Shaping up before and after festive eating
We had Navaratri and Bakrid a few weeks ago and here comes Diwali.
In a month’s time, we have Christmas and New Year with Pongal close at its heels and so on, the year long. There are so many festivities and tempting foods to savour as part of the celebrations! It is so easy to get caught in a roller coaster ride of overeating and subsequent dieting (out of guilt) ending up with the yoyo effect.
It is like falling down and then picking yourself up. Every time you fall, you get up. The same way, going back to eating healthy after a bout of festive eating is mandatory for the weight loser.
But, the best way to achieve this is by what I would call taking a pre-emptive or defensive approach. That is to start taking a conscious note of your eating much before a scheduled festival or celebration and immediately after it too.
Here’s a list of dos and don’ts that can help you keep those kilos off
Avoid foods that have been fried or are greasy to touch.
Avoid foods bought from restaurants or bakeries. Only homemade foods are allowed – No eating out.
Ensure that your home is stocked only with fruits, salads and whole grain foodstuffs. No maida, no sweets, no savouries.
Eat only high fibre grains and snack on fruits, raw vegetables, nuts between meals. Before and after each meal, drink a glass of water.
Apart from water, coconut water, clear soups, tea and coffee are the only beverages you will drink.
Get an extra 30 minutes of exercise if you’re already working out and one hour if you are sedentary
Ensure the milk, buttermilk or curds you eat are fat free, and the meat is lean and grilled.
No matter what the quantity, you will take 20 minutes to finish a meal. So chew, chew and chew again.
Ask yourself what your weaknesses are and which of your habits you need to monitor particularly and include that in the above list to make it complete.
What can you achieve by following this list?
You get into shape for the occasion which is good because you need to wear well and look healthy and radiant.
It prepares you for controlled eating during the festive season, because eating high fibre on a daily basis can actually make you averse to eating refined foods – The same way that diabetics once used to drinking tea without sugar, say adding sugar to the tea gives a bitter taste.
It gives you an already running diet plan to get back on track after the festive eating is over. And it should start as soon as the event is over.
You may not lose weight during the festive season with this approach, but may not gain any weight either. And, this is what those watching weight should aim for during this Diwali – no weight gain.
Parvathy R Krishnan
The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at http://premadiet.blogspot.in/
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