Maintain a healthy weight with these 10 dietary tips

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Maintaining a healthy body weight does not only promote physical and emotional well-being, it can also help to lower your risk of developing a host of medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers.

But maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging, and requires carefully balancing your calorie input with your calorie output.

“There will be no weight gain when the input (i.e. calories consumed via food and beverages) is exceeded by the output (i.e. calories expended via physical activity),” say experts at the Department of Dietetics, Singapore General Hospital. “If an individual were to exercise regularly yet did not keep their intake in check, weight loss would not likely occur. In fact, the excesses could accumulate to weight gain over time.”

SGH dietitians provide the following tips to help you maintain a healthy weight:

1. Don’t skip meals: This can lead to overeating later in the day. Skipping meals is also detrimental in the long run as it may lower your metabolism rate.

2. Control your portions and eat balanced meals that include all the food groups: Make sure you don’t leave out any food group such as dairy products, proteins, whole grains and good fats which can cause a deficiency of essential nutrients such as vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium.

3. Minimise your consumption of fried foods: Instead opt for foods that are grilled, baked, steamed or stir-fried which are lower in calories and don’t have harmful fats.

4. Ask for more vegetables instead of sauces and gravies with your meal when you eat out: Vegetables are low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

5. Choose clear soup dishes: If you must have rich dishes, e.g laksa, leave the calorie-laden soup behind.

6. Opt for fruits after your meal instead of an indulgent dessert. If you must have dessert, share it.

7. Choose high-fibre carbohydrates instead of refined ones: Opt for brown rice and cereals made from fibre-rich whole grains instead of processed and refined foods such as white rice/bread/pasta.

8. Choose water over sugary beverages: A glass of water is the best thirst quencher, and it is calorie-free, too.

9. Choose fresh fruit over fruit juice: Fruits provide healthy fibre which keeps you full longer and promotes gut health.

10. Avoid extreme diets: These are usually not sustainable and can be nutritionally deficient in the long term.

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