No-Mafan Guide to Losing Weight and Keeping It Off during the Holidays

The winter is hard enough because we all want to stay inside to eat and sleep like a hibernating bear.

Well, welcome to China, where Halloween and its candy is catching on, Thanksgiving is still celebrated among expats, Christmas bazaars and parties force themselves into our schedules, and Chinese New Year brings feasting too.

We’re all lucky if we don’t gain 30kg before birds and flowers start making their appearances again. Forget getting into a bikini for a Thailand trip, we just don’t want to roll around like Violet from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

No worries, though, this is the best and easiest no-mafan way to not gain or even lose weight through the winter.  Forget counting calories, it’s time for survival!

1. Claim you’ve been diagnosed with Sugar Intolerance
After this is made clear, who would feel right about poisoning you with sugar?!

2. Say your Chinese Medicine Doctor has given you a special diet
Doesn’t this work for every other Zhou who doesn’t want to eat something during Chinese New Year?

3. Put up warning signs for careless colleagues 
Write “Do Not Feed Wild Animals: People Who Offer Christmas Cookies Also Lose Hands” then hang on your door, at your desk, and on your forehead too.

You did warn them….

4. Uninstall Didi from your phone
Love for Didi can only go so far. And it’s not THAT far to walk 20km to your work every morning. Just wake up early.

5. Go shopping in Chinese sizes
Ah, yes. If this doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.

6. Make a DIY Muffin Top reminder at feasts
Put on your tightest jeans, grab a belt, and squeeze tight. Enjoy your modern corset!

7.  Use specially designed lipsticks at Christmas Bazaars
Works every time! No one needs to talk to you when shopping anyway. Just flash cash.

I can’t take credit for this joke – it’s originally a meme passed on to me from Beijing’s Clothing Auction Network founder, Rebecca Archer.

8. Expose yourself to the season’s germs
Volunteer at a Kindergarten until infected. This will even jumpstart your weight loss!

9. Migrate like a panda
Ask for the entire winter off. Just point to pandas and say you’re living like the locals.

(This isn’t serious medical advice, just in case you haven’t noticed.)


What are your sneaky ways for keeping off the weight? Comment below!

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Vanessa Jencks founded China Moms Blog to connect internationally-minded parents through semi-humorous stories and poorly-written satire news. She is the former managing editor of beijingkids magazine; see her previous work here. She writes about relationships and faith at

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Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and Flickr