Chaitra Navratri is celebrated with fervor and happiness all over the country. Like all our festivals, Navratri is incomplete without GOOD fast-friendly FOODS which means, poorie, aloo, pakoda, mithai, kheer and everything sinful. After all, our festival gatherings are planned around food. Also with almost a year of COVID, we need some festivities to pick up our spirits. As a nutritionist, my clients are the most stressed out during festivals because celebrations means lots of traditional mithais and fried foods. My take is that a break is good, enjoying some sinful food is also great for our happiness, do so.
You can enjoy all the goodies and still not be stuffed to the gills. All that you need to keep in mind is these points:
1. Do not skip meals: We all believe that as we may eat more tomorrow, we should skip a meal or two today. Bad idea, you will land up feeling hungrier and raid the buffet. So, eat your normal meals
2. Don't skip your breakfast: Before stepping out eat a healthy light breakfast with complex carbs and some protein. Your appetite will be satiated, and you will feel energised for the day. It will also ensure that you eat smaller portions.
3. Budget: You don't need to eat everything on the table, you can choose wisely.
4. Wait: Count 100, wait for 10 minutes and then see if you really want more or not. Ask yourself "is it enjoyable to eat more" if the answer is yes, eat some more or stop. The 10-minute break will help you decide this.
5. Maintain distance: Take your plate and sit the furthest from the food table. You will be tempted a little less.
6. Drink wisely: Liquid calories, which are usually sugar calories, are not considered. Drinking sugar-free drinks and water would be the best. Avoid cocktails, drink in moderation.
7. Portion control: Use the smallest plate in the buffet, it will ensure you eat less. Control the portion sizes. Eat all the fried, sweet, dishes but keep the portions under control.
8. Drink a lot of water. Hydration is very important for staying active and digesting all the food you are eating. So, drink a lot of plain water especially between your drinks.
9. Splurge on the one food that you may not eat throughout the year instead of everything served.
And after the festivities are done, get the body on track with:
1. Water, especially warm water later in the evening will help your body digest the food.
2. Move, might sound odd but a small stroll later in the evening or the next day will help revive your body.
3. Catch up on veggies: Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables the day after, to help get the digestion back on track and to hydrate the body with fluids and electrolytes abundant in them.
4. Make your meals healthy the next day, keep them light and nutritious to give your body some rest and yet all the nourishment it needs.
5. Sleep well to let the body rest and recuperate.
I would like to end with saying - NO GUILT.
Festivals are for fun , so if you have indulged, its ok you earned it. Get back the next day or in a day or two.
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About Rupali DattaRupali Datta is a Clinical Nutritionist and has worked in leading corporate hospitals. She has created and lead teams of professionals to deliver clinical solutions for patients across all medical specialties including critical care. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association and Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.