It’s the most wonderful time of the year where it’s filled with the wondrous joy of giving and expressing your love to others. However, we understand that it could be quite stressful to pick out gifts aside from social gathering preparations and our busy work schedules.
Fear not, because we’ve got some gift ideas lined up for you this year to help you through this festive season. Here’s a gift guide for 8 types of people that you may wanna express some love to. Leave it to us and enjoy! ;)
In the theme of love this Christmas season, we would like to share the story of Terrena and Kaiden. Their love transcends gender and inspired all of us, to love.
Xin Nian Lai Le!
The Chinese New Year celebrations are a beautiful time of reunion with the family and of course, when you see “reunion” and “family” in the same sentence, you can expect food to be involved. As the CNY snacks and dinners pop up around us, it can be easy to decide to forgo our healthy diet.
Photo Credit: shopandbox.com
BUT, wait a minute.
You’ve worked so hard these few weeks! You've made the effort to prepare nourishing meals and you've pushed yourself further and smashed your workouts.
(Take this moment to look back on how far you've come and give yourself a pat on the back ☺️)
To help you keep that progress going, without missing out on the CNY celebrations, we’ve round up some top tips on how you can survive the calorie-loaded snacks and dinners that are coming your way.
1. Eat Mindfully
As we are surrounded by packs of bakwa and boxes of pineapple tarts, we understand it is near impossible to resist them. We’re not here to say run away from them, but a little mindless snacking over a conversation with your cousins can pump in hundreds of calories without you even knowing!
To give you an idea of how many calories you could be putting into your body and how long it’ll take to burn them off:
With all these snacks around, how do you stop yourself from going overboard?!
Choose a few of your favourites, place them on a small plate and slowly savour each bite. This way, you won't end up finishing the whole box, and you can truly enjoy their taste!
2. Eat Slowly
Slow down. You are not in a rush to finish all the food before your family! It can take up to 20 minutes before your body realises you are full so eat slower. Take small bites, enjoy the conversations and you'll be closer to avoid overeating!
3. Choose Healthier Alternatives
For the most part, CNY snacks are calorie-packed with little nutritional value.Instead of avoiding them completely and putting yourself through the torture of watching your family take bite after bite of deliciousness, here are some healthier alternatives to try!
Pineapple Tarts v Organic Dried Pineapple
Or spend some time in the kitchen with your family and make some healthi-fied pineapple tarts here .
Store-Bought v Homemade Bakkwa
Ready for some yummy bakkwa without the calories? Find the recipe here.
YeeSang v Salmon Salad
You can also choose to enjoy the traditional Yee Sang, but fill up on the vegetables and raw fish with minimal plum sauce, deep-fried crackers and oil.
Fried v Steamed Nian Gao
This is a useful tip to remember. When possible, always opt for steamed or boiled, instead of fried cooking methods.
Sweet Drinks v Mandarin Orange
Craving for something sweet or looking to quench your thirst? Forget the packaged sugary drinks and go all-natural with mandarin oranges. Eat one on its own or add some slices to a salad for its sweet goodness and vitamins A and C!
4. Fill Up Before Going Out
You can’t control the menu when you visit relatives or eat out. But, you can always make healthier decisions at home. Eat a healthy breakfast or snack before going out to meet with your friends or family. This way, you will feel fuller and be less likely to overindulge on snacks.
Like these #angang smoothie bowls by @frederikkewaerens
5. MOVE With The Family
Remember to keep MOVE-ing this Chinese New Year! It is the perfect time to gather your friends and family for some active outdoor fun! Go hiking as a family or just for a walk and picnic around the park!
As the CNY heat kicks in, remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated! You can also enjoy a cup or two of that special tea your Auntie brought back from China. Tea and water are great choices with very little to zero calories.
These BPA-Free Infuser Bottles will do the trick!
With a timeline to remind you to keep sipping!
In this annual occasion where cousins, aunties and uncles from all over reunite under the same roof, it is a tradition for us to be reconnecting and catching up over our favourite foods. So while we work towards our health and fitness goals, let’s not forget what's truly important: Family.
Have a Happy Chinese New Year, ladies!
Disclaimer: We do not encourage anyone to be on a calorie deficit diet. This article is written for sharing purposes only and does not serve as a guide. We strongly recommend you consult a physician before beginning a new diet or exercise program.
Many of you have messaged me asking about weight loss and most of them come down to these two concerns:
“How do I lose my love handles, muffin tops and jiggly thighs?”
“I just want to lose weight. I don't want to get bulkier.”
Now, I want to tell you that if you try to lose weight by doing light exercises, such as cardio, dance, and resistance training, and couple that with a low-carb, low-sugar, low-calories, low-protein and low-everything diet, you will be able to see results fast.
But it is not going to sustain.
I no longer want to force myself to stick to a strict diet and end up binging, again and again. In my current training and diet plan, I don't binge. I make sure I eat enough every single day, even though I'm on a calorie deficit diet.
My body fat percentage: Flexible Diet vs Calorie Deficit Diet
So what is a calorie deficit diet?
Calorie deficit is when you burn more calories than you put into your body.
For example, if you burn 2,500 calories per day but only eat 2,000, you have a deficit of 500 calories. When you eat more than you burn, your body stores the extra energy as fat but when you eat less than you burn, you create a calorie deficit.
That’s when your body is forced to burn that stored fat to give you the energy you need. This leads to weight loss.
What is your calorie maintenance level?
Before you go on a calorie deficit diet, you need to know your calorie maintenance level. This is the level at which your weight maintains, because you are consuming and burning the same number of calories.
Everyone’s calorie maintenance levels are different because we are all different! Not everyone with a certain goal or body type has the same maintenance level. That means, not everyone should eat or burn the same amount of calories. So don’t compare yourself to that person who is eating or exercising more or less than you.
Your calorie maintenance level is dependent on many factors including gender, height, weight, age, activity level, metabolic rate, and thermic effect of food.
You can calculate it here.
Keep in mind that while these calculations can be quite accurate, they are still just an estimate.
Why is it important?
Once you've found your calorie maintenance level, you can then determine how much you should eat or burn to reach your goal. This is important.
If your goal is to lose weight, ideally, you should be consuming about 20% below your maintenance level each day. For example:
If you wanted to lose weight and had a daily calorie maintenance level of 2500 calories, you would need to create a caloric deficit of 500 calories each day. This is because 20% of 2500 is 500 (2500 x 0.20 = 500). This means eating 2000 calories per day.
Never overdo it.
Yes, to lose fat, you need to be below your calorie maintenance level, but I want to stress that you should never go too low and expect fast results. This is a journey, and if you want it to be long-term, take it step by step.
Once I know how many calories I should consume and burn to reach my goals, I need to track it each day. I use the MyFitnessPal app to help me with this. It’s free and quite easy to use but any calorie calculator or app can do this. Remember, these calculators give just an estimate so use them as a rough guide only.
As a standard, for a one-pound-per-week rate of weight loss, we need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day by eating 250 calories less than we usually need to maintain our weight, and burning off the other 250 calories through exercise.
Eat more. Eat right. Not less.
When it comes to eating, I don’t just limit my portion sizes and eat less. I actually eat more often, to prevent myself from getting hungry. I also make sure I eat right. This means, I choose healthy. For example, whole grains like oats, vegetables and lean protein. Like my favourite, chicken breast.
When I really feel like a treat, I look for healthier alternatives. There are a whole bunch in the market like QuestBars and granola. Just make sure you read the nutrition labels to see what you're putting into your body and don't go overboard. This is where the sacrifice and discipline comes in.
Try to stay away from foods with empty calories. That means, those that are high in calories but low in nutrients. You know, the ones that are so hard to resist, like sweets, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips and most processed foods. When you fill yourself up with a lot of carbs from these foods, you might create a calorie deficit and lose weight, but you'll lose up to 50% of that weight in muscle.
What I eat in a day
MOVE when you can.
If you don’t want to sacrifice your food intake too much, exercise. Try moving, whenever you can. Start with what you are comfortable with, be it walking 30 minutes a day, yoga, dance or swimming. If you can fit in more, do so. This will also boost your energy! For me, I do weight lifting. When I’m able to lift heavily, I can really feel the excitement inside me. It makes me feel good.
This also depends on your goal. My goal is to be strong and lean. When in calorie deficit, cardio will help with fat loss, yes, but weightlifting will make you leaner.
Remember, there are a lot of ways for fat loss. This is just my plan at the moment because it helps me reach my goal. Calorie deficit is a choice and it might not be right for you.
For motivation to get you breaking your limits...
MAKE YOUR MOVE
Are you ready for our SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN WORKOUT this Saturday?Take it to another level with these real easy costumes you can make on your own!The costume with the most SPOOKTACULAR votes on the day will win an RM 100 Twenty3 voucher!
LOOK 1: CATWOMANMeow! A trained gymnast and an expert hand-to-hand combatant, this Catwoman look is sure to get you ready to kickass!DIY Cat EarsStep 1: Draw two equilateral triangles with 3 inch sides on the colour paper. Add ½” to the bottom. This is so you can wrap the bottom of the ears around your headbandStep 2: Draw two equilateral triangles with about 2 inch sides on the glass paper.Step 3: Cut out the triangles.Step 4: Glue the glass paper triangles onto the colour paper.Step 5: To attach these ‘ears’ to the headband, simply fold a crease along the bottom ½” of your colour paper triangles and tape it around your headband.LOOK 2: MINNIE MOUSEYoo-hoo! Stay cute and cheery throughout the workout with this Minnie Mouse costume! Those burning thighs won’t be a bother when you look this sweet! 😉DIY Mouse EarsStep 1: Using a cellophane tape (or other round structure), draw two circles on black colour paper.Step 2: Draw a small flap under each circle. This is so you can wrap the bottom of the ears around your headband.Step 3: Cut the ears out.Step 4: As with the cat ears, simply fold a crease along the flap and tape the ears around your headband.DIY Red BowStep 1: Cut out two rectangular shapes (38cm x 10cm and 5cm x 2cm) of red colour paper.Step 2: Add some glue onto the middle part of the 38cm x 10cm paper. Then, fold the two sides of the paper into the center, making up a length of 16cm. (on photo, can put 1, 2, 3, 4 – with last photo showing the length of it as 16cm)Step 3: Draw out a ribbon, as you see fit, to easily guide cutting.Step 4: Once cut, place some glue on the middle of the bow and stick the 5cm x 2cm paper as shown on the photo.Step 5: Your bow is now ready! Just tape the bow onto your Minnie Mouse hairband.TADAA! You have your very own Minnie Mouse ears!LOOK 3: BLOSSOM FROM THE POWERPUFF GIRLSTake it to the skies! Unleash your superpower with this cute look! (Cute, until it’s time to defeat evil!)DIY Tutu SkirtStep 1: Fold the tulle into 2 halves, depending on your desired length. Measure the width of the tulle to be about 5cm and mark it with a pencil.Step 2: Once marked, cut out the tulle and continue for another 20-30 times, depending on the amount required.
Step 3: Using the tulle strips, place the fold of the tulle over your string and fit the end of the tulle into the space between the fold (just like how you used to slip in the ribbon on your bookmark). Pull to tighten the knot. Continue until your tutu skirt is fluffy and all ready to wear!DIY Red BowThis is similar to Minnie Mouse’s red bow, with the bow being sharper towards the top.You can tape this bow onto your headband or onto your hair elastics which you can then use to tie a bun or ponytail!LOOK 4: WARRIORDress for battle! Now’s the time to gather all your strength and get your muscles ready to kill this workout!LOOK 5: HARLEY QUINN FROM SUICIDE SQUADOh, don’t we just love our Puddin’? 🍮 Get ready to go a little cray-cray at our insane workout! Yes, your muscles will be SCREAMING with this costume!DIY Harley Quinn Make-Up and Hair1. Fill in Eyebrows
4. Apply Red Lipstick (Don’t be afraid to get messy!)
This is where it gets FUN!5. Using a thin brush, apply red face paint under and around your right eye.6. Do the same with blue face paint under and around your left eye.7. Tie your hair into two high pigtails.8. Using eyeliner or black face paint, draw a little heart shape under the right eye.9. Apply red hair spray all over the bottom end of your right pigtail and blue hair spray all over the bottom end of your left pigtail.Ooh, voila!! Ready to hit this workout with a bat?Oh GOODIE GOODIE GOOD NEWS!The first 50 people to register on the day will be getting a Goodie Bag with:1x Laneige Basic & New Water Bank Refreshing Kit1x La Juiceria Omega Hydrator1x HealthyHolics Protein Balls
Also look out for our NEW MOVE by Twenty3 pieces, available in limited quantities on the day! Remember to come early for exclusive first dibs!Here's a little sneak peek!So who will you be coming as?Invite your friends, get dressed up and let’s get MOVE-ing!Mark your calendars! This Saturday, 10 am – 12 pm at Atria Shopping Gallery (G35)!