Festivals in India mean a wide variety of traditions and celebrations, as well as an array of foods and sweets that may not be suitable for your dietary goals. But that doesn't mean you have to completely avoid sweets and your favourite dishes.
Indian festivals are known for their rich food and dessert preparations, and they go to the next level during the biggest festival of the year, Diwali. During Diwali, many indulgent desserts are prepared, such as kaju katli, gulab jamun, kalakand, Mysore pak, rasmalai, and more. All of these sweets taste amazing, and you cannot simply take your hands off them.
But just because it is Diwali doesn't mean you have to forget all your dietary goals and indulge in all those sweets without any thought. We are not saying you should completely avoid those treats, but practice moderation so that all your progress doesn't go in vain. Here are some tips to eat healthily during the holiday season.
Plan Your Festive Eating Wisely
At a Diwali celebration, diving into those finger foods is a common delight—no judgment there; they're hard to resist. However, for those aiming for moderation, it's wise to hold back on those bite-sized treats. Why? Because the main course awaits, and these morsels, delightful as they are, pack calories without offering fullness. Later, indulging in a full meal not only adds extra calories but also potentially leads to weight gain. That's not all. You can develop a stomach upset or feel bloated from inflammation, which can bring down the festive fervour.
Avoid Consuming Packaged Products
Avoid eating pre-packaged snacks and sweets during the festive season or in general. They basically lack nutrition and may not help in making you feel satisfied, and it is also easy to overeat such snacks. Pre-packed sweets like laddoos, peda, etc. tend to have processed ingredients like milk solids, natural stabilisers, etc. that lack nutritional value.
Most of these store-bought sweets do not use ghee for preparation and instead are made from processed palm oil variants that may not be good for health. Deep-fried snacks like wafers, nimkis, etc. are fried in processed fats, which may affect health. They are basically empty calories, and sometimes it can be easy to get carried away and eat these heavily processed foods during festivals, but these small choices are what affect your body later.
Make Homemade Sweets
Festivals without sweets are simply incomplete. They are the essence of Indian festivals, and with so much variety, there is something for everyone. With adulteration in sweets during Diwali on the rise nowadays, it might be best to make sweets at home with quality ingredients.
This allows you to have proper control over the quality and quantity of ingredients, such as sugar, flour, and ghee, that are used in mithai preparations like laddoos, barfi, and more. This way, you can make sure that you add minimal sugar to the desserts as compared to store-bought ones, which are loaded with sugar. So that even if you do end up eating more, it doesn't affect you as much as it would have if they were store-bought desserts.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
It is common to forget to hydrate yourself during the hustle and bustle of festivals. But it is something you must take extra care of, as drinking a good amount of water at regular intervals can help you refrain from eating unhealthy food and snacks. Therefore, make an extra effort to keep yourself hydrated while indulging in the festivities.
Avoid Fried Foods
During Diwali parties, you will find a plethora of finger foods whose taste is simply addictive. However, most of these delicacies entail deep-frying—think nimkis, chicken nuggets, pakoras, or samosas. Opt for relatively healthier alternatives to avoid indulging in these, or consider the initial tip: steer clear of fried foods until the main event.
We understand if the cravings are too high and you simply cannot resist the sweets and snacks during Diwali. Then simply practice portion control and have 2-3 bites at maximum to simply get a taste of those snacks and end the cravings. Festivals are also about sharing gifts and experiences with your loved ones, and that holds good for food as well. Sharing a portion of food with others can help you moderately consume the delicacies while satiating your cravings. This will keep you satisfied without overloading you with calories.
Maintain your usual workout routine during the celebrations. Whether it's walking, yoga, or another activity you love, don't skip it. Bursting crackers may not be an advisable activity these days considering the pollution and the environment, but one can surely assist in making arrangements at home for Diwali, like setting up the lights or lending a hand in the kitchen to prepare all the delicacies that you enjoy. Staying active helps burn off those extra calories and keeps you feeling vibrant. It's a crucial part of staying healthy during the festivities.