Running To Burn Off Calories in popular Chinese New Year Goodies

Chinese New Year is a time for feasting and enjoying snacks and other foods. And it only comes once a year, so you will probably try to make the most of it – by indulging in all the deliciously sinful Chinese New Year cookies and other sweet treats.

It is hard to resist Chinese New Year cookies every festive season. Photo:

It is hard to resist Chinese New Year cookies during the festive season.

So it is no surprise for many, that they gain a kilo or two after the festive season is over – due to overeating and cutting down on their exercise regime at the same time.

Here is a look into the number of calories in a few of the most popular Chinese New Year treats – and how much running is required to burn the calories off from consuming these tasty morsels. While the number of calories might not look like much, don’t forget that they can accumulate very quickly – and usually, it is practically impossible to stop at one piece, unless you have a superhuman sense of self-control when it comes to feasting on these snacks.

This blog post is based on the average calorie consumption and expenditure of a 60kg man.

1. Bak Kwa

Serving: 1 Slice

Calories: 370

Time taken to run it off: 47 minutes

Who can resist the scrumptious taste of bak kwa? Photo:

Who can resist the irresistible bak kwa during CNY?

Bak kwa is very scrumptious. Comprising of minced pork, sweetened and marinated in a myriad of sauces, this is a popular treat during the Chinese New Year period, that many people have trouble resisting. And the worst thing is that it is so addictive too.

But think about this. Next time you put a piece of bak kwa into your mouth, remember that it takes 47 minutes to run off. Did you go for that 47 minute run today? Or did you somehow manage to get a 90-minute run done in the morning? If not, then you had better think twice before you help yourself to a second… or even a third slice.

2. Pineapple Tarts

Serving: Three pieces

Calories: 246

Time taken to run off: 31 minutes

Yum. I love pineapple tarts. Do you? Photo:

Yum. I love pineapple tarts. Do you?

Just like bak kwa, pineapple tarts are one of the more popular treats during Chinese New Year as well. And pineapples are very healthy, you may think. Containing plenty of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, eating a pineapple a day surely keeps the doctor away.

But while pineapples eaten by themselves, are good for you, it becomes a completely different story if you mash up the fruits and bake them together with fattening, buttery pastry – with plenty of ginger and saturated fats in them too.

A single serving of pineapple tarts (three pieces) will take 31 minutes of running to burn off, so before you finish off the last few pieces of those pineapple tarts, do think about the consequences to your waist line first.

3. Love Letters

Serving: Three pieces

Calories: 168

Time taken to run off: 21 minutes

Who likes love letters? Photo:

Who likes love letters?

These little crunchy treats are addictive and just like Pringles, once you start eating the snacks, you often can’t stop munching on them.

However, even though they are so light and crispy, and appear to contain hardly anything inside them, do not forget that large amounts of saturated fats and sugars go into the making of these crispy love letters. And you must be prepared to run for 21 minutes, with every serving of love letters that you munch mindlessly on.

4. Shrimp Rolls

Serving: 10 pieces

Calories: 228

Time taken to run off: 29 minutes

Shrimp rolls are yummy, but sorry folks, they aren't very healthy. Photo:

Shrimp rolls are yummy, but sorry folks, they aren’t very healthy.

With plenty of omega-3 acids packed inside, shrimps are one of the most healthy things that you can possibly find, you may think. So shouldn’t eating shrimp rolls be good for you, too?

But if that is your way of thinking, you can’t be more wrong than this. While boiled shrimps are indeed good for you, shrimp rolls contain plenty of oil and sugar – and they are deep fried, usually in palm oil. As a result, they will have lots of saturated fats, which are very unhealthy for you.

Moreover, for every serving of shrimp rolls that you munch on mindlessly, don’t forget that you need to run for almost half an hour to burn the calories all off.

5. Peanuts

Serving: A small handful (about 20 to 30 grams)

Calories: 113

Time taken to run off: 14 minutes

While peanuts typically do contain plenty of healthy fats which are good for you, don’t forget that the peanuts that are usually available during the Chinese New Year period are deep fried and coated or seasoned with plenty of tasty ingredients that aren’t very healthy for you. Sometimes they may even contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) which generally makes you want to crave for more… and more. So you won’t be able to stop munching. And then, as a result, you may find yourself having eaten much more handfuls than you had initially bargained for.

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