Today marks the official end of the Chinese New Year festivities. A big part of Chinese New Year is all the feasting during the celebrations. Reunion dinners, visitation meals and not to mention the delectable Chinese New Year snacks. From bakwa, love letters, pineapple tarts, love letters, arrowroot chips, mini spring rolls, kuih bunkit etc; there will be a tendency to overeat. This happens more than you think, as a survey by the Health Promotion Administration showed that ‘45% of people gain an average of 1.7 kilograms during the Chinese New Year Holidays‘.
Unless you are one of the lucky ones who’s metabolism is off the charts, chances are the calories will catch up to you and you will experience weight gain. All is not lost, this bit of weight gain can be overcome; we believe in you! Here are some foolproof ways you can implement to beat that Chinese New Year weight gain! These tips have been chosen for their effectiveness, easy implementation and are grouped according to a 4 stage process. Follow through on each of the stages and you’ll be well on your way to beating that Chinese New Year weight gain!
- Stage 1: Detox
- Stage 2: Exercise
- Stage 3: Weight Loss Practices
- Stage 4: Diet
Stage 1: Detox
Whoever thought that sleeping will actually help with losing weight. But according to registered dietitian Sarah Assay of BistroMD, an extended good night of sleep is an effective way to remove toxins body and reset your body. In addition, research has shown that there is a strong connection between sleep and weight loss along with other health benefits as it lowers your cortisol levels stress and improves your overall health. The best part? You get to sleep!, Just ensure that your room’s temperature is nice and cool and sleep for 10 hours.
Drink Less Alcohol
Unfortunately, alcohol is not very detox and weight loss friendly. The body actually views alcohol as a toxin as when we drink it, our bodies will prioritize metabolizing the alcohol ahead of all the other energy sources. This means that when you drink alcohol, all the other calories you drink or eat will become stored as fat. To say nothing of the empty calories you consume, and how alcohol will cause dehydration and fatigue.
Stage 2: Weight Loss Practices
Drink More Water
This may be a bit hard to believe but drinking water is actually great for weight loss. However, you need to adjust the times at which you drink water. The science backs this up.
One study showed that drinking 500ml of water increases your metabolism and energy expenditure by about 24% for an hour after it is drunk.
Another study also found that the best time to drink water to lose weight is to drink 500ml half an hour before meals as it helps you to eat fewer calories which say dieters losing 44% more weight.
Take Your Time to Chew
In general, people tend to not pay much attention to how fast they eat. However, research has shown that taking your time to chew and eat will make you feel more full and help you lose weight. The science backs it up. When you eat too fast, there is a tendency for you to overeat as the brain needs time to receive the signals from the body saying you are full. Studies have shown that eating slowly decreases your caloric intake as you eat less at meals.
In another study, 17 healthy individuals of acceptable weight were given a serving of ice cream on two separate sessions. For the first session, they were asked to finish the ice cream in 5 minutes. At the second session, they were asked to eat the ice cream over 30 minutes.
The report showed that satiety hormone levels during the first session were comparatively higher in the individuals. The individuals also mentioned that they were felt more full and satisfied when they ate the ice cream in 5 minutes.
Stage 3: Exercise
If you have not skipped or jumped rope since your primary school days, it’s time you reconsider this highly effective exercise tool. According to the skipping experts over at The Jump Rope Institute, skipping is actually one of the most efficient exercises you can do. A 10-minute skipping workout where you do 120 rope jumps per minute will burn as many calories as running 1.6km in 8 minutes or 165 calories. This high-intensity cardiovascular workout is perfect for burning away the calories, building strength and losing that weight. The best part? You don’t even have to head to the gym to do this workout. You can skip in your home, hotel room, at the fitness corner near your house and more. In addition, skipping boosts your mental awareness as it gives both hemispheres of your brain a workout and is great for your cardiovascular health. Get started with this great calorie burning exercise with the CrossFit Pro Jump Rope ($23). Jump rope has a durable anti-slip grip for sweaty hands and is built with reinforced steel carbon for durability. You can even adjust the jump rope to your preferred length for your height and easy control.
The second workout you can try together with skipping is power yoga, a full body workout that burns 226-335 calories per hour and improves your strength and stamina. Unlike traditional yoga classes, power yoga is a full-on athletic session that strengthens your whole body. You will be doing poses back to back with little rest between them. Although it sounds a bit intimidating, you will be able to leave the class with more lean muscle mass feel more energized and relaxed. You can consider this power yoga class from Fitness First. But before you proceed, you’ll be needing a yoga mat first. We got you covered. The Body Alignment Non-Slip Yoga Mat is a premium 2 layered 6mm thick yoga mat that is non-slip, lightweight and resistant to wear and tear. Aside from Yoga, you can use this for high-intensity interval training and workouts in the gym and at home.
Stage 4: Diet
Diet One Step at a Time
For weight loss to stick, you will need to have a sustainable plan. We would recommend that you make moderate gradual changes that will help you develop better eating habits. Going for the extreme diet may get you some short term results but it is likely that you will gain back the weight just as fast.
Starting from this week, commit to a tiny actionable change to your lifestyle. Do note that it will be more simple to replace foods instead of doing away with them. A few examples
- Replace the pack of chips you have at night with a pack of roasted almonds
- Replace a meat side dish with a vegetable
- Opt for the healthier choice at a food place you frequent
- Walk 15 minutes a day
For lasting change, make small changes that last. Be patient with the process as you won’t be losing a lot of weight overnight. Although it might take a while, following through with these foolproof ways will help you achieve weight loss that sticks.