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Festivals without sweets are unheard of in India. Think of Diwali and you’re sure to conjure visions of ‘mithai’, dried fruits and ‘laddus’. These sweetmeats are rich not only in taste, but also in calories. This makes festival food a big problem for weight management. Thankfully, there are ways to have a sweet celebration without putting on excess weight.
Here are a few tips.
- Eat in moderation: It is impossible to completely avoid sweets during this festive season. However, you can keep a check on the amount you eat. Limit yourself to one or two pieces of mithai instead of gorging on them. Avoid second helping of sweets at all costs.
- Pick your sweets carefully: Not all sweets have the same calorific value. Sweets that are deep fried such as gulab jamuns have a higher calorific value than rasgullas. Similarly homemade sweets are usually much lower in fat content than store bought ones. If you are making sweets at home, try replacing the sugar with jaggery to lower the fat content. Eating dry fruits over sweets can also help minimize your calorie intake.
- Do not skip your meals: Eating heavy sweets may make you want to skip your regular meals, but this is a terrible idea. Do not miss out on your regular servings of fruits, vegetables and carbs. Do not replace your normal meals with snacks and dried fruits. If necessary, lower your portion size and have a light soup for dinner instead of your regular meal.
- Avoid sweet drinks: Since you cannot avoid eating sugar, skip drinking sugar. Avoid sweetened drinks such as colas and processed juices. Instead, pick light drinks such as buttermilk, lemonade and jaljeera. Green tea is also a good option during Diwali. If possible, avoid alcohol.
- Stay hydrated: When eating such rich and heavy food, it is important to drink plenty of water through the day. This keeps the body hydrated and helps flush toxins from the body. Drinking water also reduces the urge to snack and can help keep a control over your food intake.
- Eat mindfully: Chew your food and mithai slowly while eating. This will ensure that you thoroughly enjoy it and will keep you satiated for longer. Avoid eating on the go. Mindful eating also reduces the urge to snack excessively and hence controls your food intake.
- Exercise: Do not make Diwali an excuse to not exercise. Set aside half an hour at the beginning of the day to exercise and kick start your metabolism. Breathing exercises such as Pranayam and anulom vilom can also help clear your respiratory passages and help prevent problems sue to the pollutants in the air.