How to lose weight healthily post Chinese New Year?
19 February, 2016
Guests toss an 88 kg plate of yusheng or raw fish during a "lo hei" dinner ahead of the Lunar New Year. Photo: Reuters
National basketball player and Singapore Slinger Wong Wei Long had once put on 5 kg after Lunar New Year celebrations, and it’s no surprise how calorie laden Chinese New Year goodies are.
“I am 77 kg right now, a couple of years ago it went up to 82. But after three weeks of training, it went back to 77,” he said before the Chinese New Year celebrations this year.
National basketball player and Singapore Slinger Wong Wei Long. Photo: Sport Singapore
Just four pieces of Wong’s favourite snack, pineapple tarts, would give you an extra 328 calories. To put that into perspective, more than half an hour of jogging would be required to burn off those four pineapple tarts.
A woman shopping for new year goodies ahead of the Lunar New Year. Photo: Reuters
However, a new study has pointed out that exercise alone isn't quite enough if you want to lose weight. As the study suggests, there is an upper limit to how many calories we can burn through exercise, good nutrition is unavoidable if losing weight is the ultimate goal.
Associate Sport Dietitian Cheryl Teo at the Singapore Sports Institute recommends foods that are high in fibre and protein as it helps you to feel full after consuming them.
“Fibre-rich foods such as whole fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains have greater effects on satiety (the feeling of fullness after eating), which in turn reduces appetite and energy intake,” she said.
“Similar to fibre, protein-rich foods contribute towards greater satiety. Protein also improves the maintenance of metabolically active lean muscle mass.
“Also, starting the day with a protein and fibre-rich breakfast encourages appetite regulation and weight loss.”
While various celebrities might have taken up the Atkins diet to lose weight, Teo warns against cutting out carbohydrates from your diet as it might have long term consequences for your health.
“Initial weight loss will occur when one first starts out on the Atkins diet. Much of the weight loss is caused by the loss of glycogen - the body’s storage form of carbohydrates - and water - because each molecule of glycogen is stored with three molecules of water,” she said.
“However, this diet is not sustainable as the severe restriction of carbohydrate foods limits the body’s source of vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and et cetera.
“Long term use of this diet can result in multiple micronutrient deficiency. The diet also limits fibre intake, which will affect bowel movement, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.”