It’s that time of the year again when the whole of India is loaded with festivities, food, happiness and joy. With Dussehra, Diwali, Bhai Dooj and other festivals in sight, there is also endless portions of chocolates, snacks, delicious foods, drinks and a lot more on the cards.
What can be satisfying for the tummy may not be so satisfying for the exterior of that tummy. With so much of calories in our consumption pattern, the waistline, the cholesterol and the sugar levels are in for a huge hit. However, with the overboard tendencies come the mindset. A little tweak here and there can help us enjoy the festivities and also keep a check on our health and figure.
Some handy tips to keep you from rolling off –
Practice moderation – Easier said than done. A little self-control and it can be achieved. Pick one or two of your favourites and enjoy it slowly. Get back to normal diet the next day.
Vegetables are essential – Fill in half or at least a third of your plate with vegetables before you choose the rest of your dinner. When choosing protein, opt for a leaner version of meat, fish or poultry.
Avoid second helpings/ eat slow – Be firm and put your plate down after you are through with your first helping.
Use low fat ingredients – Use low fat (skimmed) milk and other dairy products rather than refined sugar or natural sugar like honey, jaggery and dates.
Limit alcohol and increase water – This is one of the critical elements which needs to be planned for. Plan how much you are going to drink. Intersperse with loads of water. Set a limit for the day and stay away from syrupy and sugary cocktails.
The top 3 – A table full of loaded goodies can be mouth-watering. Stick to the rule of 3 – choose no more than 3 top likes to indulge in. Fill the rest of the plate with healthy options.
Snack before the dinner – Have a healthy snack before dinner. Fresh fruits, small salad portion, wheat toast with hummus or a protein shake. Most people starve themselves for a dinner party. Chances are, you will then, overeat.
Talk away from food – Socialise away from it, keeps the urge to munch at bay.
Its ok to say ‘no’ – Easier said than done in India especially. Be assertive and it can be practiced. Your health comes first. Phrases such as “No, thank you, I am stuffed” or “Thank you, this looks good, but I might try it later” won’t hurt the person offering and will leave you in control of your food choices.
Don’t stop working out – Keep moving! A walk before and after the party helps. During festive seasons, our activity levels decrease considerably and we gain weight.
Forget the caffeine – Stick to the teas as most of them have digestive properties.
Sleep well – Rest rejuvenates the body for next day’s action. Plan your day accordingly.