Diwali is just around the corner and households across India are already filling with sweet aroma of the laddoos, gujiyas, chakli, sev, barfis and kaju katli. Although these festival feasts are laden with calories that are enough to last the whole year, it surely seems like a punishment if you can’t let yourself loose in the goodness of homemade snacks just this once and forget the weighing scale. After all every day is not Diwali.
But after the festivities are over, all the crackers have been burned, the relatives have gone back, the diwali get together have been dealt with and your household has returned to the normality of serving rice, roti, dal and sabji, there will come a time when you will take the weighing scale out once again and face the reality of the kilos gained.
It is in preparation for that moment that you must read the tips below and see that the annual celebrations do not leave you feeling heavy in the heart and on the weighing scale all the year round.
Tip 1 Drink Plenty of water
Water helps cleanse the digestive system. It regulates smooth blood flow and it also makes the skin looking firm. Water also helps you eat less when you drink a glass full before any meal. In fact many times people confuse thirst with hunger pangs because both make the same grumbling noise inside the stomach. Start your day with a glass of water and drink atleast 8 glasses a day.
Tip 2 Have Mini-meals instead of three big meals
We all have a habit of eating three big meals – the breakfast, lunch and dinner which on an average have a gap of 6 hours between them. The truth is, our body needs to replenish the lost energy continuously and to do that it is better to keep eating small meals all through the day within a gap of two hours. Beware though that these are SMALL meals I am talking about here, not giant sized burgers, unlimited thalis or a platter of biryani. Choose wisely what you eat every two hours and eat that in moderation. You can begin with an apple then a cup of tea and biscuits or two buttered toasts, then a fruit juice, a snack , a single roti with vegetable cur and dal and then tea with cookies. Mix and match different things to suit your taste and time flexibility and stick to it. This will help your body remain energised at all times and not crave for oil, greasy food.
Tip 3 Eat Proteins in Every Meal
Protein is the best food to fill-tummy-up, better than carbohydrates or fats and keeps you feeling full for a longer time. The best thing about proteins is that they encourage fat burning and preserve muscles mass of the body. Try to have a protein in your meal or snack like nuts, dal, cheese, beans, lean meat and yogurt.
Tip 4 Add Spices
Some weight watchers feel that they have to stick to eating bland, boiled vegetables for the rest of their lives to be able to stay fit. Again, if you can do it you really have immense control over your taste buds, but the truth is it will be easier and much simpler to loose weight with a little bit of spices in the meal. There is really a reason why Indian food is spicy. The different flavours that come out of the spices like chilly, sweet, sour, pungent etc. help stimulate the taste buds and make you feel more satisfied with every meal. If one meal is satisfying enough, you would not want to keep raiding the refrigerator for an after dinner snack.
Okay, no one can really say no to chips, colas and bhajiyas all the time. If you really feel like having something sinful, go for it, but in moderation. Therefore instead of the big packet of chips get the smaller one. Skip eating two samosas and stick to one. Healthy snacks are not all that bad either. A non buttered version of the popcorn or a homemade glass of orange juice works as good as the regular varieties when you want to munch and drink something while watching television.
Tip 6 Swap Roti or Rice with Vegetables
By eating less of roti, rice, bread and more of vegetables you could actually lose one dress size in an year. Some experts say that eating less of starch can save you from eating almost 100-200 calories in a day!
Tip 7 Never Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast can only make you hungrier early in the day leading you to eat oily stuff or sipping lots of caffeine laden coffee. Breakfast is also essential because after the night’s sleep and no food for almost 10 hours, the body needs to be recharged and re-energised. This can only be done if you eat a good breakfast. If the breakfast is a complete meal with all the nutrients needed by the body, you will not feel hungry frequently.
Tip 8 Lose Weight Slowly
Crash diets and crash courses in the gym can definitely help you lose weight within weeks, but they pile up as soon as they go. It is always advisable to lose weight gradually so that your body is well adjusted to the changes and you also do not feel suddenly famished and weak. This kind of weight loss is constant, continous and healthier.
Tip 9 Weigh once a Week
There is no point weighing yourself every day because body weight keeps increasing and decreasing depending on many circumstances. It is better to chart your weight weekly and preferably on the same day and time each week. This will give you a more real idea of whether all your efforts are helping you loose weight.
Tip 10 Get enough Sleep
Sleep and weight gain have a definite connection because lack of sleep makes the body cringe for snacks more often. Try and get enough sleep everyday and maintain the duration of sleep, the time to say good night and the time to wake up.
Tip 11 Avoid addictions to alcohol or carbonated drinks
All kind of carbonated soft drinks are just lots of sugar in disguise. They are bad for your teeth as well as the entire body and make you pile up on the fats without much of an effort. Alcohol too does more harm than good as is known. Try and avoid these drinks completely or have a sip only on rare, very rare occasions.
Tip 12 Keep a food diary
Note down everything you eat every day and your food intake will automatically reduce. This food diary has really a psychological effect on the people who keep it. When all the amount of food you eat in a day is visible in black and white, the hands automatically stop from taking an extra poori during dinner or a packet of chips.
Do whatever you can everyday to remain active. Strain your body for atleast half an hour a day. It can be anything, yoga, walk, running, jogging, pilates, aerobics, dancing, or any other kind of activity that makes you sweat. Try to make this exercise routine as essential daily chore as brushing your teeth or taking a bath. The result will be there for all to see.
Tip 14 Celebrate success but not with food
Finally, there will come a day when your body will get back to normal, will be more toned, and all the excess baggage will be gone. Celebrate that day. But not by gorging on snacks and more food but by other things like buying a new outfit, going for a movie with friends or buying a new gadget. You deserve the reward.
This Diwali eat as much sweet as you want but make the complete year sweeter by resolving to stay fit and fine by following the above tips.
Wish you a very Happy Diwali and a healthy year ahead!