3 Ways to kick start your weight loss campaign!

BANJAMIN QUEK – It is easy to make fitness goals when it’s barely 1 month into the new year, when you’re brimming with enthusiasm (or festive goodies). A simple comparison of the number of gym-goers in January and June will be telling – how many of us will be disciplined enough to go the distance when it comes to health, fitness and weight loss?

The fact is, most of us can’t. According to a survey by Taiwan’s Health Promotion Administration, on average, we consume 39% more calories, and nearly 45% of people gain an average of 1.7kg during Chinese New Year. Multiply that by the number of festive seasons in multi-racial Singapore, and add in As the saying goes, ‘a moment on your lips, forever on your hips’.

Here are 3 simple, yet effective ways which can help you stave off those extra pounds.

  1. Using Calorie Counter

I am blessed with loving relatives and loved ones who never fail to shower me with home-cooked meals and food whenever we meet up. While I know this is their way of caring and showing their love, such generosity may not always be helpful when I’m working towards a target race weight. Taking one or two extra bites may not derail your plan, but it is still important to watch what you eat. Keeping track of your meal and snacks intake goes a long way in keeping you accountable to your weight loss plan.

Alternatively, you might want to download Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app which can help you track your calories intake, and also set diet goals to remind yourself not to overeat during moments of indulgence (or weakness). Some snacks can be notoriously high in sugar and such blood sugar spikes could compromise your immune system and make you more vulnerable to sickness. As always, moderation is key.

2. Consistent exercise is key

If you are someone who ‘lives to eat’ and life would be decidedly un-worthy if devoid of snacks and treats, then consistent and disciplined exercise might be the way to go. #BurnMoreEatMore. Incorporating exercising as part of your daily regime is a simple way to ensure that those extra calories fill your heart, but not your stomach. Here’s a chart about how much exercise you would need to burn off the extra calories.

(c) Chart adopted from Channel Newsasia

Since running is one of the most efficient and calorie-bruning exercise, you might want to take a look at Under Amour’s Hovr Infinite. Their latest running shoe, launched in February 2019, has a new feature which allows you to track your run and calories burnt via the Mapmyrun app. UA Hovr Infinite is also comfortable for running over long distances and can certainly be one of, if not your best buddy for your runs.

A morning workout before the emails and work calls start coming in can also become a de-stressing routine. The cool morning weather also makes for a surprisingly refreshing run, unlike the hot and humid tropical climate in Singapore.

3) Choosing Healthier Options

Instead of chugging down cans of beers and soft drinks, you might be amazed by how much of a difference it makes to opt for water or low-calorie sodas. It’s little surprise that people put on weight during festive seasons, since everyone mostly hands out packets of sweet drinks during visitations. With the rising popularity of sugared beverages like brown sugar milk tea, it can feel like an uphill battle against the sugary goodness. However, the choice ultimately is ours to make, and taking the calories from sugared drinks out of the equation is definitely one of the secrets to not piling on the extra pounds. Sometimes, eating is just our way of dealing with boredom so why not fill in this gap by throwing in fruits as part of your diet instead?

(c) Stock image from Google

In a food-centric society like Singapore where a large part of our culture is built around what is served on our plates, it can be very challenging, and counter-intuitive at times, to lead a life that seems devoid of these tasty ‘parcels of love’. However, with a little mindfulness, we hope you can achieve the balance you need to enjoy a healthy body while fulfilling your heart’s desires.

Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.

4 Ways to staying fit despite all the eating during CNY

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.

Chinese New Year goodies and 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.

Find opportunities to stand during visiting.

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!