That time of the year is around the corner again.
With all the festivities, fun, and food that keep us busy during the Chinese New Year, focusing on calorie counting and your health can be tough. Yes, we are all allowed a little bit of fun, and we ought to cut some slack during the festive times.
But in matters of health and fitness, skipping a single day can mean a lot more hard work later.
So even as we bask in the festivities, let's not forget to eat healthy as far as we can and exercise for whatever little time we can find, because you don't want to be regretting those extra pounds once the celebrations are over.
But how do you avoid gaining weight with so many snacks around? It is simple. Just look for options that are less calorie-heavy.
Not sure which ones? Let us help you out with that.
If you are unsure about which Chinese New Year snacks are truly healthy, here is a list of low-calorie treats for you to try.
If you enjoy Chinese New Year goodies that are easy on the palette and on your weight too, then the Kueh Bahulu is a perfect choice.
This is a light, airy and fluffy snack that looks very much like a muffin. It is just mildly sweet and is loved by almost everyone.
Thankfully, this snack has only 34 calories in a piece. So ideally, you can burn off the calories of one Kueh Bahulu with just 10 minutes of brisk walking.
Had more than one? Maybe you can just walk a few more minutes to maintain your weight.
Another popular Chinese New Year snack that you won't regret binging on is the Kueh Bangkit. These deliciously delicate cookies that simply melt on your tongue are a staple in every Chinese home during festive times.
And the good news is that they contain only between 15 and 46 calories per piece. We've mentioned a range here because it would depend on the size of the cookie, but in any case, it isn't much.
To burn those 15 calories, a 5-minute walk is usually enough.
These cookies are made of coconut, flour, milk, and eggs. The ingredient list is small and more or less healthy, so you can have a few of these without worries.
But like everything else, self-control and maintaining portion size are key here as well!
Who doesn't love these light, crunchy Chinese New Year treats?
These sweet treats get their name from the shape in which they are made. They are rolled in the shape of a small, hand-written note - much like a love letter from a secret lover. But looks can be deceptive.
Though very thin and light, these Love Letters are heavier in calories than the other two snacks we have listed above. These contain at least 56 calories per piece, and it is impossible to stop at just one.
To burn 56 calories, you will need to walk for a little less than 20 minutes. So be cautious with this one – more Love Letters could lead to love handles you didn't ask for!
Here are a few CNY snacks that you would want to avoid if you are counting calories.
Bak Kwa can be hard to resist, we agree. These greasy, tender delights are a must-have for many homes every CNY.
But delicious as they may be, they are one snack that is just too calorie-dense to ignore. A single slice of Bak Kwa can have as much as 300 calories. Have two slices, and that's 600 calories.
That is more than a single serving of a regular meal, like chicken rice or a bowl of noodle soup. You would have to walk at a brisk pace for more than an hour to burn all those calories from a piece of that greasy, savoury meat treat.
Yes, it is tempting, but it would only be a good idea to consume this treat if you have some extra calories to spare from an intense morning workout session. Or simply consume it in small pieces just to satiate those cravings!
This buttery snack is easily a crowd favourite! These golden, crispy, buttery tarts are filled with sweet pineapple jam that's just hard to resist. That's the good part.
However, these sweet treats are also rich in fat and sugar. A single pineapple tart accounts for at least 100 calories, and you will at least have three if you start. So that makes 300 calories.
Burning off one pineapple tart would take you a little more than 40 minutes of brisk walking. So do the math for three of those.
This delicious layered cake is one of those CNY goodies we all love. It is smooth and buttery. But in terms of calories, it can give a tough competition to the Bak Kwa.
One piece of the Kueh Lapis can be equivalent to 237 calories. To burn off a piece of the Kueh Lapis you so enjoyed, you will need to walk for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
So indulge in this treat at your own discretion!
There is no harm in indulging a little during festive times like CNY.
With so many treats served up, it is hard not to.
But, if you are fitness conscious or simply want to avoid gaining weight that is hard to shed later, all you need to do is be a little vigilant.
Keep a tab on what you are eating and include a little bit of exercise in your schedule whenever you can. The rest, you can take care of once the festivities are over.
Don't be too hard on yourself and enjoy visitings and festive times.
We hope our list of Chinese New Year goodies, to pick up or let pass, helps you in your fitness journey!