So here’s a very real problem that most people face in Singapore: We are starting to be more health-conscious. We want to look good. We want to keep fit and eat healthily. But being in Singapore aka Food Paradise, we also want to eat as much local food as we can without putting on weight!
We are spoilt for choice at meal times. Roti prata for breakfast or a plate of carrot cake instead? Chicken rice or mee rebus for lunch? How about laksa or hokkien mee for dinner? We all love our cheap and convenient hawker food, and we are proud of it. Yet, hawker food goes against the notion of healthy eating – it is extremely high in sodium and saturated fats, which satisfies our tastebuds, but is detrimental to our waistlines.
Luckily, the Health Promotion Board realised this problem and launched the Healthier Hawker Programme back in 2011, which made healthier hawker food possible by providing “500 calorie” meal options like brown rice, wholegrain noodles, less salt and healthier oil – at no extra cost!
Will eating healthier hawker food help you to lose weight? Generally, if your calorie intake is lesser than calorie output, you can expect to shed some pounds. Healthier hawker food options like wholegrain noodles and brown rice can help in the process by providing fibre, which helps to keep you fuller for a longer period of time. The healthier oil used to cook hawker foods is lower in saturated fats, which contributes to a calorie deficit as well.
Healthier Chicken Rice – infused with brown rice, less oil, without chicken skin
So, the good news is that it is possible to lose weight while eating the local delights you love! The key here is having a well-balanced diet which includes carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and protein-rich foods.
We’ve prepared a 7 Day Weight Loss Meal Plan which incorporates healthier hawker meal options below:
(See the list of hawker centres that provide healthier options here.)
Other Weight Loss Tips while on this diet:
1. Drink at least 3 litres of water a day.
2. Don’t finish all the gravy/soup in your hawker food.
3. Remember to include at least 30 minutes of exercise daily or clock in 150 minutes of exercise per week. Book your next Pilates class here!
Have fun scouting for healthier hawker options! Share your healthy hawker experience with us by tagging us @sgpilatesfitness and hashtag #healthierhawkermeals!