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How to beat the festive weight gain

Bingeing on the sweets can wreak havoc on the waistline. In the first of our three-part Diwali series, the experts tell us how to eat healthy.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 01, 2012 01:10 IST
Petrina D’Souza

Diwali is that time of the year when in every household, the aromas of ghee-laden sweets and indulgent festive dishes become hard to resist. The gulab jamun might be tempting, but it might come at the cost of not fitting into that brand new outfit. This year, you can choose to celebrate a healthy Diwali. Here’s how.

Balance it out

While a little indulgence is harmless, make sure you balance it out by eating healthy foods as well. "A balanced diet includes six essential nutrients — carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water, which the body requires in both large and small amounts," says wellness expert Namita Jain. "These can help maximise physical and mental performance and also help regain vitality."

For a balanced diet, "carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, fruits) must make 55-60 per cent of your diet; proteins (milk, eggs, meat, fish, sprouts) about 15 per cent; and fats (oils, butter) about 25-30 per cent," says Jain.

Detox it out

A three-day detox diet can also help flush out toxins and get you in a good shape. Go for vegetable juice, coconut or limewater, soups and herbal teas throughout the day to compensate for the heavy meals. "Incorporate bottle gourd (dudhi) juice, green vegetables juice or wheatgrass juice in the detox diet for three days. On the fourth day, try and eat simple food items like porridge, khichdi, dal, soup or milk and milk products," says dietician Mitalee Doshi. Fad diets, however, are not recommended, as they don’t give the body the nutrition it requires.


It is also important to include regular physical activity, to help burn extra calories. Days before the festivities begin, increase the time of your regular exercise regime. "If you walk or jog regularly, add an extra 15 minutes. Devote at least an hour in the morning to exercising your muscles — walk, jog or hit the gym," says Doshi.

Go for:

Diets rich in
Antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, green tea, beans cloves, cinnamon, ginger)

Fibre (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, pulses, nuts, seeds)

Protein (fish, chicken, egg, low fat milk and milk products, soya)

Omega 3 (walnuts, flaxseed, soya oil, fish like salmon, mackerel). Avoid:

Diets that contain

Saturated fat
(buffalo milk and its products, butter, coconut oil, ghee, ice-cream)

Refined carbohydrates (wheat flour, sugar)

Trans fat (margarine, bakery products like cakes, biscuits, cookies and chips and fried foods)

Cholesterol (egg yolk, red meat).


Sample diet plan:

1 cup of either upma, poha, or cereal porridge OR 2 slices of bread + 2 egg whites OR 1 cup of either milk or curd

Mid morning
1 fruit OR vegetable juice OR coconut water + 4 Almonds or 2 Walnuts

2 rotis + 1 cup veg + 1 cup dal + either chicken or fish +1 cup salad + 1 glass buttermilk


1 cup tea with either 1 cup kurmura chana, 2 khakhra or 2 biscuits

Late evening
1 fruit OR 1 cup soup OR 1 cup Sprouts salad

1-2 rotis of either wheat, jowar, bajra OR 3-4 idlis OR 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup dal + either chicken curry or steamed fish+ 1 cup curd+ 1 cup veg + either salad or soup