HOW TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN DURING DIWALI

Festivals can be unforgiving on the waistline. The last quarter of the year brings with it non-stop fun and celebrations with a train of festivals in our country.

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India, “The Land of Festivals” just got over with the celebration of Rakshya Bandhan, Onam, Ganesh Puja and Dusshera. And now is the time to gear up for the Big Bang Diwali.

But the question that bothers everyone is, “How to prevent weight gain and still enjoy the festival?”.

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As a kid, this was always my favourite time of the year. It is the best time to revel in the company of loved ones, dress up in finery and gorge on delicious dishes prepared for the event. Being born with a mammoth sweet tooth, I never refrained myself from bingeing the sweets and savouries during these occasions. But that happiness always turned into guilt once the festivities ended.

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Over a period of time, I figured out how to prevent weight gain and yet not miss out on the fun. So, I present to you my Top 10 Guidelines to let you celebrate Diwali without weight-worries and guilt pangs.

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Mix 1 teaspoon of Gulkand with some Milk. Add a pinch of Cinnamon powder and your Magic Potion is ready. Gulkand is rich in probiotic bacteria. It works at enhancing your gut flora and thereby curbs acidity, constipation, bloating and makes your belly look flatter and thinner. Cinnamon helps regulate your blood sugar while at the same time helping curb your cravings for certain foods.

Having them first thing in the morning prepares you by boosting up your metabolism, keeping your weight gain worries at bay.

Instead of eating a sugary breakfast or skipping your morning meal entirely, eat something with Protein. A protein-packed breakfast doesn’t just help keep you full, it can also increase your energy level that these festivals demand.

So, eggs, paneer paratha, tofu sandwich, toast with peanut/almond butter, grab whatever is easily available for you. And you will get the superpowers needed for the house cleaning sessions and shopping spree.

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Our bodies often confuse hunger, thirst and fatigue. Instead of tearing into a bag of chips when you get the urge to snack, try drinking a glass of water first. Quenching your thirst can help you avoid overeating and prevent weight gain. 

To stay hydrated throughout the day, carry a reusable water bottle with you to sip water at regular intervals. Instead of opting for the sugar-loaded aerated drinks, choose lemon water, coconut water, jaljeera, buttermilk, etc.

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Yes, I know during festivals, time is less and work is more. But all you need is 20 minutes for your body to kick-start your metabolism.

About 6 rounds of Suryanamaskar, 20 minutes of skipping, HIIT home exercises or dancing crazy to fast music, the list is endless. Walk off the shopping and trips to the parties, take the stairs instead of the lift. It will not only prepare your body for all the bingeing but help smoothen the digestive processes post bouts of overeating and ultimately prevent weight gain.

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I am not asking you to sulk in a corner battling between mind and heart, while others are enjoying the delicacies. Just eat in moderation and avoid second helpings. Take only as much as you can finish. Small portions fit in small plates. 

Moreover, starving during the day and binging at dinner represents the classical “fasting and feasting” behaviour. So, eat every 2-3 hours to make sure you don’t end up feeling bloated, acidic, dull or tired. 

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Yes, just like the tortoise you too will win in the end if you keep your speed slow while eating. You will be able to burn your food better, and also you will feel full on time, and not overeat. The reason is that it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we’re full. If we eat fast, we can continue eating past the point where we’re full. If we eat slowly, we have time to realize we’re full and stop on time. Simple, isn’t it?

Moreover, it’s hard to enjoy your food if it goes by too quickly. In fact, I think it’s fine to eat sinful foods if you eat a small amount slowly.  Don’t we eat all the sinful foods to satisfy our taste demon?  But if you eat them fast, what’s the point? If you eat them slowly, we can get the same amount of great taste, but with less going into your stomach. That’s the math which works for me. So, give it a try.

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Replace dark chocolate, red velvet cupcakes and brownies with traditional sweets like Kaju Barfi, Laddoos made with desi ghee, Halwa etc. Sweets made in ghee are a time-tested recipe that causes the least amount of disturbance to blood sugar levels. When made at home the traditional way, they are nutrient dense and regulate our blood sugars. As a result of which you don’t crave and reach out for a bar of chocolate loaded with harmful preservatives and sugars.

So, avoid the low-sugar or low-fat “Videshi” variety which are loaded with trans fats and high GI carbs to prevent weight gain. Instead dig into the jalebihalwa and barfi. Don’t worry, home-made mithai, eaten in moderation over three-four days of the Diwali weekend, won’t land you in trouble. 

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The next time you go Diwali shopping, buy Nuts in raw form for gifting others as well as yourself. Nuts are your best friend when your motto is to prevent weight gain and they give us a wide choice in form of almonds, pistachio, cashew etc. Dried fruits are often available as packaged and processed snacks that have preservatives and other low-grade ingredients. So, buy them raw and in bulk to save money and pack them yourselves. 

Since Diwali is all about playing cards till late in the night, a handful of dry fruits make the perfect choice for late night snacking. 

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If drinking till the wee hours makes your Diwali night come alive, ensure you do “Mindful drinking”. Eat before and while drinking. Eating slows your drinking pace. It also fills you up. If you have a full stomach, alcohol will be absorbed slower. Avoid salty snacks though as they may make you drink more.

Try drinking from smaller glasses, taking sips, not gulps and have a glass of water for each glass of drink. It is ok to say “NO“. Don’t let people pressurise you for drinks or don’t let them top your drinks. After all, this is all about enjoyment and not waking up as a zombie the next morning. 

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Last but not Least, this trick works wonder if you actually follow it before retiring for the day. No matter, how many guidelines are given or tips we read, we all will deviate or indulge at some point in time. Yes, that includes me too. That is when Psyllium husk or Isabgol comes to rescue. It will save you the bloating, constipation, and indigestion the next morning while preventing weight gain.

So, if you want to feel light, and sleep better, you must consider taking psyllium husk as your last drink. Mix 1 tbsp psyllium husk in half a glass of water and drink it immediately. Follow it up with another glass of water. You can have it as the first drink of your day as well.

Tip: Do not consume it right before or after meals.


So, that brings us to the end of this article and as a BONUS here are two interesting DIY looks to spice up your Diwali.

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The Designer – Joydeepa
Maa Kali Pendant & Earring Set
Diya Pendant

Joydeepa Nanda, an upcoming jewellery designer from Cuttack, Odisha has curated these hand-made pieces of jewellery especially keeping Diwali-theme in mind. Really passionate about every form of art, be it singing or painting she puts her heart and soul into every piece she creates. Initially what was just a hobby turned into her passion and a platform to display her creativity. She very cleverly uses simple items like nail polishes, waterproof eyeliners, watercolours and cardboards to create stunning unique pieces. The Diya Pendant and the Maa Kali pendant and earrings set adorned in the picture are the display of her super imaginative skills. You too can recreate such items at home if you give wings to your imagination just like her.

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So, this Diwali, have fun with your friends and family without thinking about bingeing and how to prevent weight gain. Indulge them in time, love and attention and create memories that would last for a lifetime. And do not forget to share with the less fortunate ones.

HAPPY DIWALI folks !!!


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