There’s no getting round it – Chinese New Year celebrations are wholly synonymous with indulgence. With countless family dinners and sundry refreshment-heavy reunions looming, the inevitable – and seemingly never-ending – parade of pastries, cornucopia of confectionery and maelstrom of meat could see even the worthiest of wellness aficionados piling on the kilos faster than a pre-grudge match sumo.
With a little bit of pre-planning, however, you can dodge the worst consequences of the festive feasting and ensure that the Year of the Rat doesn’t become your personal Year of the Fat…
- The 80:20 rule: To maintain a balanced diet, it’s important you opt for healthy food choices 80 percent of the time. With regard to the remaining 20 percent, feel free to indulge to the max (This is not like carbon trading. You can’t, say, inherit your nephew’s 20 percent in exchange for a balloon).
- Switch ingredients: An easy way to cut back on the calories is to replace refined, processed ingredients with organic alternatives when preparing your Chinese New Year feast. Not only will they have a lower sugar content, you won’t be tempted to eat too many of them as they will taste awful.
- Smart snacking: To avoid overeating when mealtime rolls around, tuck into small portions of healthy snacks – such as fruits and nuts – in between times. For added convenience, Cadbury’s produces a widely-available Fruit & Nut Bar. While the bite-sized versions can be easily stashed in pockets or sentimental lockets, the bigger bars are best hidden behind slumbering elderly relatives, a solution that combines easy access with maximum deniability.
- Get outside: With so many social obligations, you may be tempted to remain inside for the whole of the holiday but force yourself into an extended peramble in the brisk outdoor air. Not only will you burn off a few calories, it will also take you out of reaching distance of the dumpling tray.
- Maintain regular workouts: The ceaseless feasting may make the widening of your waistline perceivable in real-time. To counter this, try scheduling a workout or two. Or just tell everyone you have, then slip off to watch the new Star Wars unmolested. That’s good too.
Text: Tenzing Thondup