How to Maintain Your Weight During Chinese New Year
How can we enjoy Chinese New Year goodies and still keep in shape?
Watch this video to find out more:
Q: Dr. Tan, any tips for us to maintain our weight during Chinese New Year?
A: It is so hard to say no to bak kwa, pineapple tarts, and other snacks during Chinese New Year, not to mention all the yummy dishes that grandma whipped up for the family. These will usually wreak havoc on our diet plans and weight goals and more often than not, we start to see the numbers on the scale go up after Chinese New Year. But don’t worry! I do have some tips for you to maintain your weight during Chinese New Year.
Tip 1: Portion control
There is no need to deprive yourself of the CNY goodies, you just need to control your portions.
Set a limit on the amount of CNY goodies that you will have for the day and use a reference point. We can use a bowl of rice as an example. For those on a diet, we may take one bowl of rice as our snacking limit. For those who just want to maintain their weight, we may take two bowls of rice as our snacking limit.
A bowl of white rice has about 150 calories. This equates to about two pieces of pineapple tarts, half a slice of bak kwa, or about four pieces of love letters! So, in this way, you can do your own math and have your own omakase or plan-it-yourself dieting plan for Chinese New Year. And with that, you have your own customised snacking plan.
Tip 2: Eat proper meals
Patients who see me have generally tried various diets like intermittent fasting and keto diets. While they generally work, many of these diets are not sustainable and some do not work well during festive periods like CNY.
You can consider consuming healthy low-calorie meals before snacking because when we get too hungry, we frequently overeat and make the wrong food choices.
Consuming regular meals helps prevent excessive snacking as we tend to gorge ourselves with high-calorie goodies when we are hungry.
Tip 3: Drink water and go easy on the soft drinks and alcohol
I always tell my patients that of all the food and drinks that we consume daily, the easiest factor to control is our drinks as drinks are discretionary, which means that it is usually within our control to avoid. However, food is hard to refuse when we are hungry.
A can of soft drink or a can of beer can easily contain 150 to 200 calories. Opt for beverages with reduced sugar or no sugar like tea without sugar, plain water, or sugar-free soda like Coke Zero.
This brings me to the importance of drinking a cup of water before we snack. This is also a good idea because water distends our stomachs such that we feel full before eating, limiting our desire to overeat. This strategy can also be applied to our main meals. Drink a cup of water every time before you eat, and you will see that your weight goes down in no time.
Tip 4: Stay active
Lastly, please continue exercising during the Chinese New Year period if you can. If time is an issue, you may want to consider climbing the stairs to visit your relative’s house, or taking short walks in between visits to stay active. An hour of walking consumes about 300 calories, which is equivalent to two bowls of rice—remember our previous CNY snacking plan? So, the more you walk, the more you can plan to eat!
Halley Body Slimming Clinic
Tel: +65 6246 8806
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