Do you find it tough to eat healthy food in Singapore nowadays? If you are, you are not alone. Many people find it easier to execute a fitness plan than a diet plan. They have no problem following a fitness regimen which may include going to the gym 5 times a week, doing cardiovascular and resistance training or taking Yoga or Pilates lessons every week. But there is just one thing that they find it hard to follow through and that to eat healthy in Singapore where there is a wide variety of tasty but not-so-healthy cuisines.
Each of us have our own weakness for food and obstacles to overcome when it comes to healthy eating. We know we should be eating healthy everyday but somehow we find it a challenge to resist the temptations to eat those tantalizing but not so healthy food we encounter in hawker centers and eating places all over Singapore. So what to do? Here are the real reasons, or should I say excuses, why people are not eating healthy and how to deal with it the Singapore way.
Excuse #1 � Eating healthy food in Singapore is expensive Being on budget is a very common reason and a perceived barrier to eating healthy. Going to the fast food chains for dinner often seems more cost effective and more convenient than going to the supermarket to buy grocery for you and your family. Although the price of organic healthy food may indeed be higher than other foods, the truth is that if you can shop smart and buy healthy, you can still enjoy a full healthy meal with your family within budget.
What to do about it? First plan your grocery list and decide what to buy before you go grocery shopping. Keep a lookout for good offer and promotion. Major supermarkets like NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong, Shop N Save and Giant advertised their items on discount on the newspapers almost daily. If you shop regularly at NTUC Fairprice, you may want to consider signing up for the Fairprice Plus card (for non-NTUC union members) where you can enjoy up to 8% discounts for Fairprice house brands and you can get Linkpoints to redeem items on your next purchase.
Excuse #2 � Social settings does not allow me to take healthy food There are times our family and friends gather together to dine in, dine out and be merry. You may also need to attend company events. In such occasions, the healthy eating habits that you have been cultivating are often thrown away. The social pressure to follow the crowd and eat whatever is being offered on the menu can easily overcome any strong will and its sometimes futile to resist the temptations.
But you should know that the main purpose of taking time out with your friends and family is simply to be together. There are always ways to stick to your healthy food diet plan even when the social setting makes it challenging. What to do about it? If you are going to dine out, check out the menu before the order and select healthier dishes. If you are eating in, you may want to bring a healthy dish like salads to be shared among your friends and family. You may still enjoy those not so healthy foods that you loved but take smaller portion of each. If you need to take beverages, choose a glass or red wine or a light beer with a handful of peanuts for healthy snack.
Excuse #3 � Difficult to find healthy food option when eating out Although many foods offer in hawker centers and eating places are not considered healthy as many of them are deep fried, has too much sodium and use excessive amount of oils, Singapore has probably more authentic Asian cuisines that are prepared in healthier ways compared to the greasy version in other countries. It is also up to you to request for and choose healthier dishes and eat those less healthy dishes in moderation.
What to do about it? Now more hawker fares and restaurants are providing more options to eat in a healthy way.The next time you eat out, choose the soupy version instead of deep fried version. Also ask for more vegetables and less salt and sugar. Many restaurants now offer healthier, lighter options. Check out the menu and nutrition facts whenever possible and request for modifications of your food option to reduce calorie. Can you think of other reasons or excuses people give to avoid eating healthy food in Singapore?