Change These Eating Habits At Hawker Centres: Part 1

Singapore is a food haven and it has been the case for centuries now. This has largely been a part of our hawker culture who have provided us with top quality food for each meal of the day. Something that I particularly enjoy about visiting hawker centres is the array of food choices at one’s fingertips — you have your char kway teow, nasi padang, chicken rice, rojak, prawn noodles and fried rice all in one convenient location. And it presents us a headache each time since we are all spoilt with choices each time we visit. Due to how cheap and good hawker food taste, there is another issue with how our tendency to overindulge increases each time we pop in for a meal at the hawker centre. That could inevitably get in the way of our healthy lifestyle which is based on a good balance of exercise and mindful eating habits. Read on to find out some diehard habits which are taking you further from the promised land of a slim body figure.


How Can We Lose Body Fat?

There is no hard and fast rule about losing weight since all of us have unique body types that affect how we lose weight. But the common strategy is the combination of exercise and a proper diet to ensure we do not pile on excess calories that our body does not need. When you consume a whole lot more calories, this calorie surplus is then turned into fat that piles on around your waist and tummy. While some might look on the bright side and deem these pockets of fat to be great as food stores, those who are overweight have a strong indication of obesity-related health problems like diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.

If you are overweight, what you should be aiming for is the loss of weight at a gradual process. What you should not do is to undergo intense weight loss diets that force you to radically change up your lifestyle. Our body doesn’t respond well to sudden changes so what you should be looking is to implement little changes that would make a difference during meal times.


Lose These Bad Habits

Singaporeans are food crazy but that doesn’t mean that your diet goes all over the place when you visit your favourite hawker centres. The next time you visit your usual haunt, keep these bad habits in mind and be more mindful of your food choices.

Overconsumption of Carbohydrates

A common bad habit that most Singaporeans have is the consumption of too much carbohydrates in a single meal. Because of the way most Asians are brought up, we have been led to believe that carbohydrates like rice and noodles are staples in each meal for us to feel satisfied. A single serving of carbohydrates is somewhere around half a bowl of rice, half a bowl of noodles or two slices of bread and the recommended serving of carbs each day sits between five to seven servings. At most eateries in the hawker centre, most of them would serve up either an entire bowl of rice when you order a plate of chicken rice and an entire bowl of noodles at the prawn noodles store and that would come up to two serving of carbohydrate in each dish. But what might happen when you dine in at hawker centres is the buying of two or more dishes from each stall to share with your friends. When you start pinching food from sharing plates, you lose a sense of how much you are eating and run the risk of consuming way more than you need unknowingly.

Spice Up Your Life

We know how some of you absolutely need chilli at the side of your main dish for you to feel completely satisfied. Chilli queen or not, did you know that the heap of chilli could cause you to ruin your diet? This is because a tablespoon of chilli consists of a lot of sodium. There is a spectrum of sodium levels across the different types of chill but to list a few, a serving of sambal belacan chilli actually has 227 mg of sodium and a serving of chilli that comes with your chicken rice contains around 280 mg of sodium. While it might seem like a minute portion, the recommended amount of sodium we should partake in a day is nothing more than 2,000 mg of sodium and that number can easily be racked up by the end of lunchtime due to the amount of sodium in our food. When we eat too much sodium, that could cause us to body to retain more water and at the same time, cause us to accumulate more tummy fat as well. While chilli is believed to help increase your metabolism level, processed chilli like sambal belacan can mess up your diet. Instead, opt for slices of raw chilli and forgo the soya sauce if you really need that spice in your life.

Sweets N More

I wouldn’t fault you if you have a sweet tooth. I can say the same for myself and I have been guilty of the occasional sweet treat each time I visit the hawker centre. But these sweet treats ought to be a once in a blue moon delight since they all contain a lot of sugar. Did you know that a mini bowl of chendol would burden you with around 400 calories? For women, our recommended calorie intake each day hovers around the 1800 mark and a 400 calorie dessert would cause you to hit that figure easily. If you simply cannot resist ending your meal on a sweet note, how about opting for desserts with a lesser sugar content like a bowl of green bean soup? That could help you manage your craving for sugar while ensuring you stay well and below your calorie count and sugar intake.