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MANAGE YOUR CALORIES AND SNACK SMART THIS CNY

As the decorations in red line the streets and malls, accompanied by the festive music playing in the background, we know that Chinese New Year is approaching. Here's how you can manage your calories while nibbling on the mouth-watering traditional snacks!

02 Feb 2021

To help you keep track of your calorie intake, let’s take a look at the calorie count in some of the popular snacks and the amount of exercise needed to burn these happy calories.

Bak Kwa

The flavourful sweet barbecued meat commonly known as Bak Kwa is one of the iconic snacks that can be spotted in almost every house during CNY. Indulge in it sparingly as a slice of Bak Kwa carries 370cals and it will take 60 minutes of cycling to burn these calories.

 


Pineapple Tarts

Filled with a perfect balance of sweet and sour pineapple jam, this CNY delicacy can be addictive after the first bite. Pop 3 pineapple tarts into your mouth and they will add up to 279cals which will take 60-minutes of brisk walking to burn. So think twice before reaching for your 4th pineapple tart.

 

Love Letters (Kueh Kapit)

This delectable snack is made with a combination of rice flour, coconut milk, eggs, and caramelised sugar. 168cals are present in 3 rolls of love letters, and it takes a 50-minute Tai Chi session to burn them off.

 


Mini Dried Shrimp Rolls

These savoury mini dried shrimp rolls crunchy on the outer layer, are packed with explosive flavours and the spiciness can take your taste buds to the next level. Though this yummy morsel seems to have the lowest calorie out of the goodies mentioned above, 1 piece of mini dried shrimp roll contains 23cals which will take 15 minutes of skipping to burn.


The average recommended daily calorie intake for males is 2200 calories and 1800 calories for females. These values are based on the average weight and physical activity of the average male and female Singaporean. So, look out for the calories when you feast on the snacks!


Here are a few tips to get you through the festive season:


Set A Limit For Yourself

Before you start snacking, you could set a limit for yourself. As you binge-watch the CNY movies, the container of snacks you were holding on at the start might have been half-emptied by the end of the movie. Instead of snacking directly from the container, try placing the goodies on a smaller plate as this can help in managing your portion size better. Always eat in moderation!



Have Proper Meals Before The House Visits

You probably want to leave your appetite for the upcoming feast but when you are famished, you might consume more goodies high in calories. One way to lower your rate of snacking would be to have proper meals before your house visits.


Go For The Healthier Choice

It can be satisfying to sip on a chilled drink while snacking or after a good meal. Instead of going for your usual soft drinks, you could opt for beverages with reduced sugar or those with the Healthier Choice symbol. You can also pick alternative snack choices such as mandarin oranges or nuts which are healthier. Keep yourself busy by removing the orange skins so you could refrain from indulging in more than 1 serving of high-calorie snacks.



30 Minutes Investment On Your Health While Celebrating

You might be busy with the house visits, but always find ways to stay active. If it isn’t too daunting, you could try to walk to your next destination if the distance isn’t too long. Burn some calories from your pineapple tart as you take the stairs instead of the lift.

 

Squeeze in a 30 minutes workout session in between the 2 visits per day. A session of HIIT x RushHIIT x Strength or H2O HIIT to work your core, build functional strength for your whole body, and increase your metabolism rate through the fast-paced, high-intensity workout. You’ll continue burning calories hours after you have finished your workout.

 


The sweating sessions will be worth it as you will look great in your brand new CNY threads and make your last piece of Bak Kwa feel less of an indulgence. Maintaining a healthy daily calorie intake isn’t rocket science, so as long as you are willing to work on it, you will be able to snack smart this CNY!


References:


1. Health Hub. n.d. Diabetes (Pocket Guide). [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/676/pocket-guide-to-diabetes [Accessed 29 January 2021].


2. CNA. 2018. What is the caloric damage of your favourite CNY snacks?. [online] Available at: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/chinese-new-year-snacks-what-is-the-caloric-damage-diet-9945162 [Accessed 29 January 2021].

3. Health Hub. n.d. How To Survive Chinese New Year Feasts. [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/290/how_to_survive_chinese_new_year_feasts [Accessed 30 January 2021].

4. Health Hub. n.d. How Much Calories Do I Need A Day. [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1341/how-much-to-eat-at-each-meal [Accessed 31 January 2021].

5. Her World Singapore. 2016. Calorie guide for 13 popular Chinese New Year snacks | Her World Singapore. [online] Available at: https://www.herworld.com/life/wellness/diet-guide-13-popular-chinese-new-year-snacks/ [Accessed 1 February 2021].

6. Health Hub. n.d. Fruits and Veggies. [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/56/fruits-and-veggies [Accessed 1 February 2021].https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/56/fruits-and-veggies

7. Health Hub. n.d. An Introduction To Calories. [online] Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/69/intro-to-calories [Accessed 1 February 2021].