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Diet Tips 20 Oct 2014

How to keep a tab over your calories intake during festivals

During festivals we switch off our mental calorie count alerts and freak on all those snacks and goodies. It becomes very difficult to avoid high calorie content food during festivals, but there is a way out.

Every festival, of any religion, is incomplete without sweets and sweets carry calories. A wide variety of fried foods consumed during festivals are full of calories too. Though festivals are loaded with joy and fun, it disturbs diet schedules of many people.

During festivals we switch off our mental calorie count alerts and freak on all those snacks and goodies. It becomes very difficult to avoid high calorie content food during festivals, but there is a way out. You can build a regime to avoid calories during festivals.

Instead of eating packaged foods and sweets this festive season, try and make healthy versions of your favourite snacks and sweets at home. By doing this, you will be able to control the amount of oil you consume by using a good quality cooking oil. You could also use healthy sugar substitutes like brown sugar, agave nectar, date sugar and organic jaggery.

Make use of low fat ingredients like low fat milk, low sugar products and other dairy products to make sweets and snacks. Try to make optimum use of these products. Do not use these products extensively under the halo effect of low fat. The product consisting 'low fat' does not mean that there is absolutely 'no fat' in these products. You can opt for baked nuts instead of sweets; aerated drinks can be replaced with juices.

There are certain things which we can adopt during festive time to maintain the healthy diet pattern:

1) When it is snack time during festivals, drink a glass of water. A glass of water will make your stomach partially full. As a result, you will eat less; this will help minimise the calorie intake. When there is a get together during festivals, you can stick to the habit of 'eat less and talk more'.

2) Once you start meeting your friends and relatives, it will be tough to curb your calorie intake. Hence, it makes sense to keep your breakfast light. Pile as few calories as possible when you start your day. Consider having a bowl of fruit and vegetable salad. Not only they are easy to digest, but all the fibre will help burn fat deposits too.

3) When you serve sweets and snacks, you can also add fruits and nuts to the plate. When you just cannot stop eating, you can eat nuts and dry fruits instead. Even fruits and nuts have calories, so do not consume them in excess.

4) You tend to eat less when you serve yourself in smaller plates. Even small spoons, glasses and bowls are beneficial to avoid unhealthy food stuff.

5) Take out time to work out. Even if you are not able to hit the gym, climb stairs, do skipping or walk more.

6) It is seen that during the festive season we eat excess food than we require. But it is not the right way to eat. If you love it, then eat it slowly and chew it properly. If you chew it slowly, then you will be able to control your food intake and prevent overeating.

Running away from food will not help you achieve your goal of staying away from calories. Improper dietary habits can also harm your health. You should always remember that a balanced diet and regular exercise are vital for a healthy life.

You can also practice yoga and meditation, which will help you stay physically fit and mentally strong. You spend a lot of money on clothes, accessories, fireworks, food, drink, and merriment for each festival. Extend this planning to your fitness during this festival as well. You will find that the best accessory you can enjoy Diwali with is a fit body and mind. Besides, a well toned body looks good in anything.

Priti Seth is a Cosmetologist and Nutritionist. She is the Founder & CEO of Pachouli Spa & Wellness Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.

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