Diwali is the festival of lights, fireworks, sweets and fun with family and friends – but you do not need to forget your diet for all this! During Diwali it is really hard to resist sweets as there is a huge variety of colourful sweets around. We can celebrate the festival of lights without unwanted weight gain and feeling guilty with a little bit of planning and can ensure healthy eating during Diwali for our families and ourselves. Our expert dietician, Sonali Subandh, gives you some simple tips for healthy eating during Diwali festival below:
- Preparing these indulgences at home and that too with healthier options is the way to go if you want to stick to your diet. Use sugar alternatives like organic jaggery and natural organic honey while preparing sweet items. You could also opt for unrefined sugar as well.
- Use low fat or fat free milk instead of full fat milk. Whip up some low-fat milk unsweetened rabdi or kheer to add protein and taste to it. This technique will help reduce the calorie consumption for your overall diet.
- Add more of almonds, walnuts, dry apricots, raisins, sunflower and sesame seeds while making the sweets. You can have healthy super foods like flaxseed and sesame laddoos, protein-rich homemade granola laddoos, granola bars, almond and coconut, and apple and cinnamon bars as substitutes for the Diwali sweets and serve them to your guests as well. This will give your diet a wholesome push.
- Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, black peppercorn can liven up both savoury and sweet foods. Spices have shown to increase a slow metabolism too, so indulge in them.
- Diwali and weight loss becomes easy when you swap refined maida for wholesome flours like multigrain atta or use of ragi flour or oats. Use them for making Diwali special halwas, kheers or cookies for a tasty yet good diet.
- Always plan your meal before dining anywhere. If you plan to have a heavy dinner, then eat less at lunchtime. Also, never go on an empty stomach to a party, you might eat extra food. Always, choose light snacks like salad, yoghurt or nuts before going anywhere. Choose your snacks wisely to ensure that you don’t break that diet. You can also choose dry fruits over deep fried sweets.
- Keep a tight control on portion sizes, especially when the variety seems endless. This will help your body metabolise the food faster, and your diet will stay on track too!
- You should always eat your food slowly and always have few servings. This method will help you avoid a sugar rush due to sweets and alert you when you are full.
- Never store excess sweets and chocolates at home. If your house is filled with these items, you will be more tempted to eat them.
In the end, I would like to say enjoy this festival with full zest and enthusiasm, drink lots of water every day, and continue with your daily routine of exercise routine to have a healthy and happy festival without breaking your diet! Also, remember to detox after Diwali so that your diet comes right back on track and those guilt pangs stay off the menu!
Sonali Subandh is an expert dietician and nutritionist who has brought lots of taste and fitness to many tables! Follow her page for plenty of diet tips.