Counter a Flab-Inducing CNY


6 mins read

Chinese New Year follows closely after Christmas and New Year celebrations, making this round of feasting arguably the most unforgiving one since most people have yet to lose the extra calories gained earlier.

As we gather with friends and relatives, it is hard to resist snacking on those flab-inducing goodies while catching up on each other’s lives!

We are here to shed some light on how much we are actually consuming, as well as some tips to curb that expanding waistline.

Brace yourself for some numbers:

Bak Kwa / Chinese Pork Jerky
Serving Size: 1 Slice, Calories: 301, Sugar: 32g, Sodium: 732mg
Calorie Redemption: Enjoying 1 slice will require jogging for 30 minutes. 2 slices and that’s 1 hour of jogging or 1.5 hours of swimming.

Pineapple Tart
Serving Size: 1 Piece, Calories: 93, Sugar: 6.2g, Sodium: 58mg
Calorie Redemption: Exorcise the calories of 1 piece of Pineapple tart by taking a 10-minute jog. 6 pieces and you need an hour to burn off the excess calories.

Kueh Bangkit
Serving Size: 1 Piece, Calories: 15, Sugar: 0.9g, Sodium: 2.6mg
Calorie Redemption: Made from coconut cream, this snack can have very little sugar and salt content compared to others on the list.

Kueh Lapis
Serving Size: 1 Slice, Calories: 263, Sugar: 12.1g, Sodium: 160mg
Calorie Redemption: This multi-layered cake packs a high-calorie load. Trying both the original and the prune infused version? Take an hour’s jog to burn it off.

Prawn Roll
Serving Size: 1 Piece, Calories: 23, Sugar: 0.2g, Sodium: 41.2mg
Calorie Redemption: Small in size, the prawn roll doesn’t contain many calories or sugar but is loaded with salt. Eat in moderation! Still, 5 pieces of prawn rolls will require 10 minutes of sit-ups!

Love Letter (rolled or folded)
Serving Size: 1 Piece, Calories: 56, Sugar: 4.7g, Sodium: 4.4mg
Calorie Redemption: Although it looks plain and harmless, keep in mind you need 5 minutes of sit-ups to work off the calorie gain from 1 piece.

Almond Cookie
Serving Size: 1 Piece, Calories: 80, Sugar: 4.6g, Sodium: 2.8mg
Calorie Redemption: Although it looks plain and harmless, keep in mind you need 5 minutes of sit-ups to work off the calorie gain from 1 piece.

Arrow Head Chip (Chiku)
Serving Size: 1 Handful (100g), Calories: 100, Sugar: 0.3g, Sodium: 22mg
Calorie Redemption: Pare off the excess calorie intake from 1 handful of chiku chips by taking a 10-minute jog. Keep in moderation as the sodium content is quite high.

Manage your calorie intake from day 1 to day 15 of the Lunar New Year with these handy tips:

  1. Make your calories count

Are pineapple tarts your kryptonite? Choose your favorite snack (singular) and stick to it. Instead of loading up your plate with all the different goodies as if you’re at a buffet line, be disciplined and go with “I only eat pineapple tarts”. This way, despite being tempted by all sorts of folk-favorite snacks (“this is the best kueh lapis in Batam, Auntie LingLing went there specially to collect 3 boxes”), maintain your composure and repeat: “I only like pineapple tarts”. You will be surprised at the amount of snacks (and calories) you will end up rejecting.

  1. The tissue paper method

We all have experienced the joy of eating straight from the box till your fingers claw air and you realize the once heavy box is now 24 pineapple tarts lighter. Do yourself a service and get a piece of tissue paper as your serving bowl. You will be reminded that you’ve hit your quota once your tissue paper is empty. Then, throw the used tissue away rather than go back for refills

  1. Offence as the best form of defence

Keep your mouth moving! Socialize. Catch up with your relatives. Find out which schools they are planning to go, or if you are older, share renovation tips, BTO new launches, stock tips, etc. Because if you are talking, food cannot enter your mouth.

  1. Get enough rest before major CNY days

Catch up on sleep (8 hours recommended daily). What does sleep have to do with calories? Plenty. When you are feeling tired, your body may start gravitating towards snacks with high sugar content. Once consumed, your body releases serotonin and dopamine, basically giving you a sugar rush and energy boost at the cost of your calorie quota.

  1. Play with the available pets

Nobody can resist the cute doggos or chill kitties. Make a beeline for the pets in the house and when snacks are offered, you can decline first since you have not washed your hands. You can cut down on unnecessary first-round snacking this way! This tip is not recommended if the owner’s pets are aquatic (e.g. fish, turtles, frogs, etc).

  1. Save our calorie table for easy calculation!

Prevention is always better than cure. Would you rather have a piece of bak kwa or go for a 30-minute jog? Save our calorie table in your phone for a simple reference to your calorie intake!

*For the above calorie calculations, we have taken an average estimate based on common serving sizes of each snack. Do note that actual nutritional amounts will differ, for example, a thickly sliced piece of bak kwa will contain 30-50% more calories than a thinner and smaller piece. Some brands may use more sugar and salt in their products compared to others.

Nutritional Sources from:
Bibi Chia – Raffles Medical,, and

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