The latest findings of the global nutrition company, Herbalife Nutrition, revealed that Chinese New Year, comes right after Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa as the second most challenging holiday for Malaysian consumers to continue exercising and eating healthily. The findings were derived from its Asia Pacific Holiday Eating Survey 2019, conducted with 5,500 respondents across Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
As a result of overeating and exercising less around the holidays, Malaysian consumers found themselves gaining an average of 3 kilograms in weight following the Chinese New Year holiday. To lose the weight, 62 percent of Malaysian consumers would eat healthier and 53 percent would make an effort to exercise more once the festivity is over.
Despite the efforts, 15 percent of Malaysian consumers did not manage to lose the weight they gained after the festive season, showing that maintaining healthy lifestyle habits throughout the festive season could be a better way to support long-term well-being.
To aid weight management during Chinese New Year, Herbalife Nutrition recommends:
- Eat before the celebration: when you are hungry, it is tempting to start feasting as soon as you arrive at the reunion dinner/ gatherings. To prevent overeating, snack on healthy, protein-rich foods such as unsalted baked almonds, a protein bar or yogurt before heading to a reunion dinner/ gathering.
- Focus on lean protein plus vegetables: instead of carbohydrate-heavy and rice-based dishes, select mains that include lean protein or salads and vegetables.
- Eat small portions, slowly: focus on the quality and not the quantity of food and take smaller portions and eat slowly. Not only does this satisfy your craving for festive favorites, it will help your brain register when you are full before you start to indulge in more.
- Limit your alcohol and sweetened beverage intake: consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or sweetened beverages is one of the biggest causes of weight gain. To prevent this, limit your intake of such beverages and opt for plain water or unsweetened drinks instead.
When it comes to exercise, more than half of Malaysian consumers (65 percent) would work out less as Chinese New Year approaches with 55 percent postponing their exercise regime until after the holiday season, which is the highest among all the other major holidays that Malaysians celebrate.