Are you on a diet and concerned about gaining belly fat during the festive season? Diwali being a festival that is celebrated with much fanfare – lights, fireworks, feasting and gifting – people tend to overeat and feel unhealthy after the festive high wears off. But what if we tell you that you could cheat on your weight loss diet and still reap some unexpected benefits?
Turns out dietary cheaters can prosper, especially when it comes to shedding a few extra pounds, perhaps if done under the right parameters. It is claimed that a weekly ‘cheat meal’ is actually good for weight loss – it can boost your metabolism and ward off feelings of deprivation, which not only helps improve your ability to lose weight but your ability to stick to your diet plan. This means one or a short period of indulgent eating won’t make a drastic difference in your weight. Holistic nutritionist Janvi Chitalia gives some guidelines on how to plan your cheat meals the right way during the festivals.
Eat sweets or fried or rice items – if it’s sweets, stick to a bowl or 3-4 pieces of that one sweet you like the most. If it’s fried starters, take 1 serving in a plate rather than picking out of a bowl, and stick to 1 serving of any one of the fried items. For junk food items, again stick to one serving in 1 quarter plate.
- Pre plan your preference for the cheat, don’t give into eating everything.
- Eat a bowl of salad or raita, or drink soup before you leave for the Diwali party.
- Drink 1-2 glasses of water in between the meals, especially when outside.
- Focus on eating smaller portions – eat as per what your body tells you so that you don’t give in to temptation.
- Eat what you truly want to eat and stick to eating out of your plate.
- Opt for healthier snack options that will fill you up in between meals and prevent you from overeating.
- Drink lime shot after heavy meals and start with cinnamon in warm water in the morning, and jeera-ajwain-saunf water at bedtime
- Make sure that you stick to your exercise regime – every fitness activity such as brisk walking, dancing or swimming can help you burn caories and aid weight loss. Taking stairs instead of elevators or squeezing in 15 minutes of yoga can be so beneficial.
Follow these tips to maximise your weight loss benefits and minimise the damage while eating the foods you crave this Diwali.