The Lunar New Year period is a season of abundance, with snacks like Love Letters and other festive goodies readily available for the picking. With treats everywhere, a tart every couple of houses or so becomes a habit during the New Year season.
As delicious as they are, common festive snacks are deceptively high on the calories and can contribute to an expanding waistline. (Read our previous guide on common festive snacks to find out more about the calorie count of your favourite Chinese New Year snacks.)
Our Nutritionist-approved tips on how to survive the season with your waistline intact:
With the abundance of food and festive treats available for the picking this season, be picky about your snack choices to avoid wasting your calories. As popular food blogger Leslie Tay aka ishootieatipost, puts it: “Never waste your calories on yucky food!”
The strategy? Only eat the snacks that are worth your stomach space. Here’s what Nicole, a resident Nutritionist at Kinohimitsu recommends:
Made from raw fish slices, spices and shredded veggies, the ubiquitous salad is actually one of the healthiest Chinese New Year dishes out there! However, the addition of plum sauces, oils and fried pillow bits could potentially turn the dish into a high-fat and sugar-laden concoction. For a healthier twist, go easy on the plum sauce, oil and fried golden pillow bits when mixing.
Photo via Shut Up and Eat
Assorted melon seeds and nuts are a mainstay during the Chinese New Year season. Packed with vitamins, fibre, protein and antioxidants, nuts and seeds can help you feel sated while satisfying those snack cravings.
Photo via Grand Hyatt Hotel
These melt-in-the-mouth cookies are surprisingly healthy for such an indulgent little treat. Each cookie contains an average of 15 calories! Compare that to a 53 calorie Love Letter roll!
Packet drinks are aplenty when doing your rounds of Chinese New Year visiting, but a packet or two at each house you visit adds up to a whole lot of sugar for the season! Limit your intake of soft drinks and keep a bottle of water on hand to stay hydrated and help your body detox from all the festive feasting.
For something made out of healthy grains, beer sure packs a whole lot of of punch when it comes to calories. Depending on the brand and what grains it’s made out of, beer averages at about 150 calories per pint.
Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages to no more than 2 cans or glasses a day to cut down on your carbohydrate and calorie count. On the bright side, not drinking your calories leaves you a little more leeway to indulge in food during the season!