Diwali brings to mind the beautiful diyas and chandeliers spreading their joie de vivre; family time, parties with near and dear ones and the smorgasbord of delectable sweets and savories. Festivals are times to celebrate, forget the deadlines (temporarily) and the workplace stress and enjoy each and every moment. Do not trim down this effect just for the fear of gaining weight or slashing down the efforts in maintaining a slim physique over the past few months!!
Tips for a healthy and happy Diwali
No doubt Diwali is a tricky time, with all the temptations around. But you can be in a win- win situation simply by planning your fiesta well in advance. Here are a few guidelines and tips to help you celebrate a Diwali without any guilt.
A well-prepared mind always stays ahead in the race. Set a realistic health goal much in advance and stay on track by keeping timely reminders on your smartphones. Extreme dieting pre festive season is not recommended.
Train your mind
India is a land of food and festivals round the year. Do not fall in the trap of mindless eating. With family and friends around, saying ‘NO’ on certain occasions is not easy but possible and will surely bring beneficial changes. Keep a target and track on the number of fries and sweets eaten. Once that awareness sets in, it’s easier to handle critical situations. These small changes make a big difference.
Breakfast is important
Breakfast is a never to be skipped meal. A well-balanced meal of protein, fiber and good fats prevents over eating later in the day.
Festive snacks and sweets are heavy in calories. Eat small portions to keep calories under check. You need not deprive yourself of your favorite mithai but smaller sizes will ensure that you relish each bite. Use smaller plates and spoons to serve and eat.
Slow mindful eating
Give your brain enough time to understand that the body is satisfied by eating slowly. Enjoy the smell, texture and taste of the food. Habitual fast eaters gulp down much more food and calories and till the time they realize this; they have already over eaten. Concentrating on food while eating with a group helps to avoid binging.
Avoid second helpings
After careful selection from a huge array of spread, put your plate down before getting tempted for a second round.
Hydrate your body
It’s not uncommon during these times to forget drinking water in the first place. Drinking water at regular intervals helps to identify hunger from thirst. Drink water before snacking, to bring in a feeling of fullness. Normally, varieties of non-alcoholic beverages are served along with other delicacies. These are normally loaded with refined sugars, syrups and calories. Opt for fresh juices instead of fizzy drinks. Try fruit flavored infused waters, coconut water, lemonade, masala soda, buttermilk, smoothies, lassi instead.
Choice of sweets
Have sweets as a mid-meal. Do not club lunches and dinners with desserts. Honey roasted or jaggery/ chocolate coated nuts are better foods than the usual dry fruit mithais or fried nuts. Pick sweets like rosogulla, kheer and coconut barfi over gulab jamuns, jalebis or boondi items which are fried as well as dipped in syrups. Dry fruits will provide lesser calories and also are good sources of nutrients.
Eat a lot of fruits like apples, papayas, pomegranates and salad veggies with interesting dressings. Ensure each meal comprises of fruits and vegetables.
Insist on sharing the savories and sweets with everyone around you. It is a great way to keep one’s weight under check and also not offend the hosts. Share gifted sweets with the less fortunate ones.
Stay away from food colors and preservatives
Sweets having food colors and preservatives harm the body especially the kidneys. Refrain from eating colored sweets.
Control the booze
Alcohol has high calories apart from the other damaging effects. It is always better to say NO and avoid the risk of going overboard. Enjoy the festival without dreadful hangovers.
Never skip meals
Never skip the regular food of a humble roti, sabji or dal, chawal during the festive season. They satiate the gut and will give a better brain control to avoid binges.
Arrange lunch parties instead of late night dinners. Have early and light dinners.
Cheat the mind
Keep some mouth fresheners like roasted saunf (fennel seeds) or sugar free gums to avoid additional or unwanted eating.
Always eat something like a fruit or drink milk before stepping out. This will help you to select wisely at parties as empty stomach will not think twice before indulging. Make a mental note of foods that you desire to have and skip the ones which are disliked. This prevents unnecessary tastings and adding calories.
At office care
Stock on healthy options at your desk to avoid temptations of sweets being shared more often during festive season.
Start the trend of healthy gifts rather than the usual boxes of mithais.
No excuses to miss your work out regime
Try to work-out at least 30 mins five days a week. Compensate heavy eating by working out more and/ or going light at the next meal.
Less or disturbed patterns of sleep may make you feel groggy and dull. It may also lead to unhealthier eating. A relaxed body will make better decisions and choices in matters of food also.
Gift your loved ones a healthy Diwali gift!!
What better than a beautifully decorated basket of fresh seasonal exotic fruits!!
Nuts and dried fruits
These are excellent source of proteins, essential vitamins and minerals. Add walnuts, almonds, dates, apricots, Brazil nuts, pine nuts to the assortments. Chocolate coated or honey roasted nuts are also a nice choice for the sweet tooth.
Desserts made with nuts, dry fruits and natural sweeteners make a great gifting idea. Add a personal touch by making them yourself.
Herbal teas, tulsi, jasmine, earl grey, chamomile, organic green teas are a few healthy flavors of tea to include in a basket. Complete the pack with low-calorie cupcakes or brownies.
Why limit to sweet hampers..Try out these too
- A healthy spa treatment for the much-needed rejuvenation!! Checkout this article for post festive season detox.
- Pack of aromatic organic oils and soaps to calm those stressed out nerves.
- Cool gadgets like pedometers to aid in building healthy habits
The festive season has just begun. So, enjoy the festivities with full fervor.
Spread health and happiness this Diwali!!