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WHEN a festival like Hari Raya is around the corner, one of the top few things that everyone looks forward to is the great food. After all, the season to enjoy lontong, lemang, rendang and serunding only comes around once a year.

However, most Malaysian festivities are not calorie- or cholesterol-friendly. Unless you practice a very active lifestyle or lucky enough to have high metabolism, going all out on seasonal delicacies is not a very good idea health-wise.

So, for those of you who are more conscious about laying off the calories, here are some tips that might help you be a little more in control during your Raya feast-ivities.

1. Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast

Breakfast is important to make sure that you’re energised and focused for the day. Besides that, eating a good meal in the morning ensures that you do not get too hungry by afternoon and end up binging on the lunch spread. And regretting later.

2. No skin, please

No skin, please

While chicken rendang is a compulsory dish during Raya, it is also sinful due to its high coconut milk content. Offset this by skipping out on the chicken skin, which also contains fat, calories and cholesterol which are no good for you.

3. Limit sugary drinks

Limit sugary drinks

Sugar is present in almost everything we consume these days, especially in drinks. Sweet drinks often contain more sugar than you think, and definitely more sugar than your body needs, thus converting it into fat. Did you know, your regular sirap ais is made purely from sugar syrup, colouring and rose flavouring? Try to cut out or limit sugary drinks to one a day. Drink more water.

4. Take your time

Take your time

Taking your time to savour your food and chewing thoroughly can be good for your waistline, digestion and health. Eating slowly can help you eat less, simply because your stomach has more time to give you signals when it is adequately full. Not just that, chewing your food thoroughly will also help ease your digestion and absorb more nutrients from your food.

5. Fruits are friends

fruits are friends

Eating while you socialise is an unhealthy habit, depending on what you snack on. Biscuits, chocolates, sweets and cookies are filled with – you guessed it – sugar and calories. Switch up your regular biscuits with a serving of fruits, instead, for a more healthy option.

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