not be an excuse to subject your body to heart-burn and indigestion.

Three Golden tips to avoid over-burdening your stomach:

Don't skip earlier meals so that you can eat more later. Your brain will send out messages telling you that you need to eat more to make up for the lack of food earlier on, but your stomach capacity or digestion ability doesn't expand just because you are hungry. You will end up eating more indeed, more than your body can process.

Drink more water. Warm drinks and plain water are fine, but not gassy drinks. It's healthier, fills you up without hurting your digestive system, and you probably will need it if you are not used to the spicy Malay fare.

Don't be afraid to say no if you're full. Most hosts will offer to refill your plate with food or ask you to take more helpings. This is usually done out of courtesy and you should not have to worry about offending them if you say that you are full. They'll surely understand. Of course, do say it in a polite manner. If they have fruits, you may ask for that though. Fruits give your diet a fiber boost and do not contribute to overeating.

Have a great weekend ahead! Selamat Hari Raya!
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