Chinese New Year is a time to soak up all the special moments with friends and family. However, if you have a health and fitness goal, it may seem challenging to try and navigate your way through the delicious traditional foods, drinks, and social occasions.
Despite what you may think, it does not have to be an all-or-nothing approach.
Here are our five top tips on how to enjoy the Chinese New Year season and still progress with your body transformation goals.
1. Plan and focus on nutrients
If you already have your social events scheduled into your diary, take note of when big meals will occur, such as reunion dinners, and plan for them. Paying attention to your calorie intake in the days leading up to these festive meals will help you avoid going way past your nutritional goals. So, make sure you are hitting all your dietary targets and stick to your exercise program.
2. Prioritise quality protein
Protein should be the star of your meal. Protein is vital for muscle growth and repair, as well as being a source of energy. Not to mention, protein is highly satisfying, meaning it will help keep you fuller for longer, so you are less likely to want to snack.
To help you understand what to prioritise from a practical standpoint, we have included an example involving one of the favourites of Chinese New Year, steamboat.
Now you know what you need to be scooping out of your steamboat pots!
3. Beware of liquid calories
Many people like to relax and enjoy a drink. However, you can have too much of a good thing, and it is vital to choose your beverages wisely and account for them. Alcohol contributes empty calories, which have little to no nutritional value, and can contribute to poorer food choices throughout the day. For example, an average glass of wine has roughly 85-100 calories. Suppose you have plans to visit four different households in one week. If you were to have a glass for every visit, this is around 340-400 extra calories you will forget to factor in.
4. Sharing is caring
We often receive goodies of different sorts from friends and relatives during this period, and before you know it, you have a cupboard full of tempting treats – this is the perfect time to share.
Bring them to your workplace, social gatherings, or even to the people around your neighbourhood to enjoy together. Not only will you earn a stellar reputation for your generosity, but you will be less likely to overindulge on your own in front of the TV at night.
5. Stay active
Like many other public holidays, most people will have time off, meaning more time to plan and engage in some form of physical activity. Daily exercise is essential, whether it is sticking to your workout program or planning walks with family and friends. It not only helps maintain your physical fitness during the festive period but will also help you make use of the extra energy from those extra delicious treats.