A lot of people plan weight-loss and diets in such a way so as to be able to enjoy festivities and occasions – weddings, birthdays, even Diwali – to their heart’s content. But is this a good idea? Let’s find out.
Diwali – it is that time of the year when we are winding down with all the festivities. As one of the last few Indian festivals of the year, we all get ready to bid the year adieu in one extravaganza of lights, colours, and starry explosions in the sky!
Being an Indian festival, food figures prominently in Diwali festivities. Be it the savoury treats like chakali, sev, chivda, or sweetmeats like shakkarpaare, laddu, karanji, there’s something for everyone… and it’s indeed difficult to stop at one! But we can’t let 5 days of festivities undo all the efforts we have been taking for the entire year, now, can we?
6 Dietician Recommended Tips for Guilt-Free Eating This Diwali
Whether you want to keep on losing weight like you have been all year long, maintain your current weight that you have achieved through hard work over the year, or eat in such a way that you don’t gain weight at all, these 6 dietician recommended tips will help you enjoy Diwali to your heart’s content without feeling guilty.
1. Eat Guilt-Free
Confused? Here’s how this work: Guilt is a ‘stressor’. Guilt makes us feel stressed. While most of us do okay with managing the stress, for some people the guilt of emotional eating – and the subsequent stress the body experiences – can be so overwhelming, that it actually makes them put on more weight. This happens because stress increases the cortisol levels in the body. And when cortisol goes up, the body goes into a ‘storage’ mode, converting everything we eat into fat. So by all means, eat that laddu, but don’t beat yourself down for it!
2. No Salt Till Noon
The best way to shed weight and prevent it from coming back is to refrain from cooked food and salt from the time you wake up, till noon. It is best to eat fruits for breakfast. That includes the pulpy ones too (as long as you don’t eat too many of them and not every day). The best thing to do is to eat 2 whole fruits as breakfast and then half a fruit every time you feel hungry, till it is lunch-time. For those of you who don’t much care for fruits, you can mix them up with raw vegetables, or boiled sprouts. Make sure you include more citrus and fibrous fruits in the mix. The advantage of doing this is that it gives your body a burst of vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes, making you feel light, and preparing your body to digest lunch efficiently.
3. Go on a Cleaning Spree!
This is more a preparatory step before Diwali actually arrives, but it is one thing that is equivalent to a workout. So, no more excuses for putting on weight because you missed your workout! Take a break from the gym and clean the house instead. Believe it or not, household chores can make you lose weight: sweeping and mopping the floor burns about 250 calories an hour, washing the car burns over 300 calories an hour, and doing the dishes can burn about 100 calories an hour. What’s more, everybody in the house can pitch in for this – and that includes Dads and children too! Women everywhere will be grateful, seeing as domestic help is never available for festivities.
4. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Allow your body to recover from all the work you’ve been doing. We all know Diwali is a whole lot of work, along with all the celebration. Having fun is serious business after all! A sleep-deprived body also goes into disaster-control mode: the body feels like resources are scarce and tends to store whatever it gets fed. So make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep, and also try to squeeze in an hour or two of afternoon nap-time.
5. Don’t Go Overboard!
While sweets are allowed, make sure you don’t go overboard with all the snacks. The trick is – portion control. Stop at one laddu or one karanji. Try not to eat sweets immediately before or after a meal – reserve them for snack time.
While visiting people, be on your guard. There will be those who just refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer and insist on feeding you every kind of treat and sweetmeat in the house. On the other hand, you may be someone who finds it difficult to say ‘no’ or to resist temptation. When you find yourself stuck in such a situation, make a health-excuse! Tell them you have a toothache, or your stomach is upset. This is something people won’t be able to contest!
6. Make Simple Food Swaps
This is one tip you can follow all around the year, not just for Diwali. Weight management is not just hard work, you also have to be smart about it.
Instead of fried food, opt for steamed or boiled, or shallow-friend food. Fried proteins (chicken, for example) are better than fried carbs (potatoes, for examples). Help yourself to a big portion of salad before a meal. Switch your ordinary sugar-filled beverage with a glass of salted lemon water, or maybe even a cup of green tea. All these tips may seem insignificant. But make all these changes together, and they can make a big difference.
Diwali is all about getting together and enjoying the things we don’t get to enjoy around the year – the presence of all our loved ones in one place in one moment, not worrying about meeting deadlines and targets at work, or being late for school, and hogging on tasty treats! So long as you are conscious about your, you can enjoy food without feeling guilty!