With Chinese New Year just around the corner and the sumptuous reunion dinner beckoning ahead, it is no surprise to find the very best of us bidding our willpower goodbye and succumb to the barrage of steamboat dishes, pineapple tarts and other sweets treats as you try to tackle the persistent waves of relationship questions that your relatives are bombarding you with.
While we can’t help you with the relationship questions, we can, however, reveal to you on how to avoid the festive gains during this Chinese New Year period with these simple guidelines.
Remember the saying “prevention is better than cure”? But since you cannot really prevent or sidestep the traditional reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year, it is time to be smart about it and start planning out some damage control and there is no better way to begin implementing it than before the festive period. Most of us fall into the trap of trying to control and be mindful of what we eat during the festivities itself when in reality, one should indulge himself or herself during that joyful occasion.
Instead, you should want to plan out your calorie spaces before Chinese New Year. By restricting yourself to lower calorie intake for a week or two leading up to Chinese New Year, you are sure to be rewarded with additional empty calorie pockets for you to fill up and this, in turn, allows you to eat and indulge in all the yummy dishes during the main event, ensuring that you do not miss out on a single bite of the most delightful of spread at your reunion dinner.
If you have always been a fan and a strong advocate of intermittent fasting, a week before Chinese New Year would provide the ideal buffer time for you to put that good weight loss technique to good use. Alternatively, if you are not the type who fancies skipping any of your meals, you can try replacing half or three-quarter of your usual serving of carbohydrates, such as rice or noodles, to vegetables. This will effectively translate into a greater calorie deficit without having you lose tangible volume in terms of solid food intake.
Once your calorie intake leading up to the festive season is in check, you would now probably want to clock in some form of fitness routine into the mix as well to provide a further boost to your total amount of calorie deficit. A good week or so of regular exercise before the Chinese New Year can aid you in maintaining your calorie goals. Besides, you are most probably pressed for time to squeeze in any form of exercise before, during or after your Chinese New Year visiting, so stop lying and kid yourself not. You should attempt to sweat it out during the lead up to the festivities with a 30-minute cardio session, a 20-minute lunchtime high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or even wandering around the shopping mall for hours on end to shop for your New Year clothing. All these activities ultimately contribute to the calories and fats that your body churns and burns in the process.
If you simply do not have the time for one reason or the other, the least you can do is consider splitting up your exercises into smaller parts or portions. For instance, take the stairs on your way to work or home instead of using the lift or improvise and create your own circuit training consisting of squats, push-ups, sit-ups and burpees. Utilise your furniture at home such as stools and chairs with a couple of basic chair-based resistance exercise every hour or two when you are at home. There are a million and one ways for you to sweat it off, so stop procrastinating and start doing.
Now that you are eating well and exercising regularly, a supplement or two can be extremely helpful in helping you sustain or even accelerate the time taken for you to reach the pinnacle of your goals. You can try mild fat burners that contain little amount of caffeine so that you will not experience adverse side effects when coming off it. Mild fat burning supplements that contain green tea extract are usually effective enough to shed off a few pounds, especially when you maximise your training efforts with lots of cardio and has proven to be a deadly combination that is more effective than undergoing a low-carb diet.
Find Healthy Snack Alternative
It will only be harder to achieve your goals if your kitchen cabinet and drawers are filled with only bak kwa and pineapple tarts leading up to Chinese New Year. While these goodies are the essential staples of the Chinese festivities, you do not need to fill up your entire house to the brim with these snacks. Instead, head for the organic section the next time you make a trip down to your local supermarket and grab healthy snack alternatives such as oatcakes or protein chips and waffles.
Having a good balance of Chinese New Year goodies and healthy snacks can be key in regulating appetite and provide suitable compensation over the sweet treats lurking around in the corners of your house.