by Shivani Kakhandki, Cora Health
We have to admit that the time of festivities and holidays is the ideal season for our tastebuds; however, it isn’t quite the same when it comes to our waistline, is it? (Rolls eyes) Especially in culture driven countries like India festivals are a time of celebration, all things sweet, happiness, and togetherness. Yet, festivities do bring along with them certain challenges to our emotional and physical health. Oftentimes, most of us will find ourselves in the nest of overwhelm thanks to those utterly delicious and indulgent treats made by mom or grandma. There’s no way you could say ‘no’ to that and focus on your well-being!
What if we told you that one can enjoy the glorious festivals without having to sabotage their health? All that we are trying to say here is that let us learn to be a smart cookie by keeping in mind the following ways to stay active and healthy during this festival/holiday season. Read on.
#1 Eat Mindfully
When you eat, sit back and enjoy the flavors of the dish. Make it a habit to pay attention to the texture, aroma, and taste of the food that you eat. You need to be aware of how much you are eating — allow yourself a 10-minute break after the first serving, if you still feel that you are not full then go for a small portion of the second serving. It takes some time for the brain to realize that the stomach is full. Therefore, always wait it out after each serving of food.
Another trick to eat mindfully is to never attend a party or a festival event on an empty stomach; if you do so then you will end up overeating. And when it comes to desserts, eat just one or maybe two dishes that you really love instead of sampling every option on the dessert table.
#2 Stay Active
We understand that it will be a bit challenging to take out time for a sweat sesh when your to-do lists and your social calendar seem to be jam-packed. Exercising is very important, especially so during the festivities! Ensure that you are having at least 4 to 5 active days per week. The best way to stay motivated during festivals or holidays is to figure out a workout regime that goes hand-in-hand with your holiday schedule. You could split your workout into smaller, manageable time intervals. If going to the gym isn’t possible then working out at home with assistance from fitness apps should seal the need!
#3 Stay Hydrated
Most of us are already aware that water constitutes almost 60% of our entire body’s weight. And we must always work towards maintaining this ratio by staying hydrated. Water is very critical for the healthy and smooth functioning of our body; it helps maintain our cell’s fluids and also delivers nutrients to them. During festivals/holidays we end up eating a lot of high-calorie foods and drinks, isn’t it? The only way to undo the damage here is by drinking as much plain or infused H20 as possible. If you have the tradition of drinking alcohol during festivals or holidays, alternate your cocktails with glasses of water. Trust us, your body will be really grateful to you the next morning!
#4 Opt For Healthy Substitutes
Just by fine-tuning your simple diet, you can continue to indulge in your favorite festival delicacies without having to worry about putting on some serious pounds. For instance, you could trade potato dishes with sweet potatoes. Or you could replace your lassi with Greek yogurt. Opting for lighter cheeses like soft goat cheese, feta cheese, or cottage cheese instead of processed cheese or cream cheese will keep you on the right health track. Additionally, consider indulging in roasted veggies or salads before reaching for that calorie-dense main course. This is a very enjoyable way to knock out an unbalanced meal without having to compromise on your festival cravings.
#5 Treat Yourself
Yes, the festival spirit is all about helping others around you, but always remember to make time and take care of yourself. Don’t let the madness of festivals and holidays take a toll on your emotional health. Read your favorite book, or unwind and relax by taking a small walk in the friendly lanes of your neighborhood. Treat yourself to something special over the holidays. And always remember to get the ideal 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Any small change in your sleep habit can alter the hormone levels of your body. Even worse, it could lead to weight gain. Therefore, take care of yourself!
Don’t be a daze during festivities. Be aware of your body and be fair to it. We must teach ourselves that holiday food can also be eaten at another point of time in the year. This will help you have better control over your food choices. The more consistent we are with our healthy habits, the better we will feel during festivals. And lastly, learn to enjoy your festivities/holidays with your near and dear ones. Happy festivities!