Eat Wise, Stay Slim
Nutritionists and fitness experts share a few quick tips and tricks on maintaining your weight through the perennial highs and lows of festive seasons in India.
Starving is Stupid!
Don’t starve yourself during the day, or you’ll be ravenous by dinner time and will overindulge.
Eat Fruits and Leave
Never go for a party on an empty stomach. A clear soup, salad, fruit or buttermilk will keep hunger pangs at bay and ensure you don’t overeat party food.
The Gravy Trail
Steer clear of gravy; pick the chicken from the curry, the paneer from the makhani, and the vegetables not the gravy.
Choose nimbu paani, jal jeera and chaas (buttermilk), over aerated, alcohol-loaded or sugar-based drinks. Don’t forget to hydrate with that miracle elixir, H2O.
Dates, almonds, cashews and pistachios rolled in coconut are as tasty as they are nutritious. When presented with a platterful of choice, pick nuts over mithai.
Pacify sugar cravings with natural sugar from dried fruits, dates and raisins. Even if these do not satiate your sweet tooth, you’ll end up eating less mithai.
Steam, Bake, Grill and Roast
Choose steamed, baked, grilled and roasted snacks over fried stuff. Bengali sweets such as sondesh and rasgullas tend to be more nutritious and lower in calories.
Invest in an air fryer, which uses hot air to cook anything that would traditionally be dunked in oil over its head.
Love it or Leave It
If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Save the calories for food you love. And, when you’re stuffed just say No! (Politely, lest you offend the more traditional amongst us).
Replace maida (flour) with gehu (wheat), nachni, jowar and bajra. You could try using low fat milk and avoiding full cream, but this may result in a sweet treat that does not taste as good as you remember. Instead eat what you love, just a little less.
If you don’t work out for the recommended 30-45 minutes daily, Diwali’s a good time to start. If you do work out, increase the duration to take care of those yummylicious extra calories heading your way.
This will help you avoid the thoughtless hand-to-mouth munching that piles on calories. Using a smaller plate like a dessert plate for dinner, should help you keep your portion servings reasonable.
Quantify (One a day, two a day, three a day)
Decide how much you think your body can take, pick your favourites and enjoy. You can compensate by reducing your total intake or burning a few extra calories while exercising.
Go Lean protein
Boosting protein consumption with beans, seafood, lean meat, skinless poultry and low-fat dairy will keep you feeling full longer. Complement this with high-fiber grains, fruits and vegetables.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Several studies have proven that people who eat breakfast end up eating fewer calories throughout the day.
A Pauper for Dinner
Follow that old saying, an emperor’s breakfast, a prince’s lunch and a pauper’s dinner and keep your dinner light with vegetables, salads and fruits.
A Right Time for Sweets?
Eating sweets with meals will cause your blood sugar to spike sharply. Instead, enjoy sweets as a snack in themselves or after some activity.
Nibble, Don’t Gobble
If you love new tastes, satisfy cravings with a bite (or two). Savour the flavour, texture and aroma. Eating slowly will give your brain time to receive your stomach’s ‘happy and satiated’ signals.
This is the best season to digest farsan and faral (Diwali savouries) that increase bone and joint strength, boost the nervous sytem and enhance vitality, as long as you use homemade ghee, don’t use short-cut recipes and avoid over indulging.
With inputs from: Rupali Mehta, Nutritionist; Vinod Channa, Celebrity Fitness Expert; Rakhee Todankar, Nutrition Expert, Gold’s Gym; Dr Malvika Tambe, Ayurvedic Physician, Atmasantulana Village: Dr Amita Dhar, Chief Dietician, Seven Hills Hospital