How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

You'd hate to admit it, but it's likely that you'll be looking more "physically prosperous" after Chinese New Year (yes, we mean that you've put on weight).

Chinese New Year is, after all, the third big holiday of massive feasting, right after huge Christmas meals and New Year Day's partying. It's especially unforgiving because most of us haven't had time to shed off any of the additional calories yet.

Yet Second-Auntie Irene won't let you off unless she's convinced that you've had your fill.

We're here to help. We've got a few small health tips that you can use to help you keep in shape during the celebrations without eating like a herbivorous bunny.

Tip 1: Exercise While You Visit

House visiting is an opportunity to exercise. Plan your route with your family and friends in advance so that, when appropriate, everyone can walk a short distance to the next destination and benefit from being active. If it's not too daunting, take the stairs instead of heading for the lifts. That will make that piece of Bak Kwa feel less of an indulgence. Plus, we're sure you like the fact that you'll look better in your spanking-new Chinese New Year threads.

Tip 2: Don't Visit Hungry

Make sure you eat proper meals. This healthy eating tip will help you muster the discipline you need in the face of temptation (and kill all thoughts of bingeing on pineapple tarts, cookies galore and prawn rolls). Gorging on high-calorie festive treats when you are famished will cause you to consume a whole load of them.

Related: Make Snacking Smart a Healthy Eating Habit

Tip 3: Go Easy On the Drinks

Where you can, request for beverages which have reduced sugar or those with the Healthier Choice Symbol while also avoiding soft drinks and alcohol. Did you know that a can of soft drink or an alcoholic drink can contain 80-150 calories which is equivalent to half a bowl of rice?

Related: The Best Refreshment

Tip 4: Go On, Give Yourself A Treat

You don't need to deprive yourself fully. It’s CNY, and everyone's entitled to a little indulgence when it comes to festive eating. You can indulge a little and still maintain a healthy diet. For example, you can set a limit on how many pineapple tarts you intend to eat per day. You can also make healthier alternative snack choices - such as Mandarin oranges or nuts. Peeling oranges keeps you busy from reaching out for the snack platter!

Try one of the many apps available to track your progress and whether you've hit your 'quota' for the day.

Related: Healthier Baking Tips for Healthier Baked Treats

Tip 5: Plate Kung Fu

This is the skill involving the ancient art of managing rice flow. Deter Second-Auntie Irene from topping up your plate by making sure there's always food on it. Sip your drink slowly while chatting up your cousin for old time's sake - this will help you keep your eating speed slow. When asked for seconds, gesture to the plate and stomach in a swift motion and politely decline.

At the end of the day, surviving this round of festivities and festive eating comes down to these basic healthy holiday eating tips: eat in moderation, have your 2+2 (two portions of fruits and two portions of veggies) every day, and stay active during and beyond CNY.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

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