New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANSlife) India is a land of unity and diversity. The same applies to the traditions that people follow. Each state has a different set of customs and accordingly people engage in fulfilling rituals that the many festivals bring in. Festivals are fondly looked forward to, as they mark not only the celebrations but also the special savouries that are prepared, characteristic of that particular festival.
Food has always been the central part of our culture. A unique array of delicacies, confections, and sweets is part and parcel. IEven the best of us let go and put on a few extra kilos during the holidays. The best way to avoid piling on these extra kilos is to choose wisely, eat in moderation and follow a regular exercise regimen.
Here are a few tips to help you plan your meals better this festive season:
Do not starve – In a bid to stay healthy, we all tend to starve before a big Diwali party or on the day we have plans to head out to a new restaurant or to someone’s home. Remember when you eat on an empty stomach, your body will seize the food and store it as fat. The next time you are invited to a party, make sure you have something prior – it could be some fruit, a protein soup or shake, a bowl of dahi or even some salad.
Stay hydrated – Drink up! Always keep a bottle of water with you. Drinking lots of water helps curb hunger pangs. Additionally, dehydration during the holidays can cause fatigue, reduced motivation, and mood swings. With zero calories and the ability to make you feel full, consumption of it can help promote weight loss. You can also consume water infused with slices of fresh fruits, cucumber, lemon, ginger and mint for internal cleansing. It will also keep your skin hydrated, radiant and glowing for the festive season.
Make the Right Choices – Choose high protein and fibre options as they reduce cravings for sweets, giving you a feeling of satiety and keeping you full longer. Also choose nutrient-packed superfoods. You could opt for high-protein soups and meal replacement shakes which are infused with ingredients like moringa, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and turmeric. You could start your morning cup with a healthier choice of either a Morigna Green Tea or Green Coffee to kick start your day.
Stay away from “Sugar Free” – We often hear people say “I am diabetic; therefore I eat only sugar free products.” During festivals especially people even gift each other sugar free sweets. It is important to note that sugar free does not mean carb, calorie or fat free. When manufacturers remove sugar, they often add fat to the product making it higher in fat content than the product with sugar. One can avoid eating the sugar free sweets and rather stick to the usual ones with less carbs and simple sugars. It is also advisable to check the food label on the product boxes for the total carbohydrate and fat content before you purchase or consume it.
Stock your Fridge with Healthy Options – Give away the extra sweets to your staff. This way you are not only sharing your happiness, but also staying away from temptation. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy options like fruits, veggie sticks with dips, meal-replacement shakes, sprouts, dark chocolate, nuts and dry fruits like dates & figs.
Share the load – Festivals are about sharing, so share your sweets with everyone. Take a bite or two and share the rest with your family, friends and loved ones. This will make sure you don’t end up overeating.
In the end, festivals like Diwali, Christmas and the New Year are about spending time with your loved ones. It is a time to bond with your near and dear ones. Food and drinks shouldn’t be your only focus. Have a great time with your family, friends and spread the festive cheer.
(Sheryl Salis is a Renowned Dietitian and Certified Diabetes)