Season's eatings

Season's eatings

With the festive season around the corner, many partygoers are gearing up for the spate of feasting sure to accompany the triple whammy of the Christmas, New Year and the Chinese New Year holidays.

While some are all set to gorge themselves, others are ramping up their workout regimens to shed the extra kilos.

And some are taking the approach to nibble and share food at parties to stave off weight gain.

SundayLife! speaks to partygoers about their feasting plans and consults dietitians and fitness trainers on how you can eat your fill, but not feel like a stuffed turkey.

Feast to your heart's content

Sales manager Wendy Woo's attitude towards feasting is best summed up by the lyrics to the theme song of Disney hit 2013 movie Frozen.

"A wise woman once sang, 'Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore'," says the 26-year-old, who intends to eat until she is full at the eight functions she is attending these two months.

These range from gatherings with friends to house parties to company events.

"During this time, I will just not care. Normally, I gain weight from eating anyway. I've already put on 2kg from the parties I've gone to. It has started," she adds with a laugh.

With such a jam-packed feasting schedule, Ms Woo also intends to cut back on her usual exercise regimen of lifting weights at least four times a week and twiceweekly cardio workouts for now.

"I'm winding down a bit and will restart after the New Year since the damage has already been done," she says.

She is among six out of 10 partygoers SundayLife! spoke to who are adopting a "eat first, worry later" attitude at parties, as so aptly put by student Lenice Tan, 14.

"My family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so I get the chance to eat Christmas food only at parties. And I can't resist the pineapple tarts and kueh at Chinese New Year, so I will allow myself to eat as much as I want," says Lenice.

Another partygoer who will indulge is accounts manager Kelvin Seo, 29, who has been invited to five gatherings.

"The holiday season is a time to let loose, so I don't think I'll be counting calories. It's not good to waste food or refuse food offered to you.

"In any case, if I'm eating too much, I can tell because my pants will get tight," he says.

For such eaters, it is important to slow down, says senior dietitian Amy Vong Man In at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

As it takes around 20 minutes for one's brain to receive cues that one has had enough food, it is important to chew slowly and stop eating when one feels full, she says.

Available research suggests that most people gain an average of 0.5kg during the last six weeks of the year from mid-November to January, notes Ms Verena Tan, senior research dietitian at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, part of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

"We cannot easily lose holiday weight gained over the course of the year and so we will accumulate more weight as the years roll by, which contributes to obesity," she says.

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