Diwali is just around the corner. Called as the festival of lights, Diwali is also a time for celebrating generosity. The holiday season is full of festive events, good food and cherished memories like any other Indian festival. Diwali celebrations are incomplete without sweets – which mean it is also the time for indulgence and that people often end up filling their tummies with calorie-laden sweets and snacks. However, it can also be a time for more stress, unhealthy eating and getting sick.
An integral part of the festive season includes the endless delicacies that we eat day in and day out without taking a break. The following are the 12 Tips to Stay Healthy during the Festive Season:
1. Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals
Well-balanced meals will help you feel full, which is essential if you want to resist unhealthy party food. You might think that it’s better to save up your calories for a party by eating less during the day, but that’s actually a recipe for failure. You can’t go to a party hungry and expect divine intervention to help keep you in control. Give yourself a chance to stay on track by eating well-balanced meals and a healthy snack before going to a party.
A healthy, balanced meal should consist of a lean protein, a small portion of healthy fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrates. To learn more about how to create a well-balanced meal, take a look at our example of a healthy plate.
2. Consume Fruits and Vegetables
During this season, most of the foods that we eat tend to be fried, oily, and loaded with calories. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables is a good idea. They contain fibre, minerals, and nutrients and are low in fat. Your bowels remain healthy, your skin glows, and you can keep your calories in check. Carrot, amla, spinach, tomato, watermelon and orange are all healthy options. While children will gorge on sweets, it is a good idea to set a limit on how much they are allowed to eat.
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is one meal in the day where it’s easy to eat light and healthy. Start the day right by making the most of healthy options provided where you’re staying or step out and buy your own. Eating breakfast can also help reduce your chance of overindulging later in the day. Check out our breakfast recipes for some inspiration.
4. Eat Regularly
If you skip a meal, sampling the cookies that your colleague brought is almost guaranteed. Eat a healthy breakfast within an hour or two of waking and plan to eat something about every four hours thereafter. If your breakfast is at 8:00 a.m., then lunch should be around noon. Better yet have a small, healthy snack to tide you over between breakfast and lunch. This will minimize your risk of over-eating or of making poor choices when lunchtime comes around. Do the same thing between lunch and dinner.
5. Restrict your Eating
As a rule, you must always restrict yourself binging on sweets, fried snacks, and other food items high in monosaturated fats and sodium or sugar. Do not link eating with celebration. Socialise, mingle, and visit your dear and loved ones, but keep the eating part separated. Stick to your normal routine of eating and the same quantities. It is vital to practice portion control. Remember that nuts are good options but not the roasted-salted types. Instead, go for plain nuts, almonds or cashews.
6. Monitor your Health
If you suffer from health issues like diabetes, blood pressure and respiratory problems, ensure you do not forget to take medications. It is essential to monitor your health regularly during this season.
7. Drink more Water than Normal
During the festive season, ensure everyone in the family, especially the children, are drinking lots of water. This will keep them hydrated and help flush out toxins. Adding a slice of lemon or a few mint leaves will give flavour to the water.
8. Keep Moving!
Although days are shorter and your schedule may be full, try to devote time to being active. Take a short walk while on break at work, do a free yoga video after your morning coffee, or ride your bike to grocery store to pick up that one forgotten item. Playing hide-and-go seek, building a fort, or having a jump rope contest are easy and fun ways to help the whole family stay active. Research shows being active can strengthen your immune system, decrease stress, and help keep unwanted weight off.
9. Balance Indulgences
It’s hard to know when a coworker or client is going to bring in an unexpected treat, like homemade fudge or salted caramels. If you go big in the morning or early afternoon, use restrain in the evening to balance indulgences. And if you know you’re going out to a holiday party, hold off on eating something decadent during the day.
10. Snack Healthy
Don’t let yourself get so hungry that you’ll eat the first thing you see. By keeping healthy snacks close at hand, such as whole almonds, cut vegetables or an apple, when hunger strikes you’ll be happy to have eaten something healthy. It’s also helpful to have a healthy snack BEFORE you go to a holiday party. You’ll be less likely to overindulge.
11. Set Time for Some Exercise Every Day
Exercise is vital for you to stay energetic and build resistance against diseases. All the heavy festival food and staying up late at night may take a toll on the body. Exercise helps improve blood circulation, flushes out toxins and ensures you stay in shape.
12. Avoid Eating Late at Night
With many of us in a celebratory mood, we often tend to eat late at night. When you eat well past your dinner time, it can affect your digestion. That is because, with each passing hour in the night metabolism tends to get slower. This can lead to weight gain.