How you and your guests can keep the kilos off


Hosts: Substitute the usual tidbits, such as the sugar-coated or salted varieties, with raw nuts.

Guests: Avoid "unconscious eating". Place only a few pieces of snacks on a small plate.


Hosts: Serve food on smaller plates.

Guests: Choose three to five foods that appeal the most to you, instead of trying all dishes. Avoid second helpings.

Eat slowly, as it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full.


Hosts: Provide wholemeal bread for sandwiches and stews.

Serve plain rice instead of fried rice. Mix brown rice with white rice for a healthier and more filling option.

Guests: Choose wholegrain or non-fried options when available.


Hosts: Make sure at least one out of four dishes is vegetable-based. Also, incorporate some vegetables into meat dishes.

Add more grated fruit and vegetables, such as apples, pears, pomelos, pineapples, carrots and cucumbers, to yusheng.

Do not overcook vegetables so that they will look appetising. Blanch vegetables before cooking to retain the colour and the crunch.

Guests: Have an extra serving of vegetables, especially if they are steamed or in soup. Not only are vegetables good for you, but the fibre also helps you to feel full with fewer calories.


Hosts: Trim off excess fat before cooking or serving meat. Steam, grill, bake, boil, microwave or stir-fry in very little oil instead of frying.

Remove the layer of oil on top of the gravy before serving.

Guests: Trim excess fat off meat and remove the skin before eating. Think twice before reaching for the salt and sugar shakers.


Hosts: Offer fresh fruit, serve smaller portions of desserts and serve sauces separately.

For desserts, use natural sweeteners such as dried longan, dates or persimmon. Serve them warm as this will enhance their sweetness without the need for extra sugar.

Guests: Share with a friend and go for nutrient-rich - not calorie-rich - options, such as fruit.


Hosts: Provide 100 per cent unsweetened fruit juice, plain tea or sparkling water. Choose drinks that carry the Health Promotion Board's Healthier Choice Symbol as they have a lower sugar content.

Serve tea and coffee with low-fat milk instead of creamer.

Guests: Go for plain water instead of sweetened or carbonated drinks. Alternate non-alcoholic drinks with alcoholic ones and sip instead of gulp. Add ice to dilute your drink.

Source: Ms Denise Tan, nutritionist, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Health Promotion Board

Get a copy of Mind Your Body, The Straits Times or go to for more stories.