It’s a staple meal for many office workers who have merely 20 minutes for their lunch break: cai png.
All Singaporeans and Malaysians have ordered it before, and some do it every day. If so, is there a way to make sure that it’s healthy?
Apparently, yes. Because everything can be healthy as long as it’s taken in moderation – even fast-food.
So here are the six ways to order a healthier cai png; after reading this, you can effectively tell others that you’ve lost weight with cai png. Cool, isn’t it?
Drink lots of water before making your order
This might seen weird, but it has great psychological effects. Unlike ordering a plate of fishball noodles in which the meal is fixed, cai png ordering could go out of control. When you are hungry, you tend to “加饭” and order more, from your usual three dishes to an overwhelming five dishes. If you’ve drunk lots of water before ordering, causing yourself to feel full temporarily, you’ll order less, and therefore eat less. It’s all in the mind.
Another trick, if you hate plain water, is to down a cup of milk. Milk are usually low-GI, so it’ll make you feel full without filling up your stomach.
Look for alternatives for fried items
The solution is to look for lower-calorie dishes, and there’s always an alternative. Deep-fried sweet and sour pork cubes can be replaced with stir-fried chicken cubes. Fried egg can be replaced with boiled egg.
There’s always a choice—you just have to convince yourself to make the right choice. Here’s a trick that always work: convince yourself to go for the healthier choices and commit yourself to it – way before you’re at the stall. Once our mind is fixed on something, it’s hard to change. This tactic is also used by successful people who always commit to a goal before doing anything, therefore conditioning themselves to make the correct choices every day.
Pick two vegetable dishes first
There’s an art for ordering cai png, but if your objective is to lose weight, you need to have more vegetables instead of meat. So, order two vegetable dishes first and request for more of them—your plate will be so full that when you pick the next dish, it will just be filler to fill up the plate.
Less rice, more dishes
While this seems counterproductive, it works should your goal be to lose weight. Let’s just say that rice is empty calories while the dishes aren’t; so, nutrients from the dishes could be put into other uses (e.g. protein to repair muscles) while nutrients from the rice can only be used for energy—and if the energy is not used, it’ll be converted to fats.
Too chim? Here’s a simpler guide: if you’re hungry, don’t add more rice. Add one more dish instead. It might be more costly but it’ll keep your weight in check.
No rice, just dishes
You’ll be shocked to know that this is very common: many people do go for just the dishes instead of the rice. Don’t feel awkward doing that, or think that the hawker won’t understand what you’re saying: simply say “just dishes” and the hawker would immediately get it.
One benefit is that usually, the hawker would give more of a dish even at the same price so as to fill up the plate. You’ll get more bang for your buck!
Even if you’re not hungry yet, go earlier to buy a takeaway first. When you’re late, your choices are limited, and not only would you be left with only a few dishes to choose from, the dishes are usually more oily as the meat or vegetables have been scooped away.
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