With Diwali being around the corner there is fun and cheerfulness in the air. Diwali is all about celebration with lights, fireworks and sweets with family and friends. We eat our hearts out and it is perfectly normal for an average person to put on few extra pounds. And, as soon as the festival is over we start cringing about all the weight gained during the festival. But, in spite of knowing that, we just can’t resist eating all those delicious ghee laden mithais and savories.
So, can Diwali be guilt free? Yes, if you keep the word moderation in mind. Let it be your mantra this Diwali.
Introduce the idea of health during the pre Diwali shopping only. Some tips:
Instead of sipping on the sugar laden cold drinks during the shopping hours prefer the cool sparkling water.
Do not shop on an empty stomach. Have a bowl of soup before you leave home. If you have to eat outside of the home during shopping choose the roasted, grilled and baked foods over the fried ones. Healthy sandwiches, soups, salads, idlis, fruits, nuts and dried fruits are the ideal shopping foods.
But what about the “real food” during the festivities? Well, we are listing down a few things you can keep in mind to make sure your Diwali is healthy and guilt free.
Use low calorie ingredients to make sweets at home - use jaggery, dates and dried fruits instead of white sugar to sweeten the mithais and low fat milk instead of the whole milk. To avoid the intake of ghee, prefer mithais that are milk based. The commercially prepared sweets are high in white sugar, additives, colour and calories unless they are sold as being sugar free (artificial sweeteners added – not our top choice). Also, avoid silver-coated mithai as these coatings are adulterated with aluminium which is unhealthy. If you do want to have the sweets, practice portion control – eat a small amount and get the satisfaction.
Salted versions of the nuts and seeds have a lot of sodium. Pick up the unsalted ones and again – portion control. Although nuts and seeds are a good snack option with their healthy fats, remember that they are high in calories. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, dried figs can help you fight those sweet cravings.
Fried namkeens and farsan (with fat and extra salt in them) are also the main culprits for weight gain during Diwali. Instead of fried snacks opt for low salt baked / grilled ones.
Do not forget that the immunity building fruits and vegetables are your best bet at keeping you healthy to keep enjoying the festivities. Do not ignore them.
Think your drink. At the parties be aware that alcohol, cocktails and mocktails are only calories. So, moderate the intake. Avoid the fizzy drinks that are high in sugars and additives – tonic water or plain soda is a good option. Along with alcohol you could also end up eating too many snacks which means unnecessary calories – so, be aware.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water at intervals – not the fizzy and sugary beverages. Do not forget to drink water during the munching of foods. It may also keep you feel full and thus prevent you from eating foods continuously.
Are you planning to take a week long exercise break in the Diwali week? Well, not a good idea. Along with the feasting also comes the efforts to make sure you knock off the extra calories consumed. So, hit the gym or go for a brisk walk during the morning hours to have the entire day for festivities (will not give you an excuse to shy away from physical activity).
It is never a good idea to deprive yourself completely during the festivities. Indulging sometimes in the foods that you like is very normal – but know when to draw the line. Post Diwali is the time when one feels the need to get back to the normal weight through structured weight loss programs. You could possibly contact one of the leading dietitians in Mumbai or nutritionist in Mumbai to help you chalk out a plan to help you to get back into the healthy eating regime again or help you knock off the excess pounds you may have accumulated during this festive season.
Arati Shah is an astute nutritionist having expertise in offering all types nutrition to different individuals and corporate. She is one of the best nutritionist in Mumbai who provides weight loss programs. She heads the Nutrition team and takes personal interest in each and every client of Café Nutrition.