Diwali On A Diet : How Not To Undo Your Fitness
So you’ve been strict with your diet, faithful with your workouts, and you’re seeing results — well done! But there’s a potential speedbump around the corner — Diwali.
Yes, the festival is a joyous one indeed, and brings with it lights, joy, prosperity… and calories. We know there are several of you that are secretly dreading the occasion, and wondering how to make it through the festivities without undoing months of hard work. Fret not, we have a few handy solutions for you.
Let’s get to the biggest worry first: the mithai. You can’t really celebrate Diwali without sharing and being offered a plethora of Indian sweets, all lovingly crafted with loads of ghee, sugar, mawa, and what have you. And you can’t refuse, because after all, it’s Diwali! So what are your options?
Fill Up First: One of the easiest ways to limit how much you stray from your diet, is to eat beforehand. When you know you’re going to be visiting friends & family, try eating a serving of fruit or salad about 30-45 min before you leave. This will fill you up with nutrients and fibre, and help satiate your appetite, thus preventing overeating. You’re far less likely to gorge on mithai when you already feel full.
Try And Control Portions: This will be tricky. If you’re visiting multiple relatives or neighbours, you’re bound to be offered at least one piece of mithai, if not several. Your only weapon here is willpower. Accept one piece at each stop, and no more. In fact, if you’re doing the rounds with a friend or family member, decide beforehand that you’ll split a piece between the both of you at every stop. If your host tries to persuade you — and you know they will — politely but firmly tell them that you’re full, and are being conscious about your nutrition. If you’d prefer not to discuss your fitness efforts with them, another easy alibi is to tell them that since you’re visiting so many people, you don’t want to fill up too early. Psst… You could even stash a few crackers in your pocket/handbag to munch on between stops. Super-healthy, and they’ll keep you full!
Pick Your Mithai Wisely: While most of the sweets we share and receive during the festivities are loaded with sugar and other diet-unfriendly ingredients, all is not lost. There are several varieties of mithai that still follow older recipes, which include wholesome and healthier ingredients like ghee, jaggery and nuts. It’s always a good idea to pick sweets made in ghee over those made in hydrogenated oils since the latter are inflammatory. Ghee is also rich in gut-friendly butyric acid, which is a definite plus in the midst of Diwali binging. You could also munch on sweets that contain nuts like almonds, which are rich in heart-friendly fats and Omega-3. Of course, don’t cancel it out by eating chocolate-coated nuts and negating all the positive nutrients of the nuts! Coconut-laden mithai are also a wonderfully healthy option.
Too much to remember? Our brilliant team of nutritionists has created a special Diwali cheat-sheet for you, so you can make healthier mithai choices. Feel free to save this to your laptop or phone for easy reference, or even share it with your friends!
‘Low-Fat’ Isn’t Necessarily Healthy: It’s easy to be swayed by sweets that bear a ‘low-fat’ label. But what a lot of us don’t realise, is that manufacturers load these ‘low-fat’ variants with sugars and other carbohydrates to make them more palatable. You’re better off eating the regular sweets. Remember, low-fat isn’t always low-calorie!
Drink Plenty Of Water: You stay hydrated, and it helps suppress your appetite. With every home you visit, or every visitor you receive, try to have a glass of water. It will have a huge impact upon how many pieces of mithai you end up eating.
Go Homemade: Making your own mithai and savouries at home comes with many benefits. For starters, you can control what you put in them, be it sugar content, flours, dried fruits, vegan-friendly bases, and what have you. This means you can ensure that a lot of the treats you serve and share are nutrient-rich and healthier than store-bought varieties. Convince your friends and neighbours to do the same, and you can collectively have a much easier time! Not to mention, all the mixing and blending in the kitchen will burn plenty of calories, and you’re not likely to make too many variants when you’re doing the cooking yourself. Hurray for win-win situations!
Pick Better Gifts: We may not all have the time to make homemade treats, despite our best efforts. We understand. That’s why we’ve tried to make Diwali gifting easier and healthier with our delicious and healthy collection of snacks. They make great additions to gift baskets!
Don’t Stress: In case you give in to temptation and inhale a whole bunch of mithai, don’t panic! An indulgence now and then won’t take you back to square one. Just get back to your routine after, and you should be fine. And remember, stress is far more harmful to your health than that motichur laddoo!
From all of us at Grow Fit, have a safe, happy, and healthy Diwali!
- Chitra from Grow Fit