- Mistake 1 # Skipping a meal to accommodate those sweets : As many may reason it out as skipping those calories from lunch or dinner and compensating by having sweets and farsan. Remember it’s not only how many calories you take in but what matters is also where the calories are coming from. Mithais ,Laddoos, karanjis are sugar laden. Refined sugar causes a sudden rise of glucose in our body and hence surge of insulin which causes increase in fat storage. In addition to that the farsan or faral (snacks)which is mostly deep fried is a direct addition of fat to the body.
What to do instead: Instead of skipping a meal altogether, have your regular meals but reduce on the portion sizes. Try to accommodate a chocolate or a mithai as a part of the meal and don’t let it be your sole meal itself.
- Mistake 2 # Skipping exercise: For most of us festivals and holidays are a good excuse to skip exercise, when actually it is most required during that time. Unfortunately our body does not process sugar and fat differently on a holiday or special occasion. So skipping exercise is like committing double crime , increasing the intake of calories by feasting and then letting it stay in your body by not burning it out.
What to do instead: Continue your exercise and if possible exercise more than usual with proper advice to balance your calories.
- Mistake 3 # Making more than necessary amount of sweets and farsan: Its very nice to be traditionally rooted and sitting together as a family and making those once in a year traditional sweets is an enriching experience. However many of us make the mistake of overdoing it .We make the same quantity as used to be made traditionally when one lived in joint families .But now with more and more nuclear family setups there is usually an excess of mithais than one can relish and then just to finish it ,one ends up eating it .
What to do instead : Plan well in advance of how much quantity is required. Take into account also the fact that you would also be receiving sweets from family and friends.
- Mistake 4 # Over indulgence: Common mistake made in the pretext of festivities is over indulgence. We over indulge in sweets, chocolates, fried foods, aerated beverages, junk food etc .
What to do instead: Do not have it all at once. Portion control is the key. You can enjoy all the festival goodies in a moderate amount. Dont eat it all at once. Pick up a bite or two once in while in the day. Simple tip to avoid over indulgence is keep the sweets out of easy reach.
- Mistake 5 # Late night heavy dinners and sleep deprivation: Being a festive season , we wake up early to perform the traditional rituals but most of the time we have late night get-togethers and parties accompanied by fried snacks, rich gravies and not to forget the empty calories coming from alcohol or sweetened mocktails and aerated drinks. In the bargain we compromise on sleep and insufficient rest is a cause of weight gain.
What to do instead: While meeting family and friends is priority, try to catch up on at least 6 to 8 hrs of sleep. Before heading out for a dinner party, try having a bowl of salad or vegetable soup at home so you don’t have hunger pangs and can avoid unnecessary snacking and can eat in moderation.
- Mistake 6 # Doing the same things year after year: Most of us even after being health conscious, do the same things without any changes like making ghee and sugar laden sweets, deep fried snacks etc. Gifting mithai and chocolate hampers and so on.
What to do instead: While keeping the tradition alive, small changes in preparation of sweets and snacks and healthier gifting ideas will always do good for a healthier body and mind. Low fat milk can be used in milk based sweets. Honey and jaggery can be used instead of refined sugar. Artificial sweetners can be used in some preparations. Try baking chaklis ,karanjis ,shakkar paras insead of frying. For added flavour, crunch and nutrients ,you can decorate your sweets or snacks with flaxseeds rich in omega 3 fatty acids or til seeds(sesame) rich in calcium. Unsalted dryfruits, though calorie rich are way healthier than mithais as they are nutrient rich. Gift unsalted dryfruits or fruit hampers this Diwali.
Gift your near and dear ones health and wellbeing this Festive season. Wishing all the readers a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali!
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