REBEKKAH ONG – Chinese New Year (CNY) is a yearly holiday affair when everyone, including family and friends, gather to celebrate the joyous occasion of ushering in the Lunar New Year. It is also a season where festive goodies are in abundance and we can’t wait to enjoy seasonal treats such as CNY cookies and love letters!
During periods like this, overindulging can seem like an inevitable fact of life. So the real question is – how do you keep the festive spirit high, and yet shun those extra pounds? Must a ”moment on the lip” really become “forever on your hips”? Here are some tips that we hope can help you enjoy the New Year celebrations without fearing the post-festive guilt.
- Know your CNY goodies calories
Chinese New Year snacks festive treats are generally pretty high in sugar and fat. Some of these snacks can even contain as many calories as a small meal. Hence, you should consume in moderation and adjust your physical activity level to avoid unwanted weight gain.
The picture below shows how much physical activity is needed to work off these festive treats. One pineapple tart contains about 82 calories, one love letter contains about 56 calories, and a single bak kwa contains a hefty 370 calories.
Calories are taken from HPB Online.*Values are based on a 60kg man.
- Go easy on the drinks
Whenever possible, consider choosing beverages with reduced sugar or those with the Healthier Choice Symbol. Try to avoid soft drinks and alcohol as the sugar content for these drinks are likely to be high. Did you know that a can of soft drink or alcoholic drink can have about 80 – 150 calories lurking in it? If you can, just avoid the sugared drinks and opt for plain water.
- Make time to exercise
While you may not always have time for exercise, you can always make time for it. During festive periods, it can be pretty hectic visiting friends and family. Make it a point to wake up early and go for a morning run or workout before these visits. If pre-dawn workouts are not your cup of tea, another option would be to exercise while you are out visiting. One way would be to plan your route with your family and friends such that everyone can walk a short distance to the next destination and benefit from being active. Don’t forget that the National Steps Challenge Season 4 is in progress – so get moving and clock those 10,000 steps for your Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) points.
- Find opportunities to move
When visiting, find opportunities to keep yourself moving. There will be a stream of guests during house visits, so be prepared to stand and walk to greet guests at the doorstep. Also, offer to help your busy hosts serve drinks and titbits. As a plus, you’ll increase your likeability while burning twice as many calories as compared to sitting down. Give up your seat if there is a crowd, and stand to chat. Try to mingle more with other guests—the idea is to keep moving.
We hope these tips will come in useful during this CNY period.
From all of at RunOne, here’s wishing one and all a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year! Stay fit and strong everyone!
Rebekkah Ong is a fitness junkie and F1 geek. The elegant foodie is almost at every run event! She presents all things in fours!