Don’t let Chinese New Year – or any other festive season – derail you from your weight loss efforts. Use these diet tips to stay on track.
Ever heard the expression “you can’t out-train a bad diet”? Well, it’s true.
With diet accounting for 70 to 80 per cent of weight loss, it pays to focus on fine-tuning your diet rather than clocking endless hours on the treadmill. And that applies even during festive periods like Chinese New Year. Here are the most important diet tips to stay on track, according to Chris Richards, a certified personal trainer and the Asia head of operations for Ultimate Performance.
1. Watch your daily calorie intake
If your goal is to lose weight, then you’ll need to monitor your daily calorie intake. This is even more important during festive seasons such as Chinese New Year, when it’s very easy to overeat calorie-dense foods like pineapple tarts and bakkwa.
The bottom line for many people struggling to lose weight is that they are consuming too many calories to lose weight or shed body fat – even if those excess calories are coming from healthy sources.
To hit your weight loss goal, you need to be in a calorie deficit, not just in a day, but consistently over the week.
You could have a calorie deficit of 300 calories a day from Monday to Friday, which totals 1,500 calories down. But it takes just one cheat day to override that. For instance, if you cut loose during the weekend and eat two tubs of ice cream totalling 3,000 calories, then that calorie deficit you’ve worked so hard on maintaining throughout the week will turn into a calorie surplus – and that means weight gain.
Use an app like MyFitnessPal to monitor your diet and ensure your calorie intake is at an optimal range to lose body fat.
2. Keep your food intake the same
Just because it’s Chinese New Year doesn’t mean you should suddenly change your diet drastically. Doing so may upset your metabolism. If your goal is to lose weight and shed fat, aim to eat the same quality, quantity and ratio of food that you would regularly on your weight loss or fat loss diet.
3. Plan ahead
The key to any successful weight loss or body transformation diet is planning and organisation.
Ensuring that you have all your meals planned and prepared in advance means you’re far more likely to stick to your diet plan, which leads to better weight loss and fat loss results in the long run. If you leave your meals to chance and grab something convenient when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to make bad food choices.
Tiny as they may seem, Chinese New Year snacks are laden with sugar and fat – empty calories you surely don’t need more of.