HEALTH

How to Lose the Festive Bulge?

The season of festive indulgence and gluttony is finally over. I have surrendered to my last slice of deliciously sweet bak kwa (Chinese meat jerky), almond cookie and egg roll. All of which have translated to over 3kg of festive fat.

My pants are tighter, my shirt buttons are stretched and my skirts are holding on by the seams. Urgh.

So, I asked my girlfriend Wei Yong, a fitness veteran and personal trainer for her top diet and fitness tips on how to lose that festive bulge.

I met Wei Yong almost ten years ago at an adventure race I participated for SHAPE magazine held in Krabi, Thailand. At the time, she was a logistics volunteer with a great sense of local humor often adding funny hokkien catchphrases to the conversations. Today, Wei Yong is ranked one of Singapore’s top long distance runners. She has participated in the internationally-acclaimed adventure race of all-time: RacingThePlanet. Having raced crossed Gobi and Sahara dessert (over 250km of dessert sand) on two separate occasions, Wei Yong is no stranger to pain, endurance and pushing physical limits. Her accomplishments and always just-do-it attitude have inspired many friends (like me) and personal training clients.

What is your top 3 exercise tips?
1. Pick up a good pair of running shoes and set a goal.  Start by asking yourself how much weight do you want to lose. Goal setting is important to help one meet their weight loss target within a specific time frame ie. post festive season.

2. Run. Running is a great way to get a cardio workout. It improves stamina, burn lots of calories, improves heart health and increases metabolism.

3. Skip Rope. Research has found that people who lose weight and keep it off typically use a combination of diet and exercise. Jumping rope for 30 minutes will burn approximately 300 calories. So, to burn 0.5kg a week (equals to 2 kg a month), try jumping rope for thirty minutes every day and cut out 400 calories from your diet. 400 calories = one bowl of hawker noodles or 2 cans of coca cola or a medium pack of McDonald’s french fries.

What is your top 3 diet tips?
1. Eat a timely breakfast. Have a heavy breakfast to help the body start the day easy. As the morning hours are active, lots of energy is required to perform various physical activities. Having a heavy breakfast keeps hunger at bay, and people tend not to indulge excessively during lunch time.

2. Keep a food diary. Track the total amount of calories that enter your body by recording down what you eat throughout the day. At the end of each day, inspect your diary. This will help you to know about exactly what foods and nutrients that are adding up in your system. Read It’s January, Start a Journal.

3. Choose your food carefully. Go for foods that have lower calorie densities and high in water (fruits, vegetables soup and low-fat or fat-free dairy), high in fibre (whole grains and beans) and lower in fat. Foods that do not contain water like dry, salty crackers have high calorie density even if they are fat-free; these portions need to be carefully controlled. By continuously modifying meals and recipes to include more low-calorie density foods, you don’t have to cut portions to lose weight. Eating well also becomes more liveable.

Thanks Wei Yong ♥

To find out more about Wei Yong and Absolute Living (the personal training company she manages), click here.

The New Paper interview with Liew Wei Yong
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