Well, the Christmas season is officially over! We’ve survived temptations, made the resolve to live healthier, and now we have a whole year ahead until the next season of overindulgence...right?

Calendar showing January against wooden background

Image source: tlcjenera.org

Hah! Fat chance (pun intended). Before we know it, Chinese New Year will be upon us..and we all know what that means.

In the face of those tasty Chinese New Year treats, it’s so easy for our good resolutions to fall apart. We say things like “just a little bit”, or “it’s only once a year!” and before we know it, we’re left feeling so very stuffed and so very guilty.

Angled view of girl's torso with hands over stomach

Image source: Mirror

What if you chose to make this year different? To stay on track and to be proud of how you handled the festive season?

Sounds ideal but impossible? Here’s a quick how-to guide on guilt-free festive eating!

Be realistic

First, set realistic expectations. It’s a celebration – you want to (and should) enjoy it. But you know you don’t want to let all your healthy plans fall by the wayside, either.

So, avoid the all-or-nothing outlook. It’s not all health or all junk. Accept that your diet plan will not look perfect over the festive season – but that you’ll still be in control over your overall intake.

Yellow signpost saying "Reality Check Ahead" against blue sky with clouds

Image source: crisismagazine.com

Drink plenty of calorie-free beverages

A good place to start is by keeping yourself hydrated. Besides being good for your overall health, filling up on fluids can also keep you from overeating.

However, do choose to drink plain, calorie-free drinks like water, plain teas (flower teas, Chinese teas, or fruit teas), and plain soda water. If forced to take a sweetened beverage (hosts can be annoyingly persistent), dilute it with plain water or lots of ice to make it last longer. Remember, liquid calories are really easy to consume and can add up quickly.

Oriental pot with three porcelain cups of clear tea with wooden container of tea leaves on bamboo placemats

Image source: Ging Tea House

Eat before the party

It’s often tempting to skip a meal or “eat light” when you know you’re going to be eating a lot later in the day. After all, you’re saving calories now so that you can fill up later, right?

Wrong. In fact, going to a function hungry means you will eat way more than your fair share of food – and, it is likely to be food that is high in calories, fat, and sugar.

A better strategy is to have a normal, balanced meal or a well-timed snack before you head out. Without the distraction of a rumbling stomach, you’re more likely to be able to keep your intake in check.

Image source: Pinterest

Use small plates

A simple hack that will trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are! You’ll feel fuller and more satisfied..just because your plate looks fuller!

You’ll also be limited in the amount of food you can load up on at one time, so you’ll have more opportunities to evaluate whether or not you really need another round of food.

Comparison of two white plates (one bigger and one smaller), both with fish fingers, french fries, and peas on wooden table

Image source: news.islandcrisis.net

Make smart decisions

Chances are, you’ll be visiting house-to-house this Chinese New Year. And chances are, these houses will have reasonably similar foods to offer. So, try to spread your intake out instead of loading up on anything and everything at each house. Tarts now, ba kwa later…

This will also give your body time to digest and handle the nutrients you are consuming, rather than having a sudden rush of sugar and fat into the bloodstream!

Chinese New Year Tidbits - layer cake, pineapple tarts, love letters, prawn spring rolls

Image source: Shop and Box

So let’s make this year different, shall we? With these small changes, you can emerge from the festivities happy, healthy, and ready to take on an Amazin' year.

And don’t forget to visit our Amazin’ New Year page to pick up some Limited Edition healthy treats before they're gone!