How to Eat Right this Festive Season

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This month officially marks the beginning of the festive season in India. With numerous festivals around the corner, these celebrations also bring a lot of high-calorie treats, and many of us are always in a mood to indulge in sugary, rich, and fried food items. Overindulging during this time often leads to a spike in our calorie intake. 

Pune-based fitness and health coach, Chirag Barjatya, shares some important inputs that will help you keep a check on your festive cravings, and how you can actually indulge while not letting them affect your health. 

Here’s how: 

  1. While festivals tag along with themselves a spread of delicacies, it is very important to avoid piling on calories. One must always stay hydrated throughout the day, keep drinking water and rely on low-calorie fruits such as watermelon and papaya to keep sweet cravings in control. If your cravings are in control, you will be able to avoid piling up on calories. 
  2. The other way to keep your cravings in check is to prioritize your protein intake first thing in your daily routine. Eat protein-rich foods early in the day such as chicken, eggs, paneer, whey protein, and soya chunks. And then, with the rest of your calorie budget, you can have some indulgence, since your stomach is already full with protein items, your craving stays limited. 
  3. We tend to spend most of the time with our families and friends, and while most of us feel like eating our hearts out during festivals, it is critical that one must supervise their portions. We cannot expect ourselves to maintain a strict diet regime but all we can do is manage our portions and enjoy the other food in smaller portions as your calorie budget allows. For example, 1 Kaju katli is 50 calories, while 1 besan laddu is close to 200 calories, 1 khoya burfi is almost 170 calories a piece. Set your calorie budget beforehand, choose the right mithai, and then calculate how many you can have to stay within your calorie budget
  4. Some of the sweets like gujiya, gulab jamun, rasmalai, jalebis, rasgullas, and deep-fried namkeens are made of heavy milk, sugar syrup, khoya, dried fruits and can shoot up your calorie and blood sugar levels with just a few pieces. It’s better to identify those and avoid them. 
  5. Another way to stay within your calorie budget during festivals is planning. If you plan to indulge in extra calories in one meal, compensate by skipping your carbs and fat in your other meals the same day to stay closer to your limit. For just one day, you could also skip one or two meals altogether to fit in your evening indulgence.
  6. Don’t skip your workouts. Make sure you burn it out every day during those days. Over-consuming calories and not burning them add to double trouble. Make sure you complete extra steps, go intense, and complete your workout regimen without fail. 
  7. Make your own healthy version of sweets. It’s a fun family activity, plus making sweets at home can also help you make low-calorie versions of your favourite sweet by replacing a few ingredients with their low-calorie counterparts. By replacing full-fat milk with almond milk or sugar with artificial sugar, you can drastically bring down the calories of the same sweet and also enjoy guilt-free. A good old moong dal halwa, almond cookies, and gluten-free cakes made with plant-based milk like almond milk, sugar-free natura and erythritol cut the calories in half while keeping a check on your blood sugar spike. Use an air fryer to fry your favourite savoury snacks like namkeen, pakoras, and mathris under less than 5 grams of oil and you can cut down the calories of your favorite fried snack by one third.

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