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.
- 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.
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?
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.