This time, the festive season is unique in the sense that all the major festivals are falling in the same month. While it brings unbridled joy and happiness to everyone, one of the first casualties of this time is our health-routine. Parties, gathering, and late nights lead to total chaos of our body clock.
Hence, one of the essential things which should be held on to, unwaveringly, is our regime. No matter how mundane or monotonous it is, it needs to be followed to allow our body some semblance of normalcy. Even if it consists of small things like doing yoga or drinking methi water first thing in the morning, it should be prioritized during this festive period.
These small things act as the pillars holding the entire structure of a committed persona and stay on top of the undulating occasions.
It is during this season that one needs to judiciously plan the food intake for the entire day, at a macro level, rather than planning them in regular individual meals. E.g., if one regularly has three meals in a day, Diwali time, one can let go of one of the meals to enjoy that lavish, indulgent spreads typically made at our homes or friends & relatives’, on Diwali days.
This will allow the body to handle the excesses, and one would not feel lethargic. One needs to plan the day in the morning itself so that if there is a lavish dinner at night, the rest of the meals should be light and simple, yet nutritious; maybe just a soup! Or some nuts with a salad!
- Sleep Deprivation: One of the most ignored practices during the festive season, known to disrupt up the body clock significantly is SLEEP. Often, the signals sent by the body for sleep deprivation are read like those of hunger and lead to people eating more than required. The need is to understand and interpret the signals correctly and take remedial actions.
- Hydration: The importance of water cannot be overstated during this time. People think by drinking aerated drinks, tea, and coffee, they are hydrating the body. However, in actuality, these act as diuretics and make us even more dehydrated. So, the best thing is to keep drinking water consciously, or other healthy hydration sources, like Coconut water, Nimboo Pani, etc., at regular intervals, in fact, even more than usual and avoid these sugary drinks.
- Alcohol: Although people use it as an excuse to make merry, it is always better to be in control of our senses. One can enjoy the splendor of the festival with an alert mind, rather than with a cloudy mind and glazed eyes.
- Probiotics: To keep the stomach healthy and fit to digest all the festive food, one can add probiotics to the diet for these 10-15 days. It can be something as simple as curds or can even take probiotic supplements. They will help by adding good gut bacteria for better digestion.
- A protein like a paneer, chicken, can be eaten in the morning as they take longer to digest and would send the signals of a full stomach to the brain for a prolonged period.
- One can also have a light breakfast and lunch of soups, salads to counterbalance our sumptuous meal without any guilt. The soup can be had during this time using good oil and fresh vegetables as its base for a nutritious meal.
- Skipping breakfast is a terrible idea as it would lead to binging later on. Instead of skipping it altogether, one can have a glass of milk or fruit in the morning and send positive messages to the mind.
- If we know that dinner will be late, then we can fill up our stomach with nuts like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, amaranth till dinner is served. One does not need to reach for the decadent mithai to satiate those festive cravings.
- One of the best ways to control your food intake is by picking up a smaller size plate to eat your food in. Although it sounds simple, just this one act can drastically reduce your portions and still make you feel sated and content. This will help to give in to our indulgences judiciously, yet the stomach will feel fuller.
- If one is hosting a party, they should try to think of innovative recipes that can be crowd-pleasers, yet healthy and nutritious.
Our normal day-to-day lives are, as it is, pretty challenging, so these festive times are given to us by gods to tide over our troubles and enjoy precious gifts of life, good food, and family.
So, it is not necessary to forgo our celebratory foods during this season; all it needs is preemptive planning and effort. Even the body weight can be taken care of later, but one needs to plan at the macro level, from the start itself.