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India’s top nutritionists on how they indulge in every festive temptation, and keep the kilos at bay

Actually, here are four: India’s top nutritionists tell you how they indulge in every festive temptation, and yet, keep the kilos at bay...

india festive season Updated: Oct 10, 2016 17:55 IST
Jalebi,Loveneet Batra,Rujuta Diwekar
Golden globes of happiness: Crisp Jalebi with saffron and rabdi on the side served at Varq, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi

“Go for milk-based desserts over maida: a rasgulla over a gulab jamun!”
-Loveneet Batra, Clinical Nutritonist, Fortis La Femme

If I have to go for a party, I either eat at home before leaving, or look for fresh food stations serving pasta or khao suey. I avoid buffet food – it’s all stale.

It is not only specific foods that make you fat or fit. It’s how you combine your foods over the day. That’s why, even when I eat out, half my meals consist of vegetables. They give you the feeling of fullness, and then you can eat your roti and dal, and even a dessert.

I always choose milk-based desserts over maida-based, so a rasgulla over a gulab jamun, or rabri rather than cakes and pastries.

During the festive season, where you eat makes a big difference: avoid possibly adulterated food from outside. Cook something at home: I make moong dal halwa or kaju katli.

“Even the West is singing praises of ghee now, so I dig into that mithai!”
- Rujuta Diwekar, Celebrity nutritionist

I eat everything that festivities bring, especially Indian mithais.

Now even the West is singing the glories of ghee, so whether it is deep-fried snacks or innovative mithais, don’t be shy to dig in.

Sharing delicacies with loved ones during festivals, with loud conversations and laughter, is all part of this festive season.

Having said that, whether it is Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas or just another day, I keep up with my set of six Suryanamaskars a day and ensure that I follow my regular exercise routine.

“I don’t deny myself my favourite foods...”- Ishi Kohsla, Clinical Nutritionist

The most important thing is being mindful. During the festive time, there are odd timings and odd food, so I monitor what I eat: I don’t deny myself my favourite foods, but I try not to go overboard and overindulge.

When I do eat to excess, I compensate by having soup and salad for dinner or eat only vegetables and fruit the next day. Or else, I eat whatever I want – but before 7 pm. This is a very powerful principle. It keeps me happy and balanced.

Also, for the last three or four years, I have taken away wheat from my diet – just a little rice or millets, and lots of veggies and fruits.

“Triphla powder at night helps me balance the effects of oily foods...”
-Dr Shikha Sharma, HT Brunch columnist and Nutritionist

As my mother is from Kashmir, during the festive season, we delight in vegetarian dishes like paneer yakhni, dum aloo and rice and more. I really enjoy home-cooked food and tend to go overboard in this season. However, I avoid processed foods completely, and eat a variety of fruits.

I take triphala powder at night to balance the effect of oily foods, and sometimes I also take two tablets of triphala guggulu, as these ayurvedic remedies are very helpful.

I drink hot water or jasmine tea frequently, and detoxify once a week with an all-fruit diet and vegetable soup for dinner.

“Late night dinners are my problem...”-Kavita Devgan, HT Brunch contributor, nutritionist and author

This is one time of the year when you really can’t stay away from all those goodies. So it’s better to eat something in the evening and then, at the party, choose grilled things or soups.

Instead of saying no to food, I say no to big portions. Festivals are what keep traditions alive, and eating special foods is part of those traditions. After all, what’s Holi without a gujia, and Diwali without kheer? These are the naturally planned ‘cheat days’, which, science has proved, help keep hormones and weight stable, taste buds and mind sorted, and keep cravings away. So eat that ladoo. But stop after a couple!

From HT Brunch, October 8, 2016

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First Published: Oct 08, 2016 14:50 IST