A Dietitian’s 7 Tips to Stay Healthy and Slim During Chinese New Year (CNY)
Chinese New Year (CNY) comes into full swing this weekend and we’re all busy with shopping for new clothes, spring cleaning and all ready on the visiting. While we’re all hyped with the celebration, we are also aware that CNY snacking tends to spoil on any New Year resolutions we might have, especially LOSING WEIGHT!
The good news is you don’t have to give up or pause your journey to weight loss during CNY. Now, here are a few useful tips to keep in mind to stay healthy and slim:
- Keep Hydrated
Our country is always hot and humid, especially during CNY when the weather is very hot. Remember to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. When drinking, remember to choose non-sweetened or no sugar added beverages like plain water, juices, flower teas and etc. Try to avoid soft drinks, packaged drinks, alcohols if you don’t want to add extra calories.
- Avoid Processed Food
When you’re eating either a proper meal or snacks, avoid eating processed foods like meatballs, sausages, fish cakes, instant noodles, potato chips and etc. Opt for whole natural foods like chicken breast, salmon, steamed fish, nuts, seeds, dried or real fruits.
- Watch Portion Size
Make sure to eat mindfully, keep track of the food you’ve eaten to avoid overeating. Or you may trick yourself by choosing a smaller plate or bowl when you eat.
- Stay Active
Move around! If you can continue your workout routine, it’ll be great! Otherwise, make sure you move around and stay physically active to burn off the calories.
- Get Enough Sleep
Yes, it is fun to stay awake for mahjong and card games during CNY. But the problem with having an inadequate amount of sleep could lead to weight gain. Make sure to take a nap or have a break in this festive season.
- Eat Selectively
Most traditional CNY goodies are loaded with sugar and fats, and they contain little to no nutritional values. So here’s a calorie count guide of top CNY goodies to refer and its alternatives:
#1 Fried Nian Gao – 482 calories per serving, instead of fried, go for steamed Nian Gao or muachi
#2 Bak kwa – 179 calories per piece, Honey chicken slices would make a good twist
#3 Processed Peanut Snacks – 170 calories per bowl (30g), Natural lightly roasted nuts or steamed edamame
#4 Kueh lapis 157 calories per piece, low sugar fruit cakes
#5 Love letter – 112 calories per piece, Naturally dried seaweed should give the same crust
#6 Pineapple tart – 82 calories per piece, Change to grilled pineapple kebabs with honey and lime
#7 Kueh bangkit – 23 calories per piece, what bout healthy oatmeal cookie
#8 Mini dried shrimp roll – 22 calories per piece, mini steam shrimp roll or dumplings taste great too
- Have A Really Big Breakfast
This also means to avoid visiting your friends and family’s house empty stomach. Start your day by fueling your body with balanced BIG breakfast. Make 50% of your plate vegetables, 25% lean protein and 25% whole grains. This can also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and to avoid eating extra calories for the rest of the day.
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]