Let’s admit it, it is almost impossible to avoid indulging in a few sweet treats here or there during Chinese New Year. Does that mean that your dreams of that six pack are gone?
Yes…and no. Let’s break it down.
Initially, most of the weight gained will be in the form of water weight. This comes from consuming excess sodium.
Small amounts of salt is beneficial as it helps to replenish electrolytes in your body. As always, take in too much salt and you will find yourself with some unwanted effects.
Increased blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease are also linked with overconsumption of salt.
Unsurprisingly, those tantalising new year treats in abundance throughout the new year are high in salt. Especially those packaged snacks.
If you find yourself constantly thirsty, it could be a sign of eating too much salt. Other physical signs to look out for are bloating, as well as swollen ankles.
Ever wondered why your weight fluctuates throughout the day? This is the reason why as well.
While it is possible to retain up to five pounds or so of water weight, just remember that it is not permanent.
To shed the excess water weight, do follow these tips:
1. Lower sodium intake
Avoid processed foods and eating out. These are the main culprits which are high in salt.
2. Drink up
Consume at least 8-12 glasses of water a day to flush out the excess sodium.
3. Eat your fruits and vegetables
Aim to meet your 5-a-day
4. Stick with whole grains
Brown rice, wholemeal bread are your go-tos
We probably know that it takes an excess of 3500 calories to gain a pound of fat. On average, a human requires around 2000-2500 calories a day. That means you will need to consume 5500-6000 calories to gain a pound of fat. That translates to 15 slices of bak kwa a day. That’s a lot of bak kwa.
Nonetheless, let’s not forget the thermic effect of food: Not all the calories you chow down will go straight to your waistline. Why, you ask? The body uses part of the energy gained from the food to digest the food and maintain your bodily functions. So, even if you ate 500 calories worth of food, about 50 calories go will be used as energy to sustain your body.
Taking into account that this only happens once a year, overeating generally does not cause dramatic weight gain. It is only when it becomes a lifestyle habit that it becomes a concern.
Abstain from alcohols, deep-fried food and packaged snacks for the next few days. Meal prep. Take a stroll around your estate. In a week or so, you’ll be able to pick up where you left from.
The bottom line
Sadly, no one can escape from the dreaded weight gain post CNY. Before resigning yourself to salads for the whole year, know that most of the weight gained is only temporary. With adequate nutrition and proper exercise in the days to follow, your weight will most probably go back to where it was before.
Ultimately, bear in mind that your weight does not reflect your health. As the adage goes: Weight is just a number.