5-minute listening: Tips for healthy eating in the new year – set achievable goals, slow down, don’t skip breakfast

  • Try consuming less meat with Meatless Mondays, sticking to a mealtime schedule, and making sure to start your day with a meal
  • Practise your English with our short listening exercises: play the audio linked below; answer the questions; and check the answers at the bottom of the page
Doris Wai |

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Cramming in your meals can lead to gas and bloating; instead, find time to enjoy what you’re eating. Photo: Shutterstock


1. What sorts of topics are discussed on Food Psych?
A. psychology
B. food and wellness
C. health and medicine
D. latest recipes

2. When someone makes a “resolution”, they make ...
A. the details in an image more visible.
B. a decision about something, after they have tested it.
C. a plan for somebody else to think about.
D. a decision to do or not do something.

3. What health issues has Fung struggled with?
A. extreme tiredness and shortness of breath
B. heart problems and dizziness
C. pneumonia and trouble breathing
D. information not given

4. If someone “binge eats”, they ...
A. are extremely selective about what they eat.
B. suffer from a lack of appetite.
C. consume a lot of food in a short period of time.
D. have a strong interest in and desire to eat well.

5. What does the study mentioned in the podcast say about New Year’s resolutions?
A. Most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions two months after they are made.
B. Half of the people who make resolutions fail to keep them.
C. People who make lifestyle-related resolutions are more likely to stick to them.
D. Social media is a good way of encouraging people to keep track of their New Year’s resolutions.

6. Based on your understanding of the podcast, what do people who practise Meatless Monday do?
A. They try to eat more fruits, vegetables and plant-based meals throughout the week.
B. Once a week, they commit to only eating non-meat products for the whole day.
C. They protest against meat companies every Monday.
D. They attend online classes conducted by Sid Lerner at the beginning of every week.

7. What are the benefits of eating less meat?
A. better heart health
B. lowers the risk of stroke
C. lowers cholesterol levels
D. all of the above

8. According to the podcast, how long does it take for us to feel full?
A. 10 seconds
B. 20 minutes
C. two hours
D. 22 hours

9. What does eating too quickly lead to?
A. feeling bloated and gas in the stomach
B. indigestion and higher risk of obesity
C. high blood pressure and certain types of cancer
D. gas in the stomach and low blood pressure

10. Which word can replace “unpredictable” in the podcast?
A. inflexible
B. unplanned
C. erratic
D. haphazard

11. Which meals does Fung usually skip?
A. supper and dinner
B. lunch and dinner
C. dinner and breakfast
D. breakfast and lunch

12. If you “make an effort” to do something, you ...
A. try to do it even though you do not want to or you find it difficult.
B. attempt to convince someone else to help you do it.
C. feel a lot of excitement and interest about doing it.
D. none of the above

13. According to the podcast, what are some common reasons people give for not eating breakfast?
A. They prefer to eat later in the day and want to lose weight.
B. They do not feel hungry and prefer to exercise instead.
C. They are too busy and feel full in the morning.
D. They do not enjoy eating early, and the rest of the family skips breakfast too.

14. If you skip breakfast, what could it lead to?
A. higher metabolism
B. faster weight gain
C. feeling less hungry later in the day
D. feeling tired more easily

15. Refer to the end of the podcast. What does “that” in the sentence “That definitely sounds like something I can prepare before I go to bed” refer to?
A. eating breakfast
B. overnight oats
C. coming up with a mealtime schedule
D. all of the above

Overnight oats are a great way to make sure you start your day off right. Photo: Shutterstock


1. B
2. D
3. D
4. C
5. A
6. B
7. D
8. B
9. A
10. C
11. D
12. A
13. C
14. D
15. B


Jaslyn Fung: Welcome to another episode of Food Psych, a podcast where we invite a guest to talk about the latest food and wellness trends. I am your host, Jaslyn Fung. Most of you may be familiar with our guest, Salma Khan, a nutritionist and the host of popular talk show, Health Revolution. Welcome, Salma.

Salma Khan: Thanks for having me, Jaslyn. It’s wonderful to be here.

Fung: How fast time flies! The last time you were here was Thanksgiving, and now, it’s February. What health-related resolutions have you made for the new year?

Khan: Well, my resolution for this year is to master more plant-based, seasonal recipes. How about you, Jaslyn?

Fung: I had to deal with a couple of health issues last year, and those were mainly a result of binge eating to cope with stress. So I would like to practise mindful eating in 2023. However, even though New Year’s resolutions flood social media at the start of every year, a recent study showed that 80 per cent of people won’t stick to their goals past February, and this includes attempts to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Khan: I struggle with that, too. But I have realised that one trick to achieving your health goals is to start with smaller changes that are easy to make into habits.

Fung: Do you have any tips to share?

Khan: I do have a few in mind. The first one is Meatless Mondays. This trend was started in 2003 by Sid Lerner, who is the founder of the Monday Campaigns, as a way to encourage people to eat less meat and have healthier plant-based options.

Fung: Right. Eating less meat increases energy levels and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and many cancers.

Khan: Eating slower is also a great way to practise mindful eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send out signals that you are full. As such, take extra time to pay attention to what you are eating and how much you are consuming. Trying to quickly cram in your meals can lead to harmful eating habits. In addition, eating too fast can cause bloating and gas. For those who have long or unpredictable work hours, consider sticking to a mealtime schedule so you don’t feel rushed when you eat.

Fung: That’s a really good piece of advice. I often skip meals because of my work schedule and eat one large meal in the evening.

Khan: That’s not ideal. How about making an effort to eat breakfast? The first meal of the day is very important – yet one out of five people in the United States skips it. The most common reasons listed for opting out of breakfast are not having enough time and not feeling hungry in the morning. But skipping breakfast can result in a slower metabolism and lower energy levels, and it can make you feel hungrier throughout the day. A great way to make sure you eat breakfast is to plan it out. The latest trend of preparing breakfast is overnight oats, and it takes less than five minutes to put together.

Fung: That definitely sounds like something I can prepare before I go to bed so I can easily eat it in the morning. Thanks for the ideas, Salma!

Khan: You’re welcome.

Fung: And that’s the end of today’s episode. Tune in next week when we’ll be discussing how the foods you eat can influence your sleep quality.

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