Here’s a Proven Hack to Avoid Overeating CNY Goodies During CNY Gatherings


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Last Updated on 2024-02-06 , 9:06 am

If there’s one thing that we can’t avoid during Chinese New Year, it’s this: the inevitable weight gain.

Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t help that much to counter the effects of the countless bak kwas and pineapple tarts that you’re downing as you’re reading this in your cousin’s house.

But there’s a hack that you’ve probably not heard of before: the 8 + 1 rule.

If you prefer to watch a video about this topic instead, watch this then:

Useful Hack to Avoid Overeating CNY Goodies During CNY Gatherings

Here’s the trick: before any visit, write down the target for each visit.

A simple number to use would be 8 + 1: on a piece of paper (do not use your phone or your laptop; use  piece of paper and pen!), write this down: “My target for each house is 8 goodies and 1 drink.”

(P.S. You can change the number if you like as long as you write something)

Write at least once; if you’re gungho, write it down more than once, or even write it before every household visit.

Then tell yourself that you’re going to follow the rule you set for yourself, and before your visit, have your eight goodies and one drink at home, because that is the first house you’re in.

With that, you’re set—you’d, consciously and subconsciously, eat eight or even fewer CNY goodies in each house.


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Find it hard to believe that it’s that simple? Try it first before commenting.

Here’s what will happen: when you’re in your first relative’s house, you’d eye all the goodies, and if the first goodie offered to you isn’t to your liking, you’d reject, because subconsciously, your mind is telling you, “Hey, only eight in this house, so be selective! Don’t waste it on this!”

By now, you should be wondering: Won’t you give up after eight goodies, and continue to eat them?

Suspend your belief, and try it during your visits today. You’d be shocked at how you’d reject all goodies after eight goodies, because after your first eight goodies, your mind will be tired from negotiating with itself, and is now happy to just refuse everything.

In other words, you’ve made your mind so tired, it’ll be glad to just reject everything.

But won’t it just accept everything instead?

No, because you’re set yourself a goal and written it down; in order to break that, your mind needs to negotiate again, and trust me, it’s tired. It’ll just want to move on to the next task, like Blackjack or Mahjong.

By now you’re wondering: What if you’re still hungry?

The very basics of hunger is that your hunger isn’t due to your “empty” stomach, but due to hormones. And the best way to fight the hormones isn’t more food (because CNY goodies won’t make you “full”), but a strategy to tell your mind to stop producing the hunger hormones…which is, once again, the single powerful line you’ve written before the visit.

Slick, isn’t it?


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But is there any science to this, or is this just another hearsay?

The Science Behind this Hack

This hack isn’t based on experience, but on studies and science, which explains why you’d have to follow each step to the T.

Studies have proven again and again that writing down clear, specific goals would lead to people making different decisions than those who didn’t. Life coaches often say this: “Clarity gives you power.”

This hack simply apply the goal-setting technique to your CNY visits, and thus giving you “power” to resist the CNY goodies.

However, it’s unknown whether writing down the goals (i.e. the 8 + 1) with a keyboard would have the same effect, which is why it’d be more useful to do it the traditional and proven way of writing with a pen and paper.

While it sounds simple, it is that simple.


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Just ask anyone who has use this simple goal-setting technique and achieve great results, and they’d say the same thing.

The other reason why this hack works is that CNY goodies are all sugar-laden items, which means they never have the effect to make you feel full despite what you’ve been told.

This means you need another way to feel full; one way is to have real food like fruits or meat, which contain fiber, protein and fats, but unless you intend to eat all the mandarin oranges during your visit, that isn’t a solution.

Therefore, the “negotiation” you’d have with yourself during the selection of the only eight cookies you can have would slowly, but surely, reduce the hunger hormone in your body (because the goal isn’t to reduce the hunger, but to remove the hunger hormones!).

Now that you know this hack, get yourself a pen and paper, and thank us later.


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You can check out this article on which supermarkets are open this this CNY period.

Featured Image: focal point / Shutterstock.com